Emmy nominations: What to watch for

Story highlights

Emmy nominations will be announced on July 10

"Breaking Bad" expected to do very well; last season was widely hailed and watched

"Orange Is the New Black's" first season qualifies, will likely score nods

Will there be room for "Orphan Black" this time?

CNN  — 

“Breaking Bad,” it’s time for your curtain call.

The addictive AMC series, which concluded last September, is expected to be one of the major frontrunners when the nominations are announced Thursday for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Its final half-season, which earned both big ratings and critical plaudits, is just about guaranteed to earn the show another nomination for best drama – and that’s only the start. Star Bryan Cranston, who already has four Emmy wins for the show, should easily nab another nod. Co-star Aaron Paul should get one as well.

Altogether, the drama that turned “Mr. Chips into Scarface,” in the description of creator Vince Gilligan, should make out quite well.

“Remember my name,” indeed.

But it may face some stiff competition, especially since both the drama and comedy series categories have been expanded up to seven nominees this year. Here are some other Emmy storylines to pay attention to:

1. “True Detective” is on the case. The praise for the “Breaking Bad” finale had barely started to die down when HBO’s “True Detective” zipped into the zeitgeist. The first season, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two Louisiana homicide detectives – one of them given to existential flights of fancy about life, the universe and nothingness – may have actually helped win McConaughey an Oscar. Emmy voters have no doubt paid attention.

2. The return of Netflix. If last year’s eight nominations for “House of Cards” weren’t enough, this year will likely bring more honors for the Washington-set drama and its Machiavellian characters. Moreover, the first season of “Orange Is the New Black” – which narrowly missed qualifying for last year’s Emmys – is probably going to be in the thick of the comedy races, along with “Louie,” “Veep,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family.” (“Orange’s” second season, which was released on June 6, will qualify for next year’s awards.)

3. Room for the offbeat. HBO’s “Silicon Valley” might not be able to find a slot among the comedy series nominees, since there are more than enough viable candidates. But the late actor Christopher Evan Welch, who played the eccentric investor Peter Gregory in the show, might earn a nomination for his standout supporting work (if that’s not an oxymoron).

Similarly, Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” had an up-and-down season, with its surprise Golden Globe win contrasting with mediocre ratings and uneven scripts. That may not be enough to get it a best comedy series nomination. But the show does benefit from some great supporting characters, including Andre Braugher as Capt. Ray Holt and Chelsea Peretti as Gina Li