How bad will Emmy voters screw up? Never the quickest to pick up on worthy new shows, the TV Academy had better nominate ''Alias,'' ''24,'' and ''Gilmore Girls'' -- or else, says Bruce Fretts
Alias, Jennifer Garner
Credit: Jennifer Garner: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC
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How bad will Emmy voters screw up?

This year’s Emmy nominations won’t be announced until July 18. But it’s never too early to speculate on the mistakes the members of the TV Academy will likely make with their picks. Here are the potential nominees we hope they don’t overlook (even though we know they probably will).

Alias (ABC)/ 24 (Fox)
The Emmys are notoriously slow to notice new shows, especially ones that aren’t out-of-the-box hits. But these two rookie espionage dramas are too good to ignore. Both deserve Best Drama nominations more than such perennial contenders as ”The West Wing” and ”The Practice.” Each merits acting nods as well, and not just for stars Jennifer Garner and Kiefer Sutherland. Among the ”Alias” ensemble, Victor Garber (as Garner’s emotionally distant dad) and Ron Rifkin (as her diabolical boss) should earn supporting honors, as should ”24” presidential candidate/assassination target Dennis Haysbert and Lady Macbeth-like wife Penny Johnson Jerald.

Gilmore Girls (The WB)
The TV Academy’s sets don’t seem to get the Frog netlet, given the paucity of nominations received over the years by former residents ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and ”Felicity.” ”Gilmore” should break that curse. Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop ought to oust annual ”Judging Amy” also-rans Amy Brenneman and Tyne Daly for Best Actress and Supporting Actress in a Drama. And creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s scripts are every bit as witty (and wordy) as anything Aaron Sorkin’s written for ”The West Wing.”

Oz (HBO)
With ”The Sopranos” whacked from this year’s Emmy competition due to its excruciatingly protracted hiatus, the pay-cable net’s ”Six Feet Under” is expected to pick up the slack in the dramatic categories. But HBO’s full-frontal prison drama is equally worthy of inclusion, especially for creator Tom Fontana’s brilliant musical episode ”Variety.” The showstopping ”Last Duet” between blood rivals Beecher (Lee Tergesen) and Schillinger (J.K. Simmons) was so fabulous, it should win the actors Tonys in addition to Emmys.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
It must be written in the Academy’s bylaws that ”Law & Order” be nominated for Best Drama every year, even though it’s only won the trophy once. But did anyone notice that the franchise’s first spin-off surpassed the original in quality last season? While Dianne Wiest and Elisabeth Rohm were sucking the energy out of ”L&O,” Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, and scene-stealing guest stars like Henry Winkler and John Ritter were pumping fresh blood into ”SVU.” It would be a crime to snub them.

The King of Queens (CBS)
Every year, I’m shocked that one of TV’s most consistently sidesplitting sitcoms fails to show up on the Academy’s radar screens. Last season, ”King” broke into the top 20, so it’s about time (okay, actually way past time) Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller, and the show’s stellar writing staff join their Monday neighbors from ”Everybody Loves Raymond” in the Emmy spotlight. If not, I’m going to keep complaining every year until the voters pay attention. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

What shows are you hoping the Emmys won’t ignore?

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