Sure, Twin Peaks was weird, but it was art. David Lynch's revisit of one of TV's most important series likely whoooshed right over the heads of Emmy voters, who preferred safer fare like Genius: Picasso. Being nominated for an Emmy doesn't automatically qualify a show as one of the best and vice versa, and Twin Peaks' absence is proof.
Of all the talented actors on The Handmaid's Tale, Yvonne Strahovski might actually be the most deserving of a nomination -- and win -- this year (yes, we said it), so to see her name among the nominees Thursday morning was mostly just a pleasant surprise rather than a true shock. In the Hulu drama's second season, Strahovski gave the performance of a lifetime as the show explored Serena's emotional and mental states and continued to develop her fraught relationship with Elisabeth Moss' June.
Listen, we know it's weird to list This Is Us under the snubs category; stars Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia both received nominations again this year, while the show picked up a second-straight nod for best drama. But Chrissy Metz, who was nominated last year, didn't make the list this year, and Mandy Moore and Justin Hartley both failed to get noms again this year. Maybe they can channel that sadness into the next season?
It seems odd to be surprised by an Emmy nomination for Ted Danson -- he has 15 in total now -- but we'd resigned ourselves to believing Emmy voters would ignore the brilliance of NBC's best comedy. We were honestly prepared to shake our fists and make jokes about living in the Bad Place, and the fact that Danson is the show's sole acting representative shows we weren't too far off from our prediction, but thankfully now we can just bask in this happy surprise.
NBC got shut out from late-night nods this time around, and while we can understand Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show missing out, The Late Show with Seth Meyers has stepped up to become one of the most relevant and important talk shows on air today. Meyers' take on politics has carried over from and improved upon his Saturday Night Live Weekend Update bits, to make him a real voice in late night. But nope, driving around singing in cars apparently is worthy of an Emmy nomination instead.
Emmy voters love to nominate people who've won before, so it's not terribly shocking Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, who took home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2016, was nominated again this year. But after having to sit out last year's Emmys because of ineligibility -- the show's final season premiered in June, after the cut-off date -- some folks were worried that voters might have forgotten about the sci-fi drama's final season. It's nice to see that's not the case.
Had Noah Schnapp been nominated, he would have tied for the youngest actor ever to be nominated for a dramatic role. Good news, The Rifleman's Johnny Crawford, you can still lay claim to that title all by yourself. But let's face it: Noah was snubbed hard. His performance as the tormented Will Byers left some members of our staff shaking with its efficacy as the young boy was possessed by the Mind Flayer and we saw the physical and emotional pain that he went through as a result. All this after being relegated to shivering in a cocoon in Season 1? Give the kid an award already!
After three straight nominations, Liev Schreiber wasn't nominated for his performance on Showtime's Ray Donovan this year. We're not saying we really thought he was deserving of a nomination, but it's surprising that he was knocked out, since we were always kind of confused by his presence in the nominee field anyway. Guess there's always the Golden Globes!
Few actresses really put it all out there more than Maggie Gyllenhaal, who did everything for HBO's good-but-overlooked The Deuce as a prostitute working her way into the porn industry. Even with David Simon at the helm, James Franco pulling double duty with two roles and the world of pro sex at its center, all everyone talked about when it came to The Deuce was Gyllenhaal's performance. It's probable that the show's timing in the crowded fall made The Deuce somewhat forgotten come awards time, or maybe Emmy voters just couldn't spell her name.
If you'd have told us a few years ago we'd be writing about how Will & Grace was snubbed at the Emmys in 2018, we'd have probably laughed in your face. But life is weird, and many expected NBC's revival of the comedy to receive at least a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series or get some love for its leads. Instead, Megan Mullally was the lone actor to receive a major nomination (though Molly Shannon nabbed one in the Guest Actress category and the show got five overall).
This isn't really a knock against Joseph Fiennes, but there was very little chatter surrounding his performance in The Handmaid's Tale in the lead-up to the Emmy nominations. Maybe it's because he plays the awful Commander Waterford, or maybe it's because the series is so female-driven and the focus has always been on the incredible performances of Fiennes' castmates, but his nomination for the second season of the dystopian Hulu drama was definitely a surprise.
Were we insane when we put JK Simmons on our dream Emmy ballots? Probably, but that doesn't mean we can't be upset the Oscar winner wasn't recognized for his dual role on Starz's sci-fi spy thriller Counterpart. He did twice as much as work as everyone else! He's JK Simmons! What the heck is wrong with everyone? Also snubbed: the show itself. Seriously, check it out.
One of television's pluckiest series brought its underdog attitude to the Emmy nominations, securing a pleasant surprise nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. The story about a female wrestling league in the 1980s has proved itself to be much more than a period piece examining the use of hairspray and neon tights; few series show the struggle of women in the workplace with more thought and humor than GLOW. And this nomination was for Season 1 (due to the eligibility period). Expect GLOW to be back here next year as Season 2 was even better.
AMC's very scary historical drama had a decent shot to make some noise at this year's Emmys as it was eligible for the less competitive (relatively speaking) Outstanding Limited Series or Movie category, but it found itself with a goose egg when nominations were announced. Harris' performance as a noble Royal Navy captain battling demons both internal and external was definitely award worthy, but apparently Emmy voters had trouble getting past the cannibalism, self-immolation, dismembering and starvation. Lame!
The second season of HBO's drama about -- well, we're barely even sure anymore because we're so confused -- was fascinating television for many reasons: it was gorgeous, it was incredibly high concept, it had unparalleled ambitions and it gave us a few dazzling hours. But one thing we never really tuned in for was the acting. That's not a diss on the performers but more of the writing of the characters, some of which felt very one-dimensional in the show's sophomore season. Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores was the best example of that, but Jeffrey Wright (one of the best actors of our generation) wasn't used to his potential and spent the season mostly grabbing his head and wondering what the hell was going on in pained, hushed tones. Thandie Newton was the most deserving nominee of the nominated group that also includes Ed Harris, but there were better performances out there on other shows.
Usually the central actor on broadcast's biggest new hit is a near lock for an Emmy, and given Highmore's tailor-made-for-awards role -- an autistic doctor battling against the system -- we're feeling both a snub and a surprise here. The category was pretty competitive, but surely there could have been room for Freddie!
Several experts had Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in their respective lead actor categories, but instead all the nominations went to the supporting or guest cast (Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Diana Rigg). Given the prognosticators' picks, this is a bit of a surprise... but in reality? It was probably the right call. Game of Thrones leads all shows with 22 Emmy nominations this year, but apparently voters were just as icked out by the incest as we were.
We knew that a nomination for best comedy for The Good Place was always a longshot, but that doesn't make its snub hurt any less. The series, from Michael Schur, is one of the best comedies currently on TV and one of the few shows capable of making us laugh out loud and also gasp in shock. At least Ted Danson got a nomination for his performance as Michael?
Who knew murder and paid assassinations could be so fun?! Bill Hader's dark comedy about a hitman who gets the acting bug was one of the season's most pleasant surprises, and a first-year comedy with such dark content is almost always overlooked, usually getting accolades later in its run. But the show got 13 total nominations, including nods for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Hader) and Oustanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Henry Winkler). NoHo Hank would be proud.
Starz's sweeping epic about love, time travel and butts is as hypnotic and rewarding as anything else out there, but it found itself with just one nomination... for best costumes. Fans of the show are rightly outraged as the series is worthy of much more... at least a few more Creative Arts Emmys, if not Outstanding Drama Series.
Snub. No, surprise. Wait, snub. Actually, surprise. Screw it, SNUBRISE. The debate rages on, but a single Emmy nomination -- for Outstanding Sound Mixing, no less -- is definitely an eye opener for the comedy that used to be the Emmy equivalent of the Golden State Warriors, ruining the ceremony for everyone else. This is the first time the series hasn't been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series (it won five consecutive times, from 2010-2014) or had an actor in the running. No one denies the quality of the show is far from its stellar first season, but it's still beloved among the masses. Just not by Emmy voters anymore.