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The Primetime Emmy Awards (hosted by Neil Patrick Harris) aren't until September, and there's more than a month to go until nominations are announced. But the voting begins tonight. Though the Emmys have a tendency to be redundant and boring—sorry, Modern Family—but so far there have been some surprises in the precursor awards. Usually critical darlings Mad Men and Girls were both snubbed in the Critics' Choice nominations (the ceremony is tonight), while the Television Critics Association Awards nominations, announced today, piled praise on The Americans. Here are a few story lines that are taking shape.  

The Netflix Question

Whether House of Cards and Arrested Development will give Netflix Emmys clout is one of the big unknowns this year. And how they were going to try to campaign for that clout was another question. According to Deadline's Pete Hammond, the company was debating whether or not to send out screeners, but at the last minute decided they would. "Netflix strategists clearly realized without sending screeners they would be at a huge disadvantage so last week the entire first season of House Of Cards landed in members’ mailboxes followed closely by five selected episodes of Arrested Development," Hammond wrote. "That package also included a card offering a free Netflix subscription to all voters for the month of June." House of Cards is glitzy enough that it seems like a shoo in for drama nods. Arrested Development may come attached with too much emotional baggage. 

Will Jon Hamm Break His Curse? 

For four years straight, Mad Men winning best drama was one of the things that made the Emmys rather predictable. But last year they lost for the first time — and, in fact, didn't take home a single prize. So, while it may be that the AMC show has lost its allure with Emmy voters, among all of the awards for the show, Jon Hamm has never won for actor. Will this finally be his year? Or did he miss the show's moment? Elisabeth Moss got the show its only nomination in the Critics' Choice competition. For what it's worth, Matt Weiner was not happy last year. Aside from the Mad Men frustration, there are other big questions in the drama categories. Will Breaking Bad get a big farewell? Will Game of Thrones be treated as more than just genre? 

The Newbies 

Last year, Homeland emerged as the new kid on the block to take Mad Men's crown. Another show might steal it away this year. Perhaps The Americans, which dominated the Television Critics Association nominations, is the one. As for the acting categories? The Hollywood Reporter tells us to keep any eye out for actors and actresses that might get an Emmy bump from the Critics' Choice. One of those people is Tatiana Maslany who plays multiple women in Orphan Black.  

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