Entertainment

The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy  

Ranker TV
1k votes 198 voters 1.9k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the TV series you can't believe never won any Emmys. Vote down the shows that didn't deserve the award anyway.

Emmy snubs are a common complaint of television fans as there are some series with zero Emmys that just seem to have rotten luck. Despite critical acclaim and huge followings, the programs below never took home that coveted statue. These shows didn't just miss out on the big awards like Best Series; they have not won one single Emmy period, not even for obscure niche categories. Given their acclaim, that is truly a shock.

TV shows that never won an Emmy span across all genres, from lighthearted comedies to seedy dramas. These shows are so esteemed, many are surprised to hear they never received an Emmy. With The Wire's influence, how did it never snag at least one award? It's not uncommon for critics to be wary of genres like sci-fi, so the lack of Best Drama awards for Star Trek: The Original Series is understandable. However, how could it not have at least scored a win for technical effects like sound editing? These TV shows with no Emmy wins are truly baffling and often downright infuriating. 

What do you think are the best shows that didn't get Emmys? Cast your vote below! 

list ordered by
1
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For: 

-Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (2005, 2008)

More The Wire

#19 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #9 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing The Best of The WIRE Characters

2
Star Trek: The Original ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Notable Nominations:

-Outstanding Dramatic Series (1967, 1968)
-Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Leonard Nimoy, 1968
-Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Leonard Nimoy, 1969
-Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction and Scenic Design, 1969
-Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing, 1969

More Star Trek: The Original Series

#87 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #4 of 321 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #31 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

3
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For: 

-Outstanding Main Title Theme Music, 2009
-Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics: A Mother's Work, 2014
-Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), 2015
-Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie, 2015
-Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics: Papa's Goods, 2015

More Sons of Anarchy

#15 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #88 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing 25 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Sons of Anarchy

4
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
Outlander

Nominated For:

-Outstanding Music Composition for a Series, 2015
-Outstanding Costumes for a Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series or Movie, 2016
-Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period Program, 2016

5
It's Always Sunny in Phi... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For: 

-Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or a Variety Program (2013, 2014, 2015) 

More It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

#62 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #151 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing All Of Frank’s Wildest Schemes On ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’

6
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
7
Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Notable Nominations:

-Outstanding Drama Series (2015, 2016, 2017)
-Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bob Odenkirk (2015, 2016, 2017)
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Jonathan Banks (2015, 2016, 2017)
-Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (2015, 2017)

More Better Call Saul

#53 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #43 of 119 The Best TV Shows Returning In 2020featuring All of the Breaking Bad Easter Eggs in Better Call Saul

8
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
9
Oz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For:

-Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Charles S. Dutton, 1999
-Outstanding Casting for a Series, 1999

More Oz

#117 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #103 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing The Best Seasons of Oz

10
Justified is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
11
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
12
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For:

-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Vera Farmiga, 2013
-Outstanding Music Composition for a Series, 2016 
-Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series, 2016

More Bates Motel

#109 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #150 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing #366 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

13
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
14
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For: 

-Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Charles Durning, 2005
-Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Miniseries, or Movie (2008, 2012, 2013)

More NCIS

#101 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #8 of 122 The Best Current Dramatic TV Showsfeaturing The Greatest Guest Stars on NCIS, Ranked

15
My So-Called Life is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For: 

-Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Scott Winant, 1995
-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Claire Danes, 1995
-Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, 1995
-Outstanding Main Title Theme Music, 1995

More My So-Called Life

#511 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #7 of 206 The Best Single Season Canceled Shows #147 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

16
Better Off Ted is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
17
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For: 

-Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, 2006 

More Prison Break

#39 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #171 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing The Best Seasons of Prison Break

18
New Girl is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominated For:

-Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series: Jake Kasdan, 2012 
-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Zooey Deschanel, 2012
-Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Max Greenfield, 2012
-Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, 2012
-Outstanding Main Title Design, 2012

More New Girl

#80 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #352 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing Schmidt's Best One-Liners From 'New Girl'

19
Rectify is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Never Nominated

20
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
21
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
22
Party Down is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
23
Jane the Virgin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy

Nominations: 

-Outstanding Narrator: Anthony Mendez (2015, 2016)

More Jane the Virgin

#310 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #931 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Jane The Virgin'

24
Terriers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy
25
Alias is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Shows That Never Won A Single Emmy