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Inside track: Emmy race for best drama series

June 28, 2009 |  7:40 pm

"24" was benched last year by the writers strike, but now the 2006 winner returns to take on last year's champ, "Mad Men." Many TV critics say "Mad Men" is even better this year, so it poses a formidable new challenge.

Mad men 28739146

Last year, "Mad Men" joined "Dexter" and "Damages" as the first non-HBO cable series ever nominated for best series, drama or comedy. All three have a good chance to return to this race, especially since it will include six nominees instead of the usual five.

HBO's hottest entry this year is "In Treatment," which also has an excellent shot at breaking in here. Last year, it pulled off surprise victories for Glynn Turman as best guest actor and Dianne Wiest as best supporting actress.

* Top 10 Semifinalist in 2008

** Nominee in 2008

BEST DRAMA SERIES 
(Front-runners)
"Big Love"
"Boston Legal" **
"Breaking Bad"
"Damages" **
"Dexter" **
"ER"
"Friday Night Lights" *
"Grey's Anatomy" *
"House M.D." **
"In Treatment"
"Lost" **
"Mad Men" ** (Winner in 2008)
"The Mentalist"
"Rescue Me"
"The Tudors" *
"24"

(POSSIBLE)
"Battlestar Galactica"
"Brothers and Sisters"
"Burn Notice"
"The Cleaner"
"The Closer"
"Fringe"
"Heroes"
"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"
"Saving Grace"
"The Shield"
"True Blood"

Photo: "Mad Men," AMC

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