Peter Capaldi, star of Doctor Who; David Tennant for The Escape Artist and Douglas Henshall of Shetland fame will battle it out for the top honour.
Peter Capaldi could also be a winner in the Drama category where both Doctor Who and The Musketeers are nominated. Other nominees include Downton Abbey, New Tricks and Silent Witness.
The three Scots actors will attempt to wrest the Drama Performance Award away from a glittering line up of top TV stars which includes Dame Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey, Martin Shaw for his title role in Inspector George Gently and Sir Derek Jacobi for Last Tango in Halifax.
Reece Shearsmith will also contest the category for his performance as notorious Scottish wife murderer Malcolm Webster in the three-part ITV series The Widower, which was shot on location in Oban and Aberdeenshire.
Other Scots up for an award on the night include Dragon’s Den judge Duncan Bannatyne who is nominated in a new category created for the awards, Best Skills Challenge Show. Among the nominations are The Great British Bake-Off, The Apprentice and MasterChef.
Organisers have also come up with a new award which pitches Mary Berry of The Great British Bake-off against Simon Cowell in a bid to find the country’s top TV judge.
Other names in the running are Cowell’s X-Factor co-star Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Lord Sugar from The Apprentice.
Also nominated are Will.i.am from The Voice, Darcey Bussell from the Strictly Come Dancing panel, David Walliams from Britain’s Got Talent and Deborah Meaden in Dragon’s Den.
The 20th anniversary awards, which are hosted by Dermot O’Leary, will be shown live on ITV next January. Viewers can vote for their favourites stars in 15 categories which also include Best Comedy, Best Factual Programme, Best Entertainment Programme and Best Chat Show Host.
Organisers say they expect more than a million votes to be cast in the run up to the event. Last year’s awards were dominated by Geordie duo Ant and Dec – who won the Entertainment Presenter award for the 13th year running while I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! – which they host – won the Entertainment Programme award. They also picked up the prestigious Landmark award.
Glasgow-born Capaldi is the 12th actor to play the Time Lord in six decades of Doctor Who. At 56, he is also the oldest since the first, William Hartnell. There were differing reactions on Twitter to his prickly character. Capaldi, best-known as a foul-mouthed spin doctor in The Thick Of It, took over from predecessor Matt Smith, 31.
Capaldi has said he is still finding his feet, adding: “I don’t know if it’s quite fallen into place yet. I think it’s a mistake to get it to click, to get into a groove. I’ve tried to avoid finding a way to do it and then just repeating that.”