TV and Movies·Posted on Sep 13, 202233 TV Shows And Acting Performances That Shockingly Never Won An Emmy But Should HaveSandra Oh didn't win an Emmy Award for Killing Eve OR Grey's Anatomy, and it's honestly so unfortunate.by Nora DominickBuzzFeed StaffLinkFacebookPinterestTwitterMail 1. Better Call Saul AMC Despite its critical acclaim, Better Call Saul has yet to win a single Emmy Award over its six-season run. The show itself has been nominated for Outstanding Drama Series several times, with star Bob Odenkirk bringing in five nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. While the show ended in 2022, the second half of the final season didn't air until July, so technically, the final six episodes would be eligible at the 2023 Emmy Awards. So there's still some hope.Number of nominations: 46 2. Steve Carell, The Office NBC The US version of The Office would not have been the same without Steve Carell (as evidenced by the seasons after he left, tbh). So it's a massive shame that his work as Michael Scott was never recognized with an Emmy Award. Even though the show won Outstanding Comedy Series in 2006, Steve was beaten out in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category several times over the show's nine-season run.Number of nominations for this role: Six 3. Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy AND Killing Eve ABC / BBC America Honestly, we've absolutely failed as a society that we let Sandra Oh's work as Eve Polastri on Killing Eve AND as Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy come and go without her securing a single Emmy Award for either role. It's the biggest crime (for me), and I just hope she finds another TV series worthy of her talent that will help her land this prestigious award someday soon. As of right now, an Asian actor has not won Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and Sandra was the first Asian woman even to be nominated in the category.Number of nominations for both roles: Nine 4. Mandy Moore, This Is Us NBC Another big snub was that Mandy Moore never won an Emmy for her literal decade-spanning performance as Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us. While she earned one nomination in 2019, arguably the biggest snub came during the 2022 Emmy Awards, when Mandy wasn't recognized with AT LEAST a nomination for the final season of the series. Mandy's performance as Rebecca was career-defining, and it's a shame she never won for it.Number of nominations for this role: One 5. Parks and Recreation NBC Alright, folks. This is a big one. Despite literally being one of the most iconic comedy series in recent years, Parks and Rec never went home with a single award. The show was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series a few times over its seven-season run, but it never secured a golden statue. This series not being recognized is one thing, but the fact that Amy Poehler failed to win once for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work as Leslie Knope might be the even bigger crime here.Number of nominations: 14 6. The Wire HBO The Wire is considered by many critics to be the greatest TV series of all time, often beating out other amazing shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. However, the series failed to win any Emmy Awards over its five seasons and scored nominations only for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Looking back on The Wire's Emmys shutouts from 2002 through 2008, people often believe it was a combo of LA Emmy voters not connecting with an East Coast–centered series, the brutal storylines, and Emmy voters' prejudice against a mostly Black ensemble cast.Number of nominations: Two 7. Michael K. Williams, The Wire HBO The Wire cast was stacked — I mean, Idris Elba was on this show, people — but arguably the best performance on the series was Michael K. Williams's portrayal of Omar Little. Despite playing a character who is now considered one of the best on TV, Michael never even received a nomination. As one looks back on The Wire's legacy, it's even more obvious how deserving Michael was of an Emmy Award for his work on this show.Number of nominations for this role: Zero 8. The Good Place NBC The Good Place is probably considered one of the best TV comedies of the last 10 years, so it's a shame the Emmy Awards never recognized all the hard work that went into the series. In a case of "people finding the series a little too late," the show racked up nominations for the final season, but tough competition basically shut out The Good Place. TBH, the show itself did deserve some love, but D'Arcy Carden's performance in the "Janet(s)" episode is really the thing that should've won a coveted Emmy. Number of nominations: 13 9. Sofía Vergara, Modern Family ABC Modern Family is still one of the biggest Emmy winners in recent history, but it's hard to look back and not be sad that Sofía Vergara didn't solidify her career-defining work as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett with an award. She was easily one of the funniest parts of Modern Family, so it's a shame she never got to stand on the Emmys stage and accept an award. It's also worth noting that out of the main adult ensemble, Jesse Tyler Ferguson AND Ed O'Neill never won an award, either.Number of nominations for this role: Four 10. Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory AND The Flight Attendant CBS / HBO Max Kaley Cuoco has really proved herself as an actor with her work on The Flight Attendant, but I still think it's a shame she didn't win anything for The Big Bang Theory, either. While Penny's storylines were often criticized as being lesser than those of the show's male leads, Kaley was an important component of The Big Bang Theory's success for 12 seasons, and she really brought the character to life. Her work as Cassie on The Flight Attendant is easily her best to date, and while nominations are amazing, I hope we get to see her win an Emmy someday. Number of nominations for these role: Two (and, actually, zero for The Big Bang Theory) 11. Issa Rae, Insecure HBO It's another absolute travesty that we let Insecure come and go without giving Issa Rae her flowers. Not only did she create the groundbreaking series, but she also gave some of the best comedy performances over the course of the show's run. 2022 was the last year Insecure was eligible for an Emmy, and it's a shame we aren't talking about Emmy Award WINNER Issa Rae right about now.Number of nominations for this role: Three 12. New Girl Fox I like to say that New Girl has aged like a fine wine because this show has only gotten funnier (and more quotable) as the years have gone on. The ensemble was electric, and I personally think it deserved more Emmys love when it was still on the air. The show was nominated for all of its awards in 2012 and then never received any Emmys acknowledgment going forward. Honestly, every single member of the main cast deserved some love.Number of nominations: Five 13. Peaky Blinders Netflix Peaky Blinders remains one of the biggest TV shows in the world, and it's wild to me that the Emmys never even attempted to recognize its brilliance. Not only was the show itself beautifully crafted, but the performances were also some of the absolute best. Cillian Murphy's portrayal as Tommy Shelby was extraordinary from beginning to end, and the late, great Helen McCrory gifted us with a career-best performance as Polly Shelby. I'll be screaming about the lack of Emmys love for this show for years to come.Number of nominations: Zero 14. The Brady Bunch ABC Okay, this one kind of shocked me, considering there was a whole The Brady Bunch tribute during the opening of the 2022 Emmy Awards, with some of the original cast even reuniting. While The Brady Bunch has remained a classic family sitcom, it never received a single Emmy nomination. The original series ran for 117 episodes and created one of the most beloved TV theme songs around, and yet the show didn't even get any behind-the-scenes nominations.Number of nominations: Zero 15. SpongeBob Squarepants Nickelodeon I know, I know. It's a little odd to put a children's show on a list with things like The Wire, but SpongeBob Squarepants has been a staple on TV (and the internet) for over 20 years. The series has been nominated countless times over its historic run but has never once snagged an Emmy Award. It's honestly a little baffling, tbh.Number of nominations: 10 16. Station Eleven HBO Max The fact that Station Eleven is not getting the love it so clearly deserves comes down to timing, I think. It's hard when a show premieres at the end of one year and you have to wait all the way until September for the Emmys. It's hard to keep the buzz alive, but man, I wish Station Eleven had won something. For me, it was a perfect limited series filled with outstanding performances from Himesh Patel, Mackenzie Davis, Matilda Lawler, and more. This show made me cry but somehow made a pandemic-centered story uplifting by the end. I'll always love Station Eleven and mourn the Emmy Awards it could have won.Number of nominations: Seven 17. Angela Lansbury, Murder, She Wrote CBS Jessica Fletcher remains an absolute TV icon, so it's kind of wild that Angela Lansbury never won for her performance in the revered role. She was nominated 12 consecutive times for every one of the show's seasons, which spanned 1984 to 1996. I just feel as if an individual acting Emmy would've made Angela's legacy with this character even sweeter.Number of nominations for this role: 12 18. Parenthood NBC Just thinking about this show is going to make me cry, so it's even more emotional to think that the Braverman family never got the Emmy Awards love they so clearly deserved. One of the best family dramas (in my opinion), Parenthood was just such a solid drama series. From the writing to the brilliant ensemble cast, it's hard to imagine how this show didn't get all of the awards season love. Honestly, the series not getting nominated is one thing, but no individual acting awards for Monica Potter, Craig T. Nelson, Mae Whitman, and more is the true shame here.Number of nominations: One 19. The Leftovers HBO This is another HBO show that had all the makings of Emmy Awards bait, but somehow it just never happened. While I personally came to The Leftovers after it aired, it really is one of the best TV shows out there. Filled with amazing writing and a talented cast, it's a show that came and went with a loyal fanbase and should have gotten more awards season love. Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux deserved the world for their performances on this series too.Number of nominations: One 20. Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine NBC CAPTAIN HOLT. A true king of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Andre Braugher proved to be the show's biggest comedy weapon over eight seasons. His comedic timing opposite Andy Samberg and the rest of the cast proved impeccable, and it's a shame his performance in this role was never affirmed with an Emmy win. I mean, his delivery of "BONEEEE!" alone deserved at least four awards.Number of nominations for this role: Four 21. Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls Warner Bros Gilmore Girls is a fall TV staple, so as we finish up Emmys season this year, it's hard not to think about this classic series. While Gilmore Girls has its flaws — sorry, Rory Gilmore, I'm not a fan of yours — it's clear, as one watches the show, that this was Lauren Graham's career-defining moment. I can't picture anyone else as the fast-talking, coffee-loving Lorelai Gilmore, and her work on this show remained memorable until the end. In fact, her performance in the Netflix revival was arguably one of the best parts of that entire series. Number of nominations for this role: Zero 22. Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights NBC Tami Taylor will forever be one of the best female characters on TV for me. Connie Britton's work on Friday Night Lights was so grounded and complex that it really brought the show to new heights season after season. Add in undeniable chemistry with Kyle Chandler, and you've got a recipe for an awardworthy role. Friday Night Lights still holds up all these years later, and every time I watch it, I fall more in love with Connie's performance.Number of nominations for this role: Two 23. Dickinson Apple TV+ I could really give a passionate TED Talk about how perfect this show is. An incredibly underrated, but beloved and critically acclaimed series, Dickinson should've gotten a lot more hype, in my opinion. The show perfectly brought Emily Dickinson's life to TV with amazing costumes, storylines, performances, music, and so much more. Not only did Dickinson deserve some recognition as a show, but my god, Hailee Steinfeld's performance as Emily was exceptional, especially during the final season. Even though the show has ended, I hope people continue to find it and enjoy it for years to come.Number of nominations: Zero 24. Kerry Washington, Scandal ABC Kerry Washington IS Olivia Pope. You know an acting performance is good when it's hard to think of anyone else playing the role, and that's exactly the case with Kerry as Olivia. No one could've brought this character to life as well as she did. Her historic work on the show — she was the first Black woman to lead a network TV drama since 1976 — will easily go down in TV history. Basically, what I'm getting at with this post is that more Shonda Rhimes–written characters deserved Emmy love.Number of nominations for this role: Two 25. Michael C. Hall, Dexter Showtime Michael C. Hall's work as Dexter Morgan is another great example of literally how only one actor would have been able to pull off this wild role. His work on the show was so mesmerizing, and I'm honestly shocked that in an era of antiheroes like Walter White, Michael didn't get his much-deserved Emmy Award for this performance. I mean, he also pulled off the impossible and made the recent reboot a genuinely interesting continuation of the character.Number of nominations for this role: Six 26. Lena Headey, Game of Thrones HBO I feel like, out of all the actors who didn't win for Game of Thrones, Lena Headey's snub hurts the most for me. For eight seasons, she portrayed Cersei Lannister with such ferocity that she truly became one of the most terrifying and complex villains on TV from 2011 to 2019. Sadly, the conversation around Game of Thrones is often overshadowed by the series finale, but I hope we don't forget that Lena deserved all the praise for her work on the show.Number of nominations for this role: Five 27. Justina Machado, One Day at a Time Netflix One Day at a Time is another brilliant and underrated series I wish got more love while it was on. The show was wrongly canceled by Netflix, only to be revived for a short final season on Pop. It's a comedy series that deserved more appreciation all around, but Justina Machado as Penelope led the ensemble with such heart and comedic timing, it's hard not to point out that an Emmys snub for her hurts the most. From moments of absolute hilarity opposite Rita Moreno to the more emotional moments as Penelope dealt with her PTSD and depression, Justina did it all, and I wish more people appreciated the master class she put on.Number of nominations for this role: Zero 28. Enlightened HBO Enlightened is a perfect series. Thank you, next. No, seriously, it had Laura Dern in a truly remarkable role as Amy, and it was created by Laura and Mike White, who just cleaned up at the 2022 Emmy Awards for The White Lotus. This is another great series that just seemed to get lost in the prestige-TV shuffle. If you've watched the show, you know how special it is, and if you haven't watched it yet, do yourself a favor and watch both seasons and then come back and tell me I'm right for putting it on this list.Number of nominations: Two 29. Keri Russell, The Americans FX Alright, The Americans is another drama series on this list that somehow had all the makings of Emmy Awards royalty but never quite worked up enough voter love to win Outstanding Drama Series. The biggest disappointment is that Keri Russell gave a breathtaking performance as Elizabeth Jennings but never secured an Emmy Award win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. So many great roles don't win Emmys, but this one will always sting.Number of nominations for this role: Three 30. Hugh Laurie, House Fox Hugh Laurie is one of those rare actors who can flip from comedy to drama so effortlessly, and his work on House really played into all his strengths. It was another example of a role that really seemed like Emmy Awards bait, but Hugh never landed that coveted statue for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was nominated for almost every season of the show, but with stiff competition in the category, he sadly never pulled the upset that he so deserved.Number of nominations for this role: Six 31. Doctor Who BBC This is really another tragic case of a genre TV show just not being seen as a TV series worth nominating, which makes me so sad. While Doctor Who has had its ups and down in recent years, it remains a staple on TV for a reason. People love to see the cast, the adventures the Doctor will get into, and so much more. Honestly, it's baffling that the David Tennant and Matt Smith eras — the van Gogh episode alone deserves all the praise — didn't get any nominations, considering the incredible storylines and performances that were happening during that time.Number of nominations: Zero 32. Taraji P. Henson, Empire Fox Taraji P. Henson really brought her all to Empire as she portrayed Cookie Lyon for six monumental seasons. This is another example of a career-defining role that just didn't get the little extra push to make it an Emmy Award–winning role. With so many iconic moments over the show's run, I hope people continue to find Taraji's work on this show and realize it really did deserve some awards show love.Number of nominations for this role: Two 33. Courteney Cox, Friends NBC I think it's safe to say that Friends is one of the most iconic TV shows to date. So it's always wild to me that out of the six main cast members, only Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow won Emmy Awards for acting, AND that Courteney Cox didn't even get a nomination. I'm sorry, but Monica Geller was essential to the Friends dynamic, and she gave an equally great comedic performance as everyone else. I know Friends can be a little overrated in the grand scheme of TV, but it's hard to deny the impact it had — and that Courteney deserved at least a nomination.Number of nominations for this role: Zero We can't fit everyone into one post, so which other TV shows and/or performances are you upset never won an Emmy Award? Tell us in the comments below!