It happens too often! Every year around Emmys season, TV fans hear about shows and actors who were snubbed as equally deserving nominees celebrate. In fact, some of the most iconic series of all time never won a single Emmy in their heyday.
While Alexis Bledel won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017, neither her work on Gilmore Girls nor costar Lauren Graham’s performance were honored by the awards show. The dramedy itself never received a nod either, but makeup artist Marie DelPrete earned an award for Outstanding Makeup for a Series in 2004. “I’m definitely happy about that, that I brought them the Emmy,” she told Vice in November 2016. “I don’t necessarily know if they’re happy it’s the only Emmy they have!”
The Wire — a critically-acclaimed HBO drama often referred to as the best television show in history — was similarly overlooked by the Emmys. Writer Ed Burns spoke out about the Television Academy’s seeming lack of regard for the predominantly Black cast in 2007.
“These guys clearly cut the mustard. They can act with anyone,” he told the Associated Press. “I don’t know why it has to be this ‘You can play a drug addict; you can play the good sidekick.’ These are the roles that these actors end up doing and it’s a shame.”
Parks and Recreation, despite its A-list comedic cast, also suffered disappointment after disappointment. “I mean, c’mon,” Rashida Jones lamented to The Hollywood Reporter in August 2012. “But remember, this is the same organization that didn’t give Steve Carell an Emmy. Ever.”
The actress added: “The thing that’s just crazy is that it’s clearly deserved, so it just makes them look crazy.”
Meanwhile, the sitcom’s co-creator Michael Schur reflected on Amy Poehler’s repeated snubs. “It’s one of the great Hollywood tragedies that she hasn’t won an Emmy yet,” he told Entertainment Weekly in July 2015. “I watched this happen with Steve Carell — it’s a very similar thing — and I think the world just thinks that she’s won. She’s been an active part of the Emmy ceremony for years and years. I think people have a picture in their minds of her on a stage in a nice dress and are like, ‘Oh, she’s won three times.’ No one can do what she did better than she did it.”
Scroll down to revisit popular TV shows that never won an Emmy.