The Emmys: 3 Plots to Follow Sunday Night

Sunday’s 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on Fox is shaping up to be a potentially history-making event as TV celebrates the best performances over the past year in a number of major categories.

Here are three must-see storylines that should make the live telecast must-see viewing for TV lovers:

--Newbies vs. old school: Both the best drama and best comedy categories will pit new shows – mostly from OTT services like Amazon and Netflix – against multi-nominated and past Emmy winners. On the comedy side, first-time nominees Transparent (Amazon) and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix) will look to stop ABC’s juggernaut Modern Family, which is going for a record sixth straight win in the category. The drama category is also intriguing in that Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black – nominated last year in the Best Comedy category but, because of recent Emmy rules changes, now categorized as a drama -- and freshman series Better Call Saul will sink or swim in a very competitive category that includes this year’s sentimental favorite, AMC’s Mad Men, in its last year of Emmy eligibility.

--The diversity factor: This year’s Emmy nominations are among the most diverse ever, with actors of color represented in many of the major individual performance categories. All eyes will be on the best actress in a drama award as Viola Davis (ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder) and Taraji P. Henson (Fox’s Empire) will vie to become the first African-American actresses ever to win in the category. Also of note is the supporting actor/comedy series category, where first-time nominee Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) and Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) are all in the running, and the supporting actress/miniseries or movie category, where Regina King (ABC’s American Crime), Angela Bassett (FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show) ad Mo’Nique (HBO’s Bessie) are nominated.

--Expect the unexpected: With the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ decision earlier this year to make several rule changes expanding the number of  shows nominated in certain categories -- as well as the increase in the number of Academy members eligible to vote for Emmy winners -- all bets are off in terms trying to successfully predict any and all Emmy Award outcomes. That should make TV’s biggest night a fascinating, and hopefully memorable, affair.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.