6 burning questions ahead of tomorrow's Emmy nominations


This isn't just any year for TV.


Diversity is rising. An Amazon series, "Transparent," is the drama front runner. Several Emmy darlings have ended their runs. And the TV Academy has put its foot down on the comedy vs. drama question.

All of those factors and more are contributing to a heated Emmy race.

Here are six burning questions Emmy voters will tackle in 2015:

1.) How will "Orange Is the New Black" fare in the drama category?


orange is the new black

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

"Orange Is the New Black" lost its petition to compete in the comedy category at the Emmys.

In recent years, the drama category has become the most competitive group for awards. So, many shows that seemed like dramas entered themselves in the easier comedy category. The TV Academy put an end to some of that when it ruled that one-hour shows had to enter the drama category. Petitions were filed for shows that felt they should still be recognized as comedies and "Orange Is the New Black's" was denied. Any one who has watched the series would agree the show should be honored, but will it still get the nomination as part of the tougher drama category?

2.) Will Jon Hamm finally get an Emmy for "Mad Men"?

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Don Draper (Jon Hamm) contemplates his life on the "Mad Men" series finale.

With the recent end of "Mad Men." the huge critical and fan response to the series finale, and the viral reaction to the show's Coke commercial tie-in, isn't it time for Jon Hamm's excellent portrayal of Don Draper to be honored? Certainly, it's supposed to be an honor to just be nominated, but Jon Hamm's seven Emmy noms and zero wins is bordering on insulting. This may be the TV Academy's last chance to honor Hamm's in the iconic role.

3.) Can broadcast TV break back into the drama category?

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Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard star on Fox's "Empire."

The onslaught of cable and now Netflix and Amazon have become insurmountable challenges to broadcast TV's chances of winning an Emmy in the drama category since "24" won in 2006. Plus, not one broadcast series has been nominated in the drama category since "The Good Wife" in 2011. Yes, the category is competitive (see No. 1 above), but certainly this year broadcast may have a chance with "Empire," the most successful drama of the past year, or "The Good Wife" breaking back through. Otherwise, things are looking dire for broadcast dramas.


4.) Has Robin Wright finally earned her Emmy?

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David Giesbrecht for Netflix

Robin Wright show her serious side and goes brunette on "House of Cards."

The third season of "House of Cards" has arguably been Robin Wright's time to shine as Claire Underwood "Hillary Clinton'd" herself from Frank Underwood's (Kevin Spacey) shadow. Nominated twice already with no wins, this year is the perfect one to give her the gold. That said, history may not be on Wright's side. See No. 5 below.

5.) Will a black woman win the lead drama actress Emmy?

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Viola Davis removes her wig and makeup in an unforgettable scene from "How to Get Away With Murder."

A black woman has never won the lead drama actress category. In 2013, Kerry Washington was the first to even be nominated in 18 years. Diversity is the word in TV right now and patience has truly been waning for this category to go to an African American actress. This year, we have three good chances in Washington, "How to Get Away With Murder's" Viola Davis, and "Empire's" Taraji P. Henson. Voters (and viewers) love a historic moment. Is this the year?

6.) Can Julia Louis-Dreyfus actually lose this year?


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Patrick Harbron/HBO

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won the lead comedy actress Emmy three years in a row.

The women's comedy competition has been dominated by well-deserving figures like Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation"), Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie"), and "Veep's" Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who has won three years in a row). But, there's some new and returning stars that's certainly complicated the category. There's lots of buzz around "Jane the Virgin" star Gina Rodriguez (who won the Golden Globe) and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's" Ellie Kemper. Comedy Central's Amy Schumer ("Inside Amy Schumer") is the talk of the town and may surprise us all.

But, don't count out some of the older guard out either; Lisa Kudrow ("The Comeback"), Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin ("Grace and Frankie") are also strong contenders. Plus, Emmy voters love celebrating its entertainment icons. This could be the category to watch this year.

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