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Emmy surprises? How about this one: 'Orphan Black's' Tatiana Maslany

Tatiana Maslany stars on BBC America's series "Orphan

Tatiana Maslany stars on BBC America's series "Orphan Black." Credit: MCT

As the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences gets set for Thursday's 8:15 a.m. prime-time Emmy nominations announcement, there is much speculation about surprises and new entries. Netflix, for example, is widely expected to get best drama and best comedy nods for "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" and at this point, if they don't get them it will be a surprise.

But the most exciting major category this year is for best actress in a drama. I can't remember a season when there have been so many qualified candidates, so few places (six) to honor them. Obviously you will see repeat customers Thursday morning — Claire Danes and Julianna Margulies, for example, and new arrivals, like Kerry Washington. But don't be surprised if a handful of new names arrive. Robin Wright, for example, deserves to be here (maybe even deserves to win).

 But so does this particularly intriguing newcomer:

Tatiana Maslany.

Remember the name, for it is one to be reckoned with. The 27-year old Canadian actress is star of BBC America's Canadian production of "Orphan Black," about a woman who has been cloned multiple times. Her performance is remarkable as the aforementioned can only hint at: She acts the part of each of her clones — soccer mom, detective, and on and on — as well as the part of the lead, Sarah Manning, who also assumes the identity of one of her clones.

Will Maslany and her clones get a nod tomorrow? I think the odds are much better than 50/50. If there was justice in the Emmy nomination process — honestly, there really isn't — she'd be a cinch. But even given the question of justice (or lack thereof), this is an extremely tough category. So many actresses who deserve to be here, so few spots.

But she may be one of the happy surprises. Here's a good  (recent) interview, if you want to catch up on Maslany.

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