As the latest awards season taught us, yet again: For every Emmy darling that snags a trophy year after year (Succession! The White Lotus!), there’s an equally acclaimed show that gets inexplicably shut out from any wins — and, in some cases, is snubbed from nominations altogether.
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With the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards now come and gone, AMC’s Better Call Saul has joined the ranks of the forever Emmy-less. Having failed to parlay any of its final seven nominations into grabbable gold, the critically lauded Breaking Bad spinoff wound up going 0-for-53 over its six-season run. Marking a sad record for TV’s biggest prize.
TVLine dug into the Emmy archives and found 25 other great shows that, like Saul, were never once adorned with Emmy gold — and trust us, you won’t believe some of these names. The Good Place? Bates Motel? The freakin’ Wire?!
From beloved comedies like Parks and Recreation to sci-fi favorites like Star Trek, our list below runs the gamut of genres and lifespans, including short-lived gems like My So-Called Life, Party Down and Enlightened.
Read on to see all the great shows that the Emmys totally whiffed on, then hit the comments below to share your outrage and recognize any series we may have missed!
Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga delivered some of the best performances anywhere on TV during the A&E thriller’s five-season run — but Emmy voters hit them with a “no vacancy” sign, with just one nod for Farmiga and a total of three overall.
Better Call Saul
Sigh. Not so good, man. Across six seasons (the last of which was split into two parts), the Breaking Bad spinoff was nominated for Best Drama seven times. Series lead Bob Odenkirk was up for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama six times, while co-stars Rhea Seahorn and Jonathan Banks had six nods between them. And the writing team over the years amassed eight total nominations. Yet with the snubbing of Season 6B at the 75th Emmys, Saul left the TV landscape empty-handed.
On the bright side, Netflix’s groundbreaking animated series did score three total Emmy nods: two for Outstanding Animated Program (in 2019 and 2020), and one for Kristen Schaal’s voice work as Sarah Lynn (in 2017). But in the end, those awards went to The Simpsons, Rick and Morty and Seth MacFarlane, respectively.
Despite Lisa Kudrow’s all-time great performance as fading sitcom actress Valerie Cherish, the Emmys never invited HBO’s showbiz comedy up to the podium, with just five total nominations.
The Fox musical drama brought in a combined eight Emmy nominations over the years, including two nods for Taraji P. Henson’s delicious turn as Cookie Lyon. After six seasons, though, Empire ultimately ended its run without any trophies.
Laura Dern went on to win an Emmy for Big Little Lies, but she was even better as burnt-out executive Amy Jellicoe in HBO’s savage corporate satire. Too bad Emmy voters gave her show a pink slip, with just two total nominations.
The Good Place
The Emmys turned out to be The Bad Place for The Good Place: Despite a combined 12 nominations across its four seasons, NBC’s Kristen Bell/Ted Danson comedy walked off into the TV afterlife without a single win.
The CBS family sitcom starring John Amos and Esther Rolle was a top ten Nielsen hit and had Emmy darling Norman Lear as an executive producer, but it never had a good time on Emmy night. In fact, it never earned a single nomination in six seasons.
Halt and Catch Fire
AMC’s 1980s computer drama became one of the past decade’s most celebrated shows during its four-season run — but Emmy voters chose to hit “delete,” with just a single nomination for main title design.
Sure, NBC’s elegant gorefest may have been too bloody to score a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series — although stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy surely deserved recognition — but just one nomination, for visual effects? That just doesn’t, um, cut it.
It’s Garry Shandling’s Show
The late, great comedian Garry Shandling would enjoy Emmy success later on with HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show, but his equally groundbreaking meta sitcom was too far ahead of its time, it seems, earning just four nominations and no wins.
Jane the Virgin
Friends, we have some terrible news to share: Though The CW’s telenovela-inspired rom-com enchanted fans for five seasons and earned star Gina Rodriguez a Golden Globe, it only scored a pair of Emmy nominations for best narrator — and didn’t even win those! We can feel Rogelio’s white-hot rage from here.
Did HBO’s supernatural drama suddenly vanish from Emmy voters’ shortlist without a trace? That’s the only way to explain how the critically adored series earned just a single nomination for guest actress Ann Dowd, with no wins.
My So-Called Life
The ABC teen drama stands as one of the most beloved one-season shows of all time, but it didn’t get any much-needed validation from the Emmys. Claire Danes earned a nod for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, along with three other nominations, but as far as wins go, it remained an eternal outcast.
Everyone loved the adorkable antics of Zooey Deschanel and company on the long-running Fox comedy — everyone except Emmy voters, who gave it just five nominations and no wins.
HBO has always been an Emmy magnet, but it didn’t translate to this gritty prison drama across its six seasons. It only earned two total nominations, with no wins.
NBC’s warm-hearted family drama was This Is Us before This Is Us, but it didn’t get nearly the Emmy recognition, with only a single nomination for guest actor Jason Ritter. (Where’s the love?)
Parks and Recreation
Do Emmy voters have a grudge against Michael Schur, or what? Before snubbing The Good Place, they also completely stiffed his sweet NBC workplace comedy, despite six nominations for star Amy Poehler and 16 overall. (And Nick Offerman was never even nominated as Ron Swanson?? Where is your decency, Emmy voters?)
The Starz comedy about a ragtag catering crew boasted a stellar cast, including multiple-time Emmy winners Jane Lynch and Megan Mullally. It went home with the Emmy equivalent of an empty tip jar, though: zero nominations.
During its three-season run, Showtime’s horror drama scared up 13 Emmy nominations in Creative Arts categories like production design, prosthetic makeup and music composition. It came up empty on wins, though, and the real fright was Eva Green’s series-long snubbing for her magnificent work as Vanessa Ives.
The SundanceTV drama, starring Aden Young as a man returning to his hometown after being freed from death row for a wrongful conviction, was a critical darling and a staple of year-end top ten lists during its four-season run. But Emmy voters were apparently not impressed: It didn’t even snag a single nomination.
Sons of Anarchy
The Emmys didn’t want to ride with SAMCRO, it seems: FX’s motorcycle club drama did earn five nominations in technical categories, and Katey Sagal did win a Golden Globe as matriarch Gemma, but any shot at Emmy gold was left in the dust.
It’s hard to fathom, given how influential it’s been, but the sci-fi franchise’s original NBC run with Kirk and Spock didn’t earn a single Emmy — not even for special effects! The franchise has won 33 Emmys since, though, so that’s nice.
Despite plenty of critical acclaim, NBC’s workplace comedy never rang up any Emmy wins across its six seasons — or a single nomination, for that matter.
Kristen Bell should be used to this by now: Before The Good Place ended up with zero wins, her UPN/CW teen detective series didn’t even get a single Emmy nomination. Now there’s a mystery we’d like to see solved.
HBO’s dense, sprawling cop drama from David Simon is considered one of the greatest TV shows ever made… but Emmy voters only gave it a puny two nominations for writing across five seasons, with no wins.
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