FOX's "Empire" - Season One
Credit: FOX via Getty Images

The nominees for the 2015 Primetime Emmys were announced yesterday and it’s because of this year’s heavyweight-packed lineup that we wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. How, without more time, are we expected to catch up on Veep, House of Cards, Transparent, Orange is the New Black and the laundry list of other shows that are up for a trophy? Yes, we’re eagerly anticipating the parade of leading ladies and gentlemen that’ll strut across the red carpet come Sept. 20, but the fashion isn’t the only thing to look forward to. From the usually well deserved to the interestingly unexpected nod, there are plenty of actors, writers, and directors to rave about. Below, our choice of key highlights.

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Tatiana Maslany finally receives a nomination for her role in Orphan Black.
After three seasons of playing Sarah and the multitude of doppelgängers she portrays on BBC’s Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany, the unsung hero in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, finally has been given the praise she rightfully deserves. We’ve celebrated Sarah (or Helena or Krystal or Cosima) for her choice costumes, but it’s Maslany’s chameleon-like acting chops that stand out.

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Cookie Lyons is coming for what’s hers.
If Taraji P. Henson isn’t the chosen winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, we presume she’ll gracefully stay in her seat (dressed in Balenciaga, of course) and smile out of appreciation for being nominated. If it’s Cookie Lyon we’re talking about, though, we think she’d run across the stage and beat the women who stole her spotlight with a broom. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, but nonetheless, Henson’s portrayal as the rising matriarch of Empire is beyond solid.

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Bloodline is one to watch.
Kyle Chandler’s portrayal of John Rayburn in Bloodline was notable enough to land him a spot in the category for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The Netflix breakout is still in its first season and already has a loyal following—it’s time to get on board.

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Is Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk the new Bryan Cranston?
Devoted Breaking Bad followers were left heartbroken when the series came to wraps in 2013, but thankfully its prequel, Better Call Saul is giving everyone their fix. The show’s Bob Odenkirk is up for the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The takeaway? He’s the new Bryan Cranston.

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Nicole Kidman might make her first Emmys appearance.
Despite the controversial Lifetime release of Grace of Monaco (it was originally meant to be released in Cannes), the film, starring Nicole Kidman, is receiving praise with a nomination for Outstanding Television Movie. Of course, this means Kidman is bound to make a royal entrance at the show.

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We haven't had enough of Mad Men.
Talk about ending with a bang. Not only did Jon Ham and Elisabeth Moss receive nominations this year, but this is also Christina Hendricks’s sixth for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Joan Holloway would be proud.

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When's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's second season supposed to air, again?
The show’s title may suggest that Kimmy Schmidt is the unbreakable one, but it’s Tina Fey, the show’s creator, who is once again proving to be a force in Hollywood. The actress was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series while Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess, Jon Hamm, and the show itself (for Outstanding Comedy Series) also were listed.

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Amy Schumer is on a roll.
Lines are currently forming to see just how far Amy Schumer derails from the norm in Trainwreck, out today. But her nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Inside Amy Schumer indicates that the actress is far from a mess. Her hit Comedy Central show brought in a total three nominations.

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