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Will “The Americans” exit with a bang? Could “Roseanne” find love among the ruins? Is “Game of Thrones” primed for a big comeback?

Those questions will be answered this week when the 2018 Emmy nominations are announced Thursday.

Because there are so many television series (more than 500 at last count), any scenario is possible, particularly since some shows don’t have traditional “seasons.”

Because Emmy loves winners, past trophy holders have a higher likelihood of repeating.

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The Handmaid's Tale

Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) returns in season two of "The Handmaid's Tale." She's living in the Colonies.

Last year, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Veep” won the best drama and comedy prizes. “Tale” could repeat, but “Veep” isn’t in the conversation because no new episodes aired during the eligibility period.

“Game of Thrones” wasn’t in the mix last year, but it’s back now. Elisabeth Moss, Sterling K. Brown, Donald Glover, Kate McKinnon, Alec Baldwin, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Gerald McRaney and Laura Dern were winners in 2017 and most likely will return.

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Game of Thrones: Doesn't anyone here want to make any money?

Emilia Clarke as “Mother of Dragons” Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow, in a scene from HBO's "Game of Thrones."

The key question is how well streaming shows will do. Among those to watch: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “GLOW,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Arrested Development” and “Stranger Things."

When the vast list of nominees is revealed, expect surprises. Emmy likes to throw a curve and reward loyalty.

Here's who stands a good chance of getting good news Thursday morning:

BEST DRAMA: “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “This is Us,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “Westworld” were nominees last year. “Game of Thrones” is back in. “Better Call Saul” didn’t have new episodes. Because it’s wrapping up, “The Americans” will likely make an impression. Of the newcomers, look to “Ozark” and “Killing Eve.”

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Sterling K Brown: Award-winning actor and devoted family man

Actor Sterling K. Brown, a star of the NBC series "This Is Us," won a Golden Globe Award for best actor in a TV drama series. He is the first African American man to win in this category.

BEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Sterling K. Brown (the winner), Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Rhys, Liev Schreiber and Milo Ventimiglia were on last year’s list. Kevin Spacey was, too, but he’s not exactly Emmy-ready this year. Freddie Highmore (“The Good Doctor”), Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), J. K. Simmons (“Counterpart”) and Donald Sutherland (“Trust”) have a chance of breaking in. “Westworld’s” Jeffrey Wright could be here as well.

BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Elisabeth Moss (the winner), Viola Davis, Claire Foy, Keri Russell and Evan Rachel Wood were on the list in 2017. This year, add in Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve), Laura Linney (“Ozark”), Mandy Moore (“This is Us”) and Christine Baranski (“The Good Fight”).

BEST COMEDY: “Atlanta,” “Black-ish,” “Modern Family,” “Silicon Valley” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” were nominees. Look for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “GLOW,” Will and Grace” and “Barry” to be contenders. “Roseanne” might slip in, depending on industry sentiment.

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"Roseanne" stars Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner.

BEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Back: Donald Glover, Anthony Anderson, Zach Galifianakis and William H. Macy. New to the field: Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”); Bill Hader (“Barry”); Iain Armitage (“Young Sheldon”); Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and John Goodman (“Roseanne”).

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Donald Glover

Donald Glover returns for a second season of "Atlanta," his Emmy-winning series on FX.

BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn’t in the running because her show didn’t have new episodes this year, but she has ruled this field. Those still vying: Allison Janney (“Mom”); Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”); Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”); Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish.”

Look for new competition from Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”); Alison Brie (“GLOW”); Debra Messing (“Will and Grace”) and Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”). Roseanne Barr is always possible.

BEST LIMITED SERIES: Likely: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” “Twin Peaks,” “Howards End,” “Patrick Melrose,” “Top of the Lake,” “The Alienist” and “The Looming Tower.”

 BEST MOVIE: “The Tale,” “USS Callister: Black Mirror,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Paterno,” “Flint.”

BEST ACTOR, MOVIE/MINISERIES: Darren Criss, “Gianni Versace”; Al Pacino, “Paterno”; Michael B. Jordan, “Fahrenheit 451”; Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks”; Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose” and Antonio Banderas, “Picasso.”

BEST ACTRESS, MOVIE/MINISERIES: Laura Dern, “The Tale”; Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake”; Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”; Hayley Atwell, “Howards End”; Michelle Dockery, “Godless.” Maybe: Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Cult.”

Copyright 2018 The Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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