Byron Cohen/FX; Kelsey McNeal/ABC; Lacey Terrell/HBO
EW Staff
June 06, 2016 AT 12:00 PM EDT

This year EW is here to help with our first-ever For Your Consideration issue. We have curated the bajillion shows and performances (give or take a million) eligible for Emmy nominations to help voters select their top picks. Consider this a sneak peek into the nomination process and an early guide to the awards, which air Sept. 18 on ABC.

Tracee Ellis Ross

black-ish (ABC)

Ross has always made us giggle as quirky doc Rainbow, but in the comedy’s second season she also tackled the difficult position of a mother wanting to protect her children yet not leave them naive to the ways of the world in the Black Lives Matter-themed episode “Hope.” And that’s what she (and her character) gave us: hope.

Rachel Bloom 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)

Whether she was reenacting Disney’s animated classic Aladdin or plucking body hair while whisper-singing her “Sexy Getting Ready Song,” Bloom — unfiltered and unafraid — showed that “crazy” isn’t always a bad word. In fact, it can be quite endearing.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Veep (HBO)

While President Selina Meyer might not know anything about foreign policy — honestly, it’s debatable — one thing’s for sure: She knows how to command a room. (And that includes the bedroom.) With her overflowing potty mouth, Louis-Dreyfus is the best talking head not currently on CNN. 

Eric Liebowitz/Netflix; Macall Polay/Comedy Central; Scott Everett White/The CW

Aya Cash

You’re the Worst (FX)

Most sophomore shows hit a low, but You’re the Worst took that adage literally as Cash’s cynical music publicist Gretchen dealt with clinical depression. Cash deftly displayed a deep range of nuance and relatability, proving not all comedies have to be laugh-out-loud romps.

Amy Schumer

Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)

Becoming an A-list celebrity hasn’t softened any of Schumer’s sharp edges. Her series continued to comedically shock — see the nervy “Gun Show,” spoofing loopholes in gun laws, or her physical fearlessness as she attempted to mount a horse (a.k.a. “a hair dinosaur”).

Ellie Kemper

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Snubbed last year as the sunny cult escapee, Kemper should get her due this season for a surprisingly introspective — not to mention funny — journey to find her mother. Kemper ventured past the shallow water into darker emotional territory, without us ever worry- ing she’d go off the deep end.

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