TV Shows That Surprisingly Never Won a Single Emmy


    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.

    Parks and Recreation

    The NBC sitcom was up for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2011 and 2015, while Poehler earned nods for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series every year from 2010 to 2015. The show ended its run with a total of 14 nominations.

    Colleen Hayes/Nbc-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

    Gilmore Girls

    Graham and Bledel won over fans as mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore from 2000 to 2007 and again in 2016’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but it was not enough to net a single series or acting nod for the show. However, Gilmore Girls took home Outstanding Makeup for a Series in 2004.

    Frank Ockenfels/Warner Bros Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

    The Brady Bunch

    The beloved sitcom, starring Florence Henderson and Maureen McCormick, never received any nominations at the Emmys. The show aired from 1969 to 1974.


    The Wire

    The HBO drama was up for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2005 and 2008, but the show itself and its actors were repeatedly snubbed. The series aired from 2002 to 2008 and starred Dominic West, Wendell Pierce, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn and Seth Gilliam.

    David Lee/Hbo/Blown Deadline/Kobal/Shutterstock

    Happy Days

    The sitcom’s only Emmy came for Outstanding Film Editing in a Comedy Series during its run from 1974 to 1984. Henry Winkler earned three nods for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, while Tom Bosley and Marion Ross also received nominations for their roles.


    Veronica Mars

    The cult classic, starring Kristen Bell, aired three seasons from 2004 to 2007 before its cancelation. The show later returned in the form of a 2014 movie and a one-off revival season in 2019. However, the Academy never recognized the show or its actors.

    Warner Bros Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

    Good Times

    The Emmys once again failed to show appreciation for a beloved sitcom with Good Times, which aired from 1974 to 1979. Ja’Net DuBois, Ralph Carter, Bern Nadette Stanis and Jimmie Walker made up the cast.

    Bud Yorkin/Norman Lear/Tandem/Kobal/Shutterstock

    Jane the Virgin

    The CW drama began with a wild concept but quickly earned a loyal audience and critics’ approval. Although Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for her titular role in 2015, she never received an Emmy nod. Jane the Virgin, which ended in 2019 after five seasons, only got two nominations in the Outstanding Narrator category in 2015 and 2016.

    The CW

    Doctor Who

    The long-running British drama has evolved over the years, with a series of actors embodying the role of The Doctor, but its ability to stick around has not garnered Emmys love.


    Bates Motel

    Vera Farmiga earned a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2013, and the show, which aired from 2013 to 2017, got two more nods for cinematography and music composition, but Emmy voters never followed through on their ballots.

    Cate Cameron/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock


    Parenthood is widely regarded as a powerhouse drama with a dynamic cast, but only Jason Ritter received recognition as an Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series nominee in 2012. The series, starring Graham, Peter Krause, Dax Shepard, Mae Whitman, Monica Potter and Craig T. Nelson, aired from 2010 to 2015.


    The Leftovers

    Critics applauded The Leftovers — especially the performances of Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon — but during its three-season run from 2014 to 2017, the HBO drama merely garnered one nod: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Ann Dowd in 2017.

    HBO/Warner Bros

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