The Biggest Snubs & Surprises Of The 2019 Emmy Nominations

Elena Nicolaou

Time to fill in your binge-watching calendar, because the 2019 Emmy nominations are out. Some shows came up over and over — looking at you, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Game of Thrones, which topped the nominations.

But we don't watch for the shoo-ins. We watch for the surprises! The unexpected reasons to show our fandom. There were reasons to cheer — Schitt's Creek finally got recognized by the Emmys. There were reasons to boo — Richard Madden was snubbed for Bodyguard.

Here are the good moves and the bad moves. Remember, in order to qualify for the awards, a program had to air between June 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019 — so don't get upset that Stranger Things 3 didn't get nominations. It wasn't eligible.

Snub: Fyre Fraud on Hulu (Documentary)

The Emmys came down on which of the two competing (and critically acclaimed) Fyre Festival documentaries was better. Hulu's Fyre Fraud documentary featured an interview from Billy McFarland, the controversial architect of the disastrous music festival. But it was Netflix's Fyre, which looked more at the human cost of his actions, that won out.

Surprise: Eugene Levy of Schitt's Creek(Lead Actor, Comedy)

As Schitt's Creek approaches its sixth and final season, the cult favorite PopTV sitcom is finally getting some recognition from the establishment. Eugene Levy plays Johnny Rose, a former millionaire who relocates his family to the small town he bought years prior as a joke.

Photo Credit: Cbc/Itv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Surprise: Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek(Lead Actress, Comedy)

Eugene Levy couldn't be nominated without Catherine O'Hara being nominated, too. It just wouldn't be right!

Snub: Richard Madden, Bodyguard(Lead Actor, Drama)

We have a special guest for this post.

Hello, this is Ariana Romero, Refinery29 TV critic and foremost Richard Madden luminary, here with a guest snub. What does Richard Madden need to do for an Emmy nomination? Way back in Game of Thrones history, he made hacking at a tree in full armor tragic rather than hilarious as Robb Stark. Then, he pulled off the 21st century’s most infamous TV death with beautiful sincerity at the Red Wedding.

Then, with Netflix-BBC co-production Bodyguard, he blew both of those performances out of the water with his heart-breaking turn as David Budd, a war veteran with PTSD. Madden manages to anchor an absolutely wild series while slowly revealing the many layers of a complicated and pained man. That's why he won a Golden Globe for the part in January. At least we can take solace in knowing Bodyguard itself was nominated for a Best Drama Emmy.

Snub: Billions (Drama)

Yet again, for mystifying reasons, Billions was snubbed by the Emmys. What, is plot pyrotechnics with a dash of fast-talk not enough for you? Is intelligence blended with fun not enough? Someone must not be afraid of Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis).

Ali Goldstein / Netflix

Snub: Almost all things Grace and Frankie

Netflix's Grace and Frankie was once an Emmy favorite — the sitcom about two geriatric best friends has racked up 45 nominations over the course of its five-season run, including nominations for leads Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. However, the show only was nominated in the Outstanding Contemporary Costumes category this year. Netflix's other show about geriatric best friends, The Kominsky Method, fared better at the Emmys.

Now, when is June Diane Raphael going to a) get recognized for her work as Brianna on Grace and Frankie, and b) get her own sitcom?

Snub: Julia Roberts, Homecoming(Lead Actress, Mini-Series)

Homecoming took a journey from podcast to stylish mini-series starring one of the biggest movie-stars in the world. Julia Roberts gave a captivating performance as a woman whose cloudy past is slowly surfacing — and revealing major misdeeds.

Snub: George Clooney, Catch 22 (Supporting Actor, Limited Series)

Julia Roberts wasn't the only major star snubbed by the Academy. George Clooney was considered a shoo-in for Catch 22, Hulu's war satire, which he also directed and produced. Alas! What did he grow the mustache for?

Snub: Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish(Lead Actress, Comedy)

For the past three years, Tracee Ellis Ross has been nominated for playing Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish. The streak ended this year. Ross' co-star, Anthony Anderson, was nominated.

Surprise: Robin Wright, House of Cards(Lead Actress, Drama)

After its former star Kevin Spacey was mired in scandal and fired from House of Cards, Robin Wright made the final season of House of Cards happen. She was rewarded for her efforts, and her performance.

Snub: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt(Comedy Series)

Tina Fey and Robert Carlock's comedy about a kidnapping survivor making her way in New York finished this year without an Emmy nod. It's a unusual turn of events, considering Kimmy Schmidt had been nominated for its first three seasons. If only there were a special category for sub-plots — the Cats parody deserves recognition.

Surprise: When They See Us (Limited Series)

Ava DuVernay's powerful four-part mini-series about the Central Park Five earned a whopping 16 nominations.

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