Some air new programs right up until the cutoff -- some even afterward, like shrewd HBO and Showtime wrapping up the seasons of "The Sopranos" and "The Tudors" in early June while Emmy ballots get filled out.
Other networks ceased airing new series' episodes after the end of sweeps May 23, then switched to reruns. That's great for Emmy watchers because they can now catch up with key episodes that they may have missed earlier but will figure prominently in the voting.
Here's what to tune in between now and May 31:
The pilot episode of "Ugly Betty" will be entered in several Emmy races: best comedy series, best actress (America Ferrera) and guest actor (Kevin Sussman, who played Betty's first love, the hapless Walter).
Pilots make for popular submission choices because they're easily grasped by voters unfamiliar with a particular show. This one reruns Thursday night (8 p.m. ET/PT, ABC).
"Ugly Betty" has an advantage in the comedy races. Its running time is one hour. Extra length often trumps half-hour sitcoms. Remember one-hour "Ally McBeal" pulling off an upset to win best comedy series of 1999?
Lots of half-hour sitcoms have reaped Emmys for going long too. Rules permit all series to submit episodes up to twice their normal running time if they're special two-parters. That may have helped lots of stars to prevail in the acting races, including Jennifer Aniston ("Friends"), Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace"), Helen Hunt ("Mad About You") and Michael J. Fox ("Spin City").
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This year the double-submission rule may help "King of Queens," which plans to enter both parts of its series finale, "China Syndrome," in the race for best comedy series. "King" has never been nommed in that top race during its previous eight years on the air. Now its producers are hoping for a sentimental boost after the series' final bow.
Can "King" finally reign with a double-episode whammy? Decide by watching both parts together Thursday night (8 to 9 p.m. ET/PT, CBS)
Star Kevin James scored a surprise bid for best actor last year -- the first Emmy nomination of any kind for the series. This year he angles for a repeat try by submitting Part 1 of "China Syndrome," which co-stars Leah Remini and Jerry Stiller also plan to submit to Emmy judges.
For James and Remini, the episode is particularly strong because it reaches beyond regular sitcom silliness to probe troubling issues in their marriage. It also features another couple's wacky wedding gone awry that's great comic fodder for Stiller.
"Grey's Anatomy" supporting regular T.R. Knight and guest actor hopeful George Dzundza are submitting both parts of "Six Days." Till now this ratings smash has yielded only one Emmy nom for an actor (guest Kyle Chandler) versus five for actresses but, alas, no wins for anyone. (Thursday night, 9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT, ABC)
Alison Janney is certainly an Emmy favorite with four wins out of six nominations for "The West Wing." She could pick up a guest actress nod this year for her appearance on the first of six new episodes of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," the since-canceled Aaron Sorkin dramedy about life behind the scenes at a TV sketch comedy show. (Thursday night, 10 p.m. ET/PT, NBC)
Over the next week Showtime will rerun most episodes of the first season of "The Tudors" before airing the ninth on June 3 (the night before Emmy voting kicks off) and the season finale June 10. Paycasters like Showtime replay individual episodes all week long.
This week you can catch a rerun of Episode 8 (various times) to see supporting actor Sam Neill's submission. Jonathan Rhys Meyers may enter it in the lead actor race too -- he's said to be torn between Episodes 8 and 5 and has until May 31 to decide. "Tudors" plans to enter Episode 3 in the race for best drama series. (Monday, May 28, 10 p.m. ET/PT)
This week HBO often replays "The Second Coming," the episode of "The Sopranos" being submitted by both lead actress Edie Falco and supporting player Lorraine Bracco.
HBO preempts "Entourage" and "The Sopranos" (their final episodes air June 3 and June 10, respectively) for "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," a telefilm with an impressive pedigree that should be a strong contender for noms in many races, including best TV movie. This adaptation of the bestselling book by Dee Brown about the plight of the American Indian stars Oscar winner Anna Paquin, Emmy nominee Aidan Quinn and Adam Beach. (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET/PT, HBO)