Michael Slezak
August 23, 2005 AT 05:21 PM EDT

Folks betting that the Emmys race for Best Actress in Comedy Series is a three-way battle among Desperate Housewives stars Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, or Marcia Cross (left) may be holding losing tickets — and the show’s creator Marc Cherry might be to blame, according to a provocative piece on GoldDerby.com today.

Emmy voters make their choices in the lead acting categories based on a single episode submitted by each nominated actor. GoldDerby’s Tom O’Neil reports that Cherry pressed his leading ladies to submit the best comedic performances, not necessarily their best overall performances, leading Huffman, for example, to submit the series’ pilot episode instead of ”Guilty,” which includes Lynette’s moving breakdown over her Ritalin addiction. ”Since actors are judging actors, they want to see — even in the comedy races — a nominee’s full chops, not just pratfalls. In all acting races, both comedy and drama, victorious submissions tend to include three things: range (tears to cheers), impact (a big emotional Money Scene) and sympathy (voters don’t like bitchy or bully characters),” writes O’Neil.

The Housewives‘ flubs could be good news for Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Patricia Heaton, and Malcolm in the Middle‘s Jane Kaczmarek; the latter’s submitted performance ”is so searing a viewing experience and Heaton’s entry is so touching and historic, being the last Ray, that both gals have a real shot at winning.” Interestingly, though, Huffman and Hatcher’s flubs could benefit Cross, argues O’Neil, because both of their submissions include strong scenes featuring their costar channeling the fascinatingly clenched Bree Van De Kamp.

I hope O’Neil is right; while all five nominees are worthy of recognition, Cross provided so many riveting moments this season — the dripping burrito, the hospital-room evisceration of Rex, Bree’s brutally awkward dinner party — that denying her an Emmy would be borderline criminal.

Which nominee do you think deserves the Emmy? Is there any way that Golden Globe winner Hatcher can lose? And do you have any plans to buy the Desperate Housewives soundtrack when it hits shelves this fall?

addCredit(“Desperate Housewives: Vivian Zink”)

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