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One byproduct of the “Downton Abbey” fever that gripped the galaxy this winter was the faint (or perhaps not-so-faint) cries from some soap opera fans that “Downton” was every bit as frothy as their favorite daytime dramas. Along those lines, for today’s Variety Road to the Emmys: Drama section, we asked Glenn Whipp to explore how primetime shows manage to serve up sensational plot twists without them seeming over the top

Elsewhere in the section, in addition to that story and our Bruce Rosenblum interview, you’ll find these stories:

— Bob Verini imagines how the ultimate crossover episode for all of TV drama would play out.

— Cable continued its winning streak of launching buzzworthy dramas, writes Kate Hahn.

— Why, out of all the great TV dramas, “Mad Men” has been able to reign supreme with the Academy for so long.

— Capsules on freshman Emmy contenders and their veteran brothers.

— Snapshots of some of the top moments from the past season of drama.

— A different trip down memory lane yields the first moments ever for TV’s Emmy-contending dramas.