MT. EMMY: To grab the brass ring -- or in this case an “e” ticket -- wrap yourself in raves and pack lots of buzz. This week’s altitude readings are by Greg Braxton, Maria Elena Fernandez, Matea Gold and Lynn Smith.


TUNED IN: After receiving the most Emmy nominations at 16, AMC’s “Mad Men” nearly doubled its viewership with the launch of its second season. If this goes on, it might have to give back its award for “The Best Show You’re Not Watching.”



SEX AND X: How about celebrating the Emmy-winning series that jumped to the big screen this year? The “Sex and the City” gals in a musical number? A tribute to Maxwell Smart, then and now? And, for the “The X-Files”? A moment of silence for its box office take.

AND A NOBEL? Kevin Spacey has two Oscars and is up for his first Emmy for the HBO movie “Recount.” After that, “I’m hoping for a Grammy and then maybe a lordship and then a Booker Prize,” Spacey joked.


TAKE A BREATH: Those long-winded and politically expressive monologues Alan Shore delivers on “Boston Legal” are not the handiwork of an editor. James Spader performs them in their entirety a few times and the producers pick the single best take.


VOTE NOW: Wouldn’t it be more fun if the ceremony took a tip from “American Idol” and let the viewers vote for the best host of the evening?


PITY: Lee Pace’s turn as Ned on “Pushing Daisies” is as sweet as his pies. But how could his sidekick be overlooked? The very imposing Chi McBride has learned to knit, for goodness sake!

RESCUE HIM! Is it too late to demand a recount? No, not of the Gore-Bush presidential race. We’re talking about the vote that excluded Denis Leary from a lead actor in a drama nomination.


NEXT UP: With Ryan Seacrest being a nominee and sharing hosting duties, he might have to abandon the red carpet spot he occupied last year for the ceremony. The perfect replacement? His old pal Brian Dunkleman.