FX added another gem to its brand with the period spy series, which gained cachet as the season progressed.
As much as the pre-Psycho concept, performances by Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore put Bates (and in turn, A&E) on the map.
Can such a high-profile HBO show be underrated? At any rate, it stood tall in its third season, even airing the same night as Showtime’s defending Emmy champ “Homeland.”
The publicity for the show’s upcoming final eight episodes might galvanize voters to give it its first series Emmy.
Call The Midwife
Imagine a show that takes Lady Sybil’s final “Downton Abbey” episode and tells stories like that each week. There you have the under-the-radar “Midwife.”
Hey, if “Law & Order” could become an Emmy favorite, why can’t the latest product of the Dick Wolf machine?
Co-created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos, “Copper” was BBC America’s first original scripted drama and was picked up for a second season.
Once a dynamic part of the FX slate, “Damages” ended its run in relative anonymity on DirecTV’s Audience Network, but nevertheless found new viewers.
Da Vinci’s Demons
It’s not entirely clear audiences knew what to make of the idea of Leonardo as a pseudo-action hero, but it had a splashy debut in season one.
The cabler’s warhorse had a four-year streak of nominations end in 2012, but a comeback is viable.
Freed in season three from the shackles of channeling World War I, “Downton” refo- cused on domestic issues — in a year that will be remembered for who (and how they) died.
Though procedurals struggle at the Emmys these days, the Eye is hoping Academy voters rate this Holmes-Watson incarnation a cut above.
Arguably offered the best premiere of any new show in 2012-13, though over the course of the season some felt the plotting was strained.
Game of Thrones
With White Walkers and dragons now a major threat to those who eye the Iron Throne, the third season of “Thrones” was marked by changes in power, odd bedfellows, unexpected heroes and the occasional shocking death of a main character.
The Good Wife
The Julianna Marguiles starrer remains the best hope for a show from the four big broadcasters to earn an Emmy drama series nom.
Almost an afterthought when NBC brought it to the air in 2011, “Grimm” developed a loyal following to become a no-doubt renewal for 2013-14.
A largely well-regarded premiere nevertheless raised questions of whether it was too violent.
House of Cards
OK, maybe there’s one more interesting story than “Homeland.” “House of Cards” had its own layer of soap but stands an excellent chance of creating a drama series nominations breakthrough for digital.
There might be no more interesting story at this year’s Emmys than whether the exceedingly drastic plot turns of “Homeland” undermine its chances at a repeat drama series win.
“Justified” spoils its fans, with the Margo Martindale-infused second season iconic in its audience’s memory. But this year’s season four was masterfully plotted and completely compelling.
Something of a more laconic “Justified,” “Longmire” took advantage of its rural Western locale to offer a modern-day update of a Wild West procedural.
The drama has been more of a trip than ever in its sixth (and penultimate) season, but with its four-year run atop the Emmy drama pyramid ending, it’ll be a challenge to climb back up.
Though it featured a season-long political arc that never resonated, “Nashville” made its soapiness work, boosted by strong perfs and a rich and diverse supply of music.
Not a little bit polarizing, “The Newsroom” could aggravate with some eyebrow-raising plotting while also hooking auds with the way it tackled the key issues of our time.
Once Upon a Time
This season, Storybrooke might have broken free of Regina’s curse, but residents remained trapped in their small town as fairytale folks were forced to deal with the repercussions of bringing magic into the real world.
The attention-getting work of Tatiana Maslany and the coyly dramatic universe it inhabits offers some hope that Orphan could find a home at the Emmys.
It took some time before the Academy jumped on the bandwagon of Jason Katims’ previous show, “Friday Night Lights.” Could “Parenthood” follow the same pattern?
Person of Interest
Perhaps it’s no more than the presence of Michael Emerson, but “Person” just seems to have a bit more heft than some other CBS dramas.
The pace won’t be for everyone, but there’s something mesmerizing — even beguilingly haunting — about Ray McKinnon’s lowkey effort.
If “Revolution” breaks through, one wonders if it should share its award with “The Voice,” whose lead-in audience buoyed the high-concept drama during the key early weeks.
BBC America followed “Copper” with another period piece, a sort of “CSI” of a hundred years ago and one that intrigued.
Dismissed by some a year ago as fluff, “Scandal” took off in its second season and became one of the most tweeted-about shows on TV.
We’ll forever wonder if “Shameless” might have been better off submitting as a comedy (on the dark side, of course). If “Nurse Jackie” can, why can’t this?
Sons of Anarchy
We’re rooting for this show to get a nomination in no small part to see what showrunner Kurt Sutter’s reaction would be.
Some bashed TNT for canceling “Southland” in the spring, but the network is the sole reason why viewers who cherished it were able to enjoy four additional seasons.
Just because it was less ambitious than a “Game of Thrones” doesn’t mean that “Vikings” wasn’t a success. Reviews for the most part were supportive.
The Walking Dead
Hardcore fans are always analyzing “Walking Dead” plotlines to the nth degree, but the third season of the hugely popular cable drama provided plenty of riveting moments.