Emmys 2020: The biggest losers (including Netflix), on an unusual night

Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY
·3 min read

Despite a few upsets, there was little to complain about at this year's Emmy Awards.

As expected, critical favorites "Succession," "Watchmen" and "Schitt's Creek" won top prizes in the drama, limited series and comedy categories, respectively. Sunday's COVID-era show, gamely hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, was similarly surprise-free but weirdly delightful, as people in hazmat suits handed out Emmy trophies at actors' houses and viewers got intimate windows into A-listers' immaculate homes. Even the winners' circle was a welcome diverse group of talent recognized across several categories.

But there were still some past winners and big-time stars that missed out. Here are some of the most noteworthy losses.

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Reese Witherspoon, left, and Jennifer Aniston in "The Morning Show" on Apple TV+.
Reese Witherspoon, left, and Jennifer Aniston in "The Morning Show" on Apple TV+.

Jennifer Aniston

"The Morning Show" actress was a presence throughout the Emmys telecast, from a fiery presenting bit with Jimmy Kimmel early in the show to a mini-"Friends" reunion on webcam with co-stars Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow. Aniston, 51, earned career-best reviews and a Screen Actors Guild award for her dramatic turn as a news anchor on Apple TV+'s "The Morning Show," but lost best drama actress to Zendaya, in an extremely well-deserved win for HBO's "Euphoria."

Meryl Streep

The three-time Oscar winner is also a three-time Emmy winner, most famously for HBO's "Angels in America." The acting powerhouse joined the cast of HBO's star-studded "Big Little Lies" for Season 2 and was deliciously villainous as the suspicious mother of Nicole Kidman's dead husband. But in a crowded drama supporting-actress category that included Sarah Snook ("Succession"), Helena Bonham Carter ("The Crown") and Laura Dern ("Big Little Lies"), previous winner Julia Garner pulled off a second straight upset for Netflix's "Ozark."

Jim Parsons

The nine-time Emmy nominee is a four-time winner for CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," which ended its nine-season run last year. Parsons, 47, was a favorite for Ryan Murphy's soapy Netflix drama "Hollywood," playing a self-loathing, predatory agent. But "Watchmen" breakout Yahya Abdul-Mateen II proved triumphant in best supporting actor in a movie/limited series.

Netflix

The streamer scored a record 160 nominations across categories, with best comedy and drama nominations for "Dead to Me," "The Kominsky Method" and "Stranger Things." But Netflix managed just two wins in major awards handed out Sunday night: limited series directing, for drama "Unorthodox," and drama supporting actress, for Julia Garner in the dark "Ozark." (Netflix won 21 in total, behind HBO's 30.)

Jean Smart

The 69-year-old is a three-time Emmy winner for sitcoms "Frasier" and "Samantha Who?" The actress was the predicted front-runner for HBO's "Watchmen," as jaded ex-superhero-turned-FBI agent Laurie Blake. But she lost to "Orange is the New Black" star (and now-three-time-winner) Uzo Aduba for Hulu miniseries "Mrs. America," playing the real-life Black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

Alex Borstein

The "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" actress is a double Emmy winner for her brash turn as a cash-strapped comedy manager on Amazon's Emmy darling. But as Sunday's show got started and it became clear that "Schitt's Creek" was unstoppable – sweeping the major top comedy categories including best series, directing, writing and all four acting slots – it was no surprise when Annie Murphy won best supporting comedy actress instead for "Schitt's Creek."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Emmys 2020: The biggest losers including Jennifer Aniston