LOS ANGELES: With "Game of Thrones" off the Emmy battlefield this time around, the likely beneficiaries will be streaming dramas and, in a reversal of fortune, a broadcast series.
Netflix's "The Crown" and "Stranger Things" and Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," all streamed shows, could be among the nominees to be announced Thursday at the TV Academy by Anna Chlumsky ("Veep") and Shemar Moore ("Criminal Minds," the upcoming "S.W.A.T.") The announcement will be streamed live at 11:30 a.m. EDT on www.emmys.com .
The NBC freshman series "This is Us," a hit with viewers and critics, has a chance to show network dramas can be Emmy worthy again. A commercial broadcast network hasn't fielded a best drama series contender since CBS' "The Good Wife" was nominated in 2011. The last network winner was Fox's "24" in 2006.
HBO's "Game of Thrones," which dominated last year's Emmys with 23 nods and 12 trophies, including its second consecutive best drama award, falling outside the eligibility window for Emmy consideration this year.
"Orphan Black" isn't in the running for the same reason, depriving star Tatiana Maslany of the chance to repeat as the best drama actress.
On the flip side, this could be the year of the sitcom auteur — those actors who star in their creations, and often write and even direct them. That includes Aziz Ansari in "Master of None" on Netflix; Donald Glover's "Atlanta" on FX, and Issa Rae's "Insecure" on HBO.
Strong showings by them could indicate that Emmy voters are willing to embrace the achievements of women and people of color as they finally gain a foothold in the TV industry.
Other likely contenders are HBO's "Veep," which won its second straight top comedy award last year; ABC's "black-ish"; Amazon's "Transparent" and, for its sixth and final season, HBO's "Girls."
The Emmys are scheduled to air Sept. 17 on CBS, with Stephen Colbert as host.
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