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BEST BETS

Television celebrates itself on Sunday night with the 46th annual prime-time Emmy Awards (7 p.m., Ch. 4).

The hosts are certainly an appealing pair - Ellen DeGenneres of "Ellen" and Patricia Richardson of "Home Improvement."And there are certain to be at least a few surprises, a few funny acceptance speeches, and more than a few garish gowns.

(Actually, the biggest surprise will be if "NYPD Blue" doesn't go home with an arm-load of trophies.)

There will also certainly be some winners who don't deserve to win and some losers who don't deserve to lose. This is a popularity contest, after all, not a genuine measuer of quality.

But if you keep that in mind, this is still the second-best awards show on television, after the Oscars.

-Scott D. Pierce