2017 Emmy Nominations: The Biggest Snubs & Surprises

This morning brought the cavalcade of nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be handed out in September. Westworld was out in front with a whopping 22 nominations for its freshman season while other debut shows like This Is Us, as well as continuing shows like Veep and Saturday Night Live, also landed a surprising number of nods. But there are only so many slots for nominees and plenty of shows were snubbed by the Television Academy. Thankfully, it wasn't all bad news though as there were some pleasant (sometimes goofy) surprises as well.

Below, we run through the biggest 2017 Emmy snubs and surprises.

Shannon Purser as Barb in Stranger Things

Surprise: Shannon Purser in Stranger Things

Talk about justice for Barb! The actress who played the freckled, bespectacled teenager who goes missing in the first season of Stranger Things and seemingly gets entirely forgotten about and overlooked was probably surprised to get an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Considering she wasn't on the show very long, this feels like more of an attempt by the Emmys to be hip and cool, but we don't want to take away the fact that Shannon Purser made a minor character memorable with such a small amount of screentime, so good for her! (Ethan Anderton)

the leftovers finale photo

Snubbed: The Leftovers

Look, we can all agree that it's wonderful to see the great character actress Ann Dowd pick up a well-deserved nod for her work in the final season of HBO's The Leftovers. But can we all agree that the snubbing of the show in every other major category is, for lack of a better, term, complete and total bullshit? Sure, The Leftovers never became a popular success like some of HBO's other dramas, but over the course of three seasons, this ambitious show proved itself to be riveting, thoughtful, and endlessly inventive. No show on TV was more prepared to reinvent itself. No show on TV was more prepared to let a difficult question linger in the air, intentionally unanswered. The Leftovers was always challenging, but it was also brilliant, utilizing incredible performances and strong gallows humor to make the series' dense mythology all too human. (Jacob Hall)

Winstead Fargo finale

Snubbed: Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Fargo Season 3

Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance as Nikki Swango in season 3 of Fargo was one of the best aspects of that season, so seeing her name left off the Emmy nomination list seems like an unfortunate oversight. Beyond the fact that she nailed a difficult accent, Winstead brought a level of inscrutability to her character for the first few episodes that added a layer of intrigue every time she was on screen: did she truly love her schlubby boyfriend Ray (Ewan McGregor) or was she conning him? Once we discovered her feelings for him were legit, the back half of the season found her on an entirely different course and put her through the ringer, turning her from a low-level criminal into a blistering force of revenge. It's a shame Winstead didn't get recognition, but Nikki Swango will stay with me for a long time. (Ben Pearson)

Pamela Adlon in Better Things

Surprise: Pamela Adlon and Zach Galifianakis

FX's comedy shows haven't consistently received much Emmy attention over the years, so it was surprising that both Pamela Adlon, star of Better Things, and Zach Galifianakis, star of Baskets, ended up with nominations for the leads in the comedy category. Both shows are deserving of even more, but we're glad that Emmy voters at least recognized the lead talents in both of them. (Ethan Anderton)

13 reasons why ending

Snubbed: 13 Reasons Why

Netflix's television adaptation of 13 Reasons Why was way better than it ever should have been. That's probably due to some of the talent that helped craft the series, including Oscar-winners Tom McCarthy and Jessica Yu, as well as Film Independent Spirit Award-winner Gregg Araki. The YA novel story was elevated to a level that should have been recognized with a nomination, but instead Netflix will have to be happy with the three nominations they got in the best drama series category and two in best comedy series. (Peter Sciretta)

The Americans

Snubbed: The Americans

While fans should be happy that both Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell got lead actor and actress nominations for The Americans, the show was snubbed yet again in the Outstanding Drama Series category, and that's just ridiculous. This has consistently been one of the best shows on TV since it began, and ignoring it yet again is not cool at all. (Ethan Anderton)

Fargo Finale Carrie Coon

Surprise: Carrie Coon Nominated for Fargo, Not The Leftovers

The world is finally starting to come around on Carrie Coon. As Nora Durst, she was the heart of The Leftovers, the shattered wife and mother who repaired the cracks in her life and became only stronger. In a show where every character, and the world, was falling apart, she was a rock. It's a role that required courage, determination, and a rawness that was often physically painful to witness. And Coon, a master in the making, did receive an Emmy nomination this year. But not for The Leftovers. She picked up a nod for her work in the third season of Fargo. And honestly, this can't help but feel slightly political. After all, Emmy voters watch and like Fargo and they've consistently ignored The Leftovers. This nod feels like a consolation prize, a way for voters to shower praise on one of the strongest performers currently working on the small screen...but only for a series that routinely gains their support. It's a tough hit for The Leftovers, but hey, that's the Emmys. (Jacob Hall)

The Good Place

Snubbed: The Good Place

Seriously folks, this is one of the best new comedies on TV, and you'd be doing yourself a favor by binging the first 13 episodes of the debut season. A clever approach to the afterlife (heaven, hell and all that jazz) and some spectacular performances from Kristen Bell and Ted Danson make this an outstanding comedy series with a lot of surprises, and that deserves some Emmy love. Sadly, the show was completely ignored by the Television Academy. (Ethan Anderton)

better call saul review witness 2

Snubbed: Michael McKean in Better Call Saul

For me, one of the biggest snubs of this year's Emmys has to be Michael McKean for his role in Better Call Saul. McKean's performance as Jimmy McGill's older brother Chuck McGill was masterful, mixing the brilliance and strong ideals of a prestigious lawyer with the sensitivity of a possibly mental ill man. He played a great antagonist for Bob Odenkirk's character, always providing an alternate point of view and purpose that could have made him the protagonist in a different version of the story. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like McKean's character will have a big role in subsequent seasons of the show, so this is likely the last chance the Emmys had to reward his efforts with a nomination. (Peter Sciretta)

Rocket and Groot Web Series

Surprise: Marvel's Rocket & Groot

We haven't paid much attention to Marvel's Rocket & Groot animated series, and I didn't think the Emmy voters would, either. But it turns out we may have been missing out on a really fun little show, because now that I've checked out a bit of this super stylish and beautifully animated series, it definitely deserves our attention. This looks like one of those times when the Emmy voters got it right. (Ben Pearson)

Issa Rae - Insecure

Snubbed: Insecure

HBO already had quite the comedy presence thanks to Veep and Silicon Valley, and apparently that was enough for Emmy voters as the freshman comedy series Insecure was ignored. That's a shame, because Insecure is a sorely underseen new series with a fresh new voice in Issa Rae. Perhaps the show just needs some more time to blossom before the Television Academy takes noticed, but you don't have to wait. The first season is available on HBO and the second season is coming soon. (Ethan Anderton)

Ed Harris as the Man in Black in Westworld

Snubbed: Ed Harris in Westworld

Despite snagging a nomination in each of the four major acting categories, one name was conspicuously absent from Westworld's line-up of nominations: Ed Harris. As the menacing Man in Black, a wealthy regular at the science fiction theme park where the show is set, Harris provided the show with its dark, rotten soul. No character better summed what the show was all about, especially since his long shadow connects the series' intentionally scattered timeline. He was, simply put, one of the best villains on television in 2016: cruel, self-aware, all-powerful, and strangely pitiful. (Jacob Hall)

Alec Baldwin Hosted Saturday Night Live

Surprise: Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live usually gets plenty of below-the-line nominations, as well as writing and directing nods in their variety sketch show category. But this year, the staple late night sketch series also made a big splash in more than a few acting categories. Not only did Alec Baldwin get nominated for his portrayal of Donald Trump on the show as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, but Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon took three of the six nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Plus, Tom Hanks, Dave Chappelle, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig all got nominated for their hosting stints. SNL rounded up a total of 22 nominations, tying Westworld for the most this year, and after this stellar 42nd season, they really deserved all that love. (Ethan Anderton)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Snubbed: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Rachel Bloom

Rachel Bloom may claim to "not care about award shows" but the lack of Emmy love for her smart, biting romantic comedy is something to care about. While Crazy Ex-Girlfriend earned an Original Music and Lyrics nod for the "Moses Supposes"-inspired tap number "We Tapped That Ass," it doesn't do justice to the incisive wit that the CW shows brings each episode. Bloom, who created, writes, and stars in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, gives a wonderfully manic performance as Rebecca Bunch — a neurotic, flawed comedy heroine for our time. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is doing some of the most perceptive takedowns — in musical form, no less — of comedy tropes on TV today, and it's a shame that it's not recognized for that. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Girls season 6 trailer

Snubbed: Girls

After garnering 14 nominations throughout the show's previous five years of eligibility, Girls was left out in the wind without any major nominations this year, despite this being the show's final season. The show rounded up a handful of nominations for guest stars and one below-the-line nod, but it's a bit of a bummer that the series didn't get one last crack at any of any of the major Emmy categories. (Ethan Anderton)

Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party

Surprise: Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg

It may be for a reality television program, but that doesn't make it any more surprising that Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg's program, Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party, ended up with an Emmy nomination this year. The show is certainly a unique entry in the otherwise mundane and repetitive reality competition genre, and the fact that Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg make for a great hosting duo is quite the surprise. (Ethan Anderton)

Stranger Things Season 2

Snubbed: Winona Ryder in Stranger Things

Winona Ryder's performance as as mother Joyce Byers in Stranger Things was consistently one of the most talked about aspects of the hit Netflix series, yet her manic performance was divisive enough to split fans of the show. It seems like while her performance was strong and notable, that divisiveness may have also split the Emmy voters. But maybe the two time Oscar-nominee will get her chance next year with the second season of Stranger Things, which will hopefully give Ryder a more meaty but less hysterical set-up. (Peter Sciretta)

This Is Us

Surprise: This Is Us

Plenty of people expected This Is Us to have a big presence at the Emmys, but the amount of acting nominations was quite a surprise, including half the slots in the Outstanding Guest Actor category, and two in the Outstanding Lead Actor category, with Milo Ventimiglia feeling like a questionable surprise when all is said and done. (Ethan Anderton)

american gods season 2

Snubbed: American Gods

Let's be honest: American Gods probably never stood a chance at the Emmys. While critics adore the work of series co-creator Bryan Fuller and his shows tend to develop small, passionate fanbases, his work is too obtuse, too off-kilter, too unique to inspire a unified rallying cry around those with the power to vote trophies into the hands of talented filmmakers, actors, and writers. With no nominations in any major categories, American Gods continued Fuller's streak of making artful, challenging television that only gains recognition in the margins. This fantasy series, grim and hopeful and hilarious and always willing to march to the beat of its own drummer, is too cool for the Emmys. (Jacob Hall)

transparent season 3 trailer

Snubbed: Transparent

Transparent's third season nabbed three nominations, which is pretty good. That's nothing to scoff at! That's fine! The only issue here is that Transparent picked up more nominations in first two seasons. A lot more. Including two nods for Outstanding Comedy Series. The truth is that awards can be fickle things – some shows ride a wave of statuettes from beginning to end while others are front-loaded, collecting all of their awards up front and slowly receding into the background. It's not that Transparent suddenly became a bad show (although season 3 certainly grabbed fewer headlines than the first two), it's that Emmy voters have been distracted by other, shinier television shows at the moment. Let's see what happens with season 4. (Jacob Hall)

Carrie Fisher - Catastrophe

Surprise: Carrie Fisher for Catastrophe

Carrie Fisher died before anyone got to see what would be her final TV performance: a role in the third season of the series Catastrophe. The fact that she's been nominated posthumously for her role on the show serves as a fond farewell to the actress to has made countless guest appearances in various shows across television's history. We weren't expecting it, but she totally deserves it. (Ethan Anderton)