- Some of the most memorable and impactful TV shows have never won an Emmy, including 1966’s “Star Trek,” “Happy Days,” “The Wire,” and “Gilmore Girls.”
- We’ve compiled a list of 11 of the most incredible shows that were snubbed of the coveted award.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Some of the most memorable television shows in pop culture history have never won an Emmy.
Series that defined a generation, like “Star Trek” and “Happy Days,” as well as shows with long-standing fan bases that have spurred sequels several years after the original series ended, like “Gilmore Girls” and “Veronica Mars,” have never won the coveted golden statue.
The 71st annual Emmy Awards will air on September 22 on Fox. Until then, take a look at 11 incredible TV shows that have never won the most coveted honor in TV.
In the seven years that “Gilmore Girls” ran, it was never nominated for any category except for outstanding makeup.
“Gilmore Girls” follows the lives of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, a mother-daughter duo who live in Stars Hollow, Connecticut. It’s arguably one of the most important shows from the early 2000s, and even came back with a Netflix limited series in 2016, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.”
However, many believe that because the show was equal parts “drama” and “comedy,” and the fact that it was on The WB (what we now know as The CW) were some of the factors as to why the Emmys never took it seriously.
Vogue wrote that Lauren Graham, who played Rory’s single mother, especially deserved to be nominated for best actress.
The CW’s “Veronica Mars” never received an Emmy nomination.
“Veronica Mars” has one of the most loyal fan bases in TV show history – so much so that the show’s creator and director, Rob Thomas, said he felt a lot of pressure after their fans raised $5.7 million for the show’s follow-up movie in 2014.
The series also came back in 2019 for a special season with eight one-hour episodes on Hulu.
However, the fan favorite never even received an Emmy nod.
HBO’s “The Wire” is a critically acclaimed show that never snagged an Emmy.
The crime series that was set in Baltimore aired for six seasons on HBO from 2002 to 2008. Despite being one of the most critically acclaimed series ever – Slate called the show “the best TV show ever broadcast in America” – it never received any Emmys nominations in the major categories.
It was only nominated for best writing in 2005 and 2008, two of which they lost.
CBS’ “The Brady Bunch” is one of the most iconic shows in sitcom history, but it was never nominated for an Emmy.
Although “The Brady Bunch” is considered one of the most memorable series on TV, the ’70s show was actually panned by critics at the time. And even though it was popular among viewers, it never received an Emmy nomination.
But after its five season run, the series lived on through its reruns and various spin-offs – including HGTV’s latest TV show, “A Very Brady Renovation,” featuring the original kid stars.
ABC’s “Happy Days” is another classic sitcom that didn’t win an Emmy in the major categories.
Chances are that you’ve heard of “The Fonz” even if you haven’t watched the 1970s sitcom, “Happy Days.”
The series is still referenced in today’s pop culture, but it never received an Emmy nomination for outstanding comedy in its 10-year span.
Although the series’ Marion Ross (who played Marion Cunningham) and Henry Winkler (Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli) were nominated for best acting several times, they never managed to bring home the award.
The only Emmy award “Happy Days” received was for outstanding film editing.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is an iconic teen drama series that was nominated for numerous Emmys but only won an award for makeup.
The WB series, which followed the life of a vampire-slaying teen girl, was mostly nominated for best makeup and hairstyling.
Viewers have since called out the Emmys for never giving “Buffy” a real chance. People once wrote, “Emmy voters still cannot imagine that a show about attractive young people driving wooden stakes through blood-sucking fiends could possibly have the resonance of more ‘realistic’ shows like ‘West Wing’ or ‘NYPD Blue.'”
NBC’s “Star Trek” was nominated for numerous Emmys, but never won any.
“Star Trek” is one of the most beloved universes in pop culture history (it’s up there with “Star Wars” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Every decade the story of the intergalactic people comes to life, whether it be on TV shows, major motion pictures, video games, or theme parks.
But the series that started it all, 1966’s “Star Trek,” never won any of the 13 Emmys it was nominated for.
Fox’s “Prison Break” was never nominated for an Emmy.
“Prison Break” was one of the late 2000s shows that everyone was talking about – even if it’s because it got “silly” toward the end.
Even so, there’s no denying that the show was full of impressive acting by stars Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, and Sarah Wayne Callies. But it never received any Emmy nominations in the major categories, only for outstanding theme music.
NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” was nominated for several awards but never took one home.
“Parks and Recreation” became an instant classic, with an outstanding cast of some of today’s biggest Hollywood names: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, and Rashida Jones.
Even though the series received 15 nominations throughout the years it aired, including for outstanding comedy series and outstanding actress, it never won any.
“Jane the Virgin” was nominated for two awards, but none for outstanding actors or outstanding comedy.
“Jane the Virgin” was a comedy with a a telenovela-esque feel to it that followed the story of a young Latinx woman who was accidentally impregnated.
“SpongeBob SquarePants” is one of the most iconic cartoon series in pop culture history, but has never won an Emmy.
Even so, the show has never won any of the 10 awards its been nominated for throughout it’s 20 years on the air.