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Emmys 2014: Who will prevail in the guest-acting categories?

Emmys 2014: Jimmy Fallon, Uzo Aduba, Allison Janney and Beau Bridges are favored in guest-acting races

The Creative Arts Emmys will be handed out beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Although most of the 80 categories probably hold little interest to those who aren't friends, family or colleagues of the nominees, the ceremony does include four guest-acting categories, featuring some of the biggest names in the business.

Will Louis C.K. get an early start on this year's Emmy haul? Which "Orange Is the New Black" actress will prevail ... or will the threesome cancel one another out? Here's our look at the guest-acting races:

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FOR THE RECORD

A previous version of this post said that the Creative Arts Emmys would take place on Sunday.

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COMEDY GUEST ACTOR

Steve Buscemi, "Portlandia"

Louis C.K., "Saturday Night Live"

Gary Cole, "Veep"

Jimmy Fallon, "Saturday Night Live"

Nathan Lane, "Modern Family"

Bob Newhart, "The Big Bang Theory"

Should win: Buscemi

Will win: Fallon

Analysis: Newhart won last year for "The Big Bang Theory," and he's so well-loved that he could pull off a repeat, though voters rarely go the rerun route in this category. (Mel Brooks -- another comedy legend -- was the last back-to-back winner, taking this Emmy three times for "Mad About You.")

Lane won his third nomination for "Modern Family," but he doesn't have much screen time in his submitted episode. Nor does Cole for "Veep."

Buscemi, meanwhile, owns his "Portlandia" episode. Playing a sad-sack celery salesman desperate to give the vegetable a brand makeover in the Golden Age of Kale, Buscemi demonstrates his gifts as a comic actor, goofing on the Willy Loman and "Glengarry Glen Ross" stereotypes.

Buscemi deserves the Emmy, but Fallon, riding a crest of popularity since taking over "The Tonight Show," probably will prevail, even though he won for hosting "Saturday Night Live" two years ago. Fallon performed his duties capably (certainly better than C.K.), owns plenty of screen time and duets with Paul McCartney. That should be more than enough to put him over.

COMEDY GUEST ACTRESS

Uzo Aduba, "Orange Is the New Black"

Laverne Cox, "Orange Is the New Black"

Joan Cusack, "Shameless"

Tina Fey, "Saturday Night Live"

Natasha Lyonne, "Orange Is the New Black"

Melissa McCarthy, "Saturday Night Live"

Should win: Aduba

Will win: Aduba

Analysis: First, the obvious: Fey and McCarthy have been much, much better in previous "SNL" hosting gigs. Cusack, meanwhile, finds herself in the comedy category after being nominated for the same "Shameless" role three years running in drama guest actress. The category switch won't help her win, though she does show a lot of range in her submitted episode, "Liver, I Hardly Know Her."

That leaves the "Orange" trio, each of whom, thanks to the show's flashback format, have outstanding episodes up for consideration. With work this good, it comes down to what will pop for voters, and Aduba's unhinged "Crazy Eyes" character has become one of the series' true breakout characters. Though Cox sports a better story arc (and the notoriety of being the first openly transgender Emmy nominee), we think Aduba will prevail.

DRAMA GUEST ACTOR

Dylan Baker, "The Good Wife"

Beau Bridges, "Masters of Sex"

Reg E. Cathey, "House of Cards"

Paul Giamatti, "Downton Abbey"

Robert Morse, "Mad Men"

Joe Morton, "Scandal"

Should win: Bridges

Will win: Bridges

Analysis: "Mad Men" has never won an acting Emmy. Ever. It's 0 for 31. The show has three more chances this year (Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks are also nominated), and Morse represents the best chance to end the unfortunate (and, might we add, ridiculous) streak. Morse has been nominated five times and because his character, Bertram Cooper, has danced his way to that great ad agency in the sky, this will be his last hurrah. Exits don't get much better -- or briefer. Morse has only about five minutes of screen time. And, ultimately, voters will probably look elsewhere because of that.

Baker has now been nominated three times for his "Good Wife" slimeball and for better episodes than this year's submission. Giamatti, playing Cora's brother on "Downton," owns plenty of screen time, but it's not exactly a showy role. (Cathey, who plays the barbecue master in "Cards," has the same problem.) Morton, meanwhile, is at the other end of the acting spectrum, chewing scenery the way Kevin Spacey goes through a rack of babyback ribs on "Cards."

That leaves Bridges. A three-time Emmy winner (on 15 nominations), Bridges owns a showcase episode that finds his "Masters" university provost struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality in heartbreaking fashion. It's the most substantial acting nominated here and it will likely win.

DRAMA GUEST ACTRESS

Kate Burton, "Scandal"

Jane Fonda, "The Newsroom"

Allison Janney, "Masters of Sex"

Kate Mara, "House of Cards"

Margo Martindale, "The Americans"

Diana Rigg, "Game of Thrones"

Should win: Janney

Will win: Janney

Analysis: Like her "Masters" co-star Bridges, Janney is an Emmy favorite, having won four times for "The West Wing." She could add two more to the mantel this year, with nominations here and for her work on the CBS sitcom "Mom." Janney's "Masters" turn, playing Margaret, Bridges' lonely, lovelorn wife, is almost a sure bet to take this category. The scene where Margaret states -- and realizes for the first time -- that she has never had an orgasm is devastating. None of the other nominees have anything as powerful.

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