'Breaking Bad'
Ursula Coyote/AMC 'Breaking Bad'

The Emmy nominations are being announced this Thursday, July 19th and Indiewire is offering previews of what could go down in the three primary category subsections: comedy, drama and TV movie/miniseries (we already offered up a wishlist of "most wanted" nominees... read that here).

We tackled the comedy categories yesterday, and today we're taking a stab at drama. And while we gushed yesterday about what an incredible season it was for the former, collectively the comedy series of the 2011-12 television does not come close to what was offered from the dramas.

It's genuinely arguable that it was one of the best seasons ever for dramatic television, with AMC's longtime Emmy favorites "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" each offering perhaps their best seasons yet alongside generally stellar offerings from newer shows like "Homeland," "Game of Thrones," "Downton Abbey," "Boardwalk Empire," "Justified" and "The Killing" (to name a few).

But the Emmys haven't exactly been perfect at nominating the most deserving dramatic television -- see the widespread dismissals of the likes of "Treme," "Sons of Anarchy," "Battlestar: Galactica," "Gilmore Girls," "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and, most horrifyingly, "The Wire." But they have improved significantly in recent years, with last year's crop featuring multiple nominations for shows like the now departed "Friday Night Lights" as well as aforementioned "Justified" and "The Killing" -- all of which seemed ripe for the snubbing.

Things are clearly more crowded than ever before, and not simply because it was such a standout year for dramatic television in general.

"Downton Abbey"
PBS "Downton Abbey"

Last year, Emmy favorites "Breaking Bad" and "Damages" didn't have seasons that qualified. This year, they do (and they were great).

Last year, "Downton Abbey" swept the miniseries/TV movie categories. This year, it's eligible instead in the series categories thanks to a few more episodes this time around (it has also become a considerable pop culture phenomenon).

Last year, we'd yet to see the likes of "Homeland," "Luck," "Boss," "Revenge" and "Smash." This year, we most certainly have and a few them could easily break through (particularly "Homeland").

All this on top of returning Emmy regulars "Mad Men," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Good Wife," "Game of Thrones" and "Dexter," and we have ourselves some very tight races.

So how might it all shake down? Our predictons in the major drama races are on the next page. Check back for Indiewire's take on the TV movie/miniseries categories tomorrow.