By Steve Pond

LOS ANGELES ( - It shouldn't have come as much
of a surprise that "Downton Abbey" landed a dozen Emmy
nominations this year, including Outstanding Drama Series -
after all, the British period drama was already the
most-nominated international series in Emmy history, with 39
nominations and 10 wins for its first three seasons.

But "Downton's" Season 4 snuck in under the radar, with
storylines that weren't quite as headline-grabbing as the deaths
of two major characters in the previous season. This time, the
upper-crust Crawley family dealt with grief over past losses,
with a cousin's scandalous flirtation with a black jazz singer,
with an unexpected (and secret) pregnancy and with the gradual
reemergence of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) after the death of
her husband Matthew.

In the servants' quarters, meanwhile, the usual squabbling
and jockeying was overshadowed by the rape of Anna Bates (Joanne
Froggatt), which she tried to keep secret so her husband
wouldn't kill the rapist.