It’s not a true Emmys season without some major snubs. The nominees for the 71st Annual Emmy Awards, airing September 22 on Fox, were announced in July, and while many of them were more or less expected—Fleabag, Game of Thrones, and Russian Doll all scored nods—some shutouts still rankled. Fan-favorite The Good Fight received zero nominations, as did most of the breakout cast of Pose, and Glow went unacknowledged for best comedy.
In a way, it’s just part of the experience—in the golden age of television, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences can’t possibly recognize every player. But which snubs have been the most egregious? Here, a look back at Emmy wins that infamously never were.
Nominated but Never Won
Kim Cattrall was nominated five times for her supporting role as Samantha Jones on Sex and the City. In 2004, the only year that the show won for acting, the glory went to costars Sarah Jessica Parker, who took home best actress, and Cynthia Nixon, who won best supporting actress.
Steve Carell was a fixture in the aughts for playing Michael Scott on The Office, but he never got awarded for his work. The show itself did win for best comedy writing, but the only thing Carell took home was the (much warranted) Best Boss Ever award.
Hugh Laurie is well known for his eponymous role on House, and the voting members recognized this: He was nominated six times for best actor but never walked away with a statue. It’s worth noting, too, that the show only won for writing and never won as best series.
Martin Sheen will always be the president of our dreams after The West Wing, but despite the fact that Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney), Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), and Leo McGarry (John Spencer) were awarded for their acting chops, president Bartlet’s six nominations never amounted to a win.
Tracy Morgan got his start on Martin and Saturday Night Live, but his true legacy will be his role as 30 Rock’s leading funnyman Tracy Jordan. Despite the fact that TGS With Tracy Jordan couldn’t go on without him, Morgan received only one nomination and never took home a win.
Angela Lansbury is everyone’s favorite detective, and she should be idolized for her long-running role as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote. But she never took home an Emmy, despite being nominated 12 (!) times for her sleuthing.
Jerry Seinfeld was nominated five times for his portrayal of a fictional version of himself, but he never actually took home the gold. It’s worth noting that on-screen pal Jason Alexander was in the same boat—he was nominated seven times for his supporting role as George Costanza (he lost out to Seinfeld costar Michael Richards three times).
Christine Baranski’s portrayal of Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife is unquestionably one of her most glorious, but despite being nominated six times, the ATAS never gave her an award for the role—and has yet to honor her work on The Good Fight, the spinoff in which she stars. (Baranski did, however, score one Emmy win in 1995 for the role of Maryann Thorpe on Cybill.)
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan is one of those pairings where you think, well, nobody else in the world could’ve played this character quite like him. And the nominations he was awarded—five total for Dexter—suggest that the voters thought so too, despite never awarding him the gold.
Amy Poehler was nominated six times for her role as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation but never saw a win. The good news? A year after the show ended, she finally picked up a Creative Arts Emmy for her hosting duties on SNL in 2016.
Keri Russell will always be our hair inspiration from her days as the curly-haired lead on Felicity, but she never earned an Emmy nod for that show. She was similarly snubbed for her performance on The Americans, despite having picked up three straight nominations from 2016 to 2018.
Sandra Oh has racked up a whopping 10 nominations for her work on Grey’s Anatomy, Killing Eve, Saturday Night Live, and her Golden Globes hosting stint, but the Emmys have yet to send her home with an award.
Never Nominated for Acting
Courteney Cox was a TV comedy staple for nearly two decades, yet neither her portrayal of Monica Geller on Friends nor her leading-lady role as Jules Cobb on Cougar Town resulted in a nomination for best actress.
Andy Griffith is one of those people who everyone remembers as legendary, yet he wasn’t once nominated for his self-titled role on The Andy Griffith Show, nor for playing Matlock on Matlock. Maybe the voters don’t like eponymous leads?
Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore, one-half of The Gilmore Girls, didn’t score a single nomination for her portrayal, despite being a single mother to Rory and surrogate mom to the teenagers of America who came of age between 2000 and 2007.
Katey Sagal has had a genuine streak of bad luck when it comes to awards shows: While she had critically acclaimed roles on Sons of Anarchy and, going back even further, Married With Children, she has never been granted a nomination in the supporting or lead actress category.
Desi Arnaz’s role on I Love Lucy defined an era of comedy, but he never scored an Emmy nomination.
Kaitlin Olson’s Sweet Dee Reynolds has quietly been the best part of FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for 13 seasons, but Olson has never been graced with a nomination, nor has any member of the cast (in fact, the snub inspired an episode of the show titled “The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award”).
Never Nominated for a Series
The Wire might forever be the biggest Emmy snub of all time. The show was not awarded for any of its great work across acting, writing, directing, or for the fact that it was a much-watched TV program for its entire run on HBO. For shame, Emmys.
Party Down is one of those shows that can’t be adequately described on paper (was there ever such a perfect cult comedy?). Unfortunately, the rowdy yet charming bunch never picked up any nominations for the Starz program.
Oz is the quintessential prison program, but it never got acknowledged for its powerful performances and gritty realism.
Freaks and Geeks only lasted one season, but it’s still lauded as one of the best shows on TV. Despite the series’s coming-of-age struggles in a suburban mid-American town and all-star cast, Judd Apatow’s phenomenal dram-com never earned a single nomination.
Veronica Mars reinvented itself several years ago through a Kickstarter-funded movie, which blew the target goal out of the water and delighted fans everywhere. But back when it was on the CW, the show never got nominated for its phenomenal acting, nor was it recognized as a best drama contender. (Maybe its 2019 Hulu revival will up its chances next year, though...)
Battlestar Galactica reinvigorated an entire fan community when the reimagined version came out in 2004, but the show was never nominated for best drama series. It was, however, recognized for writing, special effects, and directing.
Roseanne was nominated on the acting front continuously—for John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf (who was also recognized in 2018 for her work on the show’s short-lived reboot), and, of course, Roseanne Barr—but it was never honored in the best comedy category.
If you’re partnered and/or parenting—or know someone who is—Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan’s ode to small-scale domestic drama, Catastrophe, will hit too close to home. The show’s writing was recognized in 2016, but the series as a whole has gone mysteriously unacknowledged.
No current show delves into the unglamorous reality of living with depression quite like Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, which may be part of why the show has yet to be rewarded with an Emmy despite its five-season run and consistent critical acclaim (although this season’s standout episode, “Free Churro,” is nominated this year—fingers crossed).
The Brady Bunch was not as popular as you’d think when it was actually on the air. Instead, it got a huge amount of traction after its run, which explains why it never got a nomination.
Orphan Black’s fan base spent years petitioning for the show to get nominated and (ideally) awarded an Emmy, and while the show hasn’t been granted one, they did see lead actress Tatiana Maslany nominated in 2015 and 2018, and she won in 2016.
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Originally Appeared on Vogue