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The Biggest Snubs and Surprises From the 70th Emmy Awards Nominations

Nominations for Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany and John Legend for Jesus Christ Superstar were nice surprises, but Game of Thrones's Kit Harington and GLOW's Alison Brie got robbed!

by | July 12, 2018 | Comments

One downside to living in the age of Peak TV: There’s so much great television out there that there’s no way it can all be recognized by the TV award–giving bodies. So while the 2018 Emmy nominees are full of some of television’s best — hooray, Sandra Oh! Hooray, Barry! — they’re also missing plenty of worthy contenders.

Here are the Television Academy’s biggest snubs — and a few surprises — from the 2018 nominations.


SNUB: Game of Thrones stars Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington

Game of Thrones season 7, episode 5 (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Having a sprawling, deeply talented ensemble cast is a good thing, but it tends to split votes come Emmy time. Which is why both Clarke and Harington were submitted in the lead actor categories after a particularly strong season for both. Unfortunately, they were both passed over. Still, it was mostly excellent news for Thrones, which led the pack with 22 total nominations, including for Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey in supporting categories.


SNUB: The Good Doctor and Roseanne

THE GOOD DOCTOR - FREDDIE HIGHMORE, NICHOLAS GONZALEZ (ABC/Jack Rowand)
(Photo by ABC/Jack Rowand)

The two series might have had some of the biggest ratings among this season’s debuts, but that didn’t translate to votes come Emmy time. While the Roseanne snub (save for the always excellent Laurie Metcalf) makes sense, The Good Doctor is more of a mystery (other than the fact that there are approximately a billion shows on TV right now). Worth nothing that the Doctor hasn’t connected with critics as well as it has with fans: it currently has a series Tomatometer of 66%.


SNUB: Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Will & Grace

MODERN FAMILY - "Lake Life" (ABC/David Moir)
(Photo by ABC/David Moir)

Emmy voters are notorious for awarding the same series again and again, even when they’re past their prime. While The Big Bang Theory‘s rule began to wane a few years ago, it appears the days of Modern Family‘s reign are over as well. As for Will & Grace, it’s a little shocking that a series that has been nominated for 83 Emmys (winning 16) only got nods for star Megan Mullally and guest star Molly Shannon – especially considering the latest, rebooted season is Certified Fresh at 86%. Also missing on the drama side: Emmy fave Ray Donovan.


SNUB: Christine Baranski

Pilot -- Episodic coverage of THE GOOD FIGHT. Pictured: Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart. Photo: Patrick Harbron/CBS ©2016 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved
(Photo by Patrick Harbron/CBS)

An odds-on favorite for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her starring role in CBS All Access series The Good Fight, Baranski was left out of the category, which saw surprise nomination for Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany (see below).


SNUB: The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
(Photo by Gene Page/AMC)

It might be cable’s biggest show, but The Walking Dead has never been an Emmy hit, typically earning a few technical nominations. But this year, the franchise’s only nom is for its “Red Machete” webseries.


SNUB: Mandy Moore

This Is Us star Mandy Moore (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
(Photo by Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

The former teen pop star turned in one of the most emotional, affecting performances on television in the 2017-18 season, and it’s a shame the This Is Us matriarch didn’t get recognized for her less flashy role.


SNUB: Twin Peaks and Kyle MacLachlan

Kyle MacLachlan in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME
(Photo by Suzanne Tenner/Showtime)

While the return of David Lynch’s confusing-yet-mesmerizing cult-favorite series earned directing, writing, and other technical nominations – and has been lauded by critics, Certified Fresh at 94% – it was shut out of the main category (and so was its star).


SNUB: Outlander

Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan in Outlander (Starz)
(Photo by Starz)

Claire and Jamie Fraser’s centuries-spanning love story yet again did not, for whatever reason, resonate with Emmy voters. Do they need to re-up their Starz subscriptions?


SNUB: 13 Reasons Why

13 REASONS WHY (Netflix)
(Photo by Netflix)

It might’ve been 2017’s breakout series, but the second season of Netflix’s teen drama 13 Reasons Why landed with a thud (a 26% Tomatometer score) — and absolutely no nominations in 2018.


SNUB: Alison Brie

GLOW Alison Brie (Netflix)
(Photo by Netflix)

While GLOW itself and Brie’s costar Betty Gilpin both were recognized, GLOW‘s leading lady was robbed. Robbed!


SNUB: One Day at a Time and cast

One Day At A Time (Netflix)
(Photo by Netflix)

Even a plane flying a banner over Hollywood didn’t get the Academy enough sense to recognize the superb work being done by Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, and everyone else on Netflix’s comedy. Its second season is one of the best reviewed comedies on TV, Certified Fresh at 100%.


SURPRISE: Megan Amram

screencap of Megan Amram at http://anemmyformegan.com/
(Photo by anemmyformegan.com)

It worked! The Good Place writer launched a webseries called “An Emmy for Megan” in the hopes of getting an Emmy nomination, and her hard (?) work paid off.


SURPRISE: Tatiana Maslany

Orphan Black Alison (TATIANA MASLANY) (BBC America)
(Photo by BBC America)

Orphan Black is over, but it was a nice surprise for star Maslany to get recognized one last time for her work as approximately 100 different clones on the BBC America sci-fi series.


SURPRISE: The Americans

The Americans (FX)
(Photo by FX)

Much like another critically beloved series (Friday Night Lights), The Americans at last earned series, lead actor, and lead actress nominations for its stellar final season, which has a Tomatometer score of 99%.


SURPRISE: John Legend

John Legend in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT -- Pictured: "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" Key Art (NBC)
(Photo by NBC)

Plenty of pundits thought the star of NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert had a shot for a nomination as a producer of the live musical, but the singer ended up also scoring a nomination in the competitive Limited Series Lead Actor category (edging out Al Pacino!). Fun fact: If the show wins the award, Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Tim Rice will all earn the Emmy they need to EGOT.


SURPRISE: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm - June Diane Raphael, Larry David, Ed Begley, Jr. (John P. Johnson/courtesy of HBO)
(Photo by John P. Johnson/courtesy of HBO)

No one’s saying Curb is not among the TV greats, but was the last season really worthy of recognition over other deserving series? Season 9 had a Tomatometer score of 76%, the lowest in Curb‘s history.

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