It's that time again: TV related awards shows are gearing up for nominations. The TCA and the Critics Choice Awards lists are already out, and the Emmy noms will be announced on July 19.
As exciting as we find this time of year (we can't help it, we're award show addicts!), we also have to brace ourselves for the inevitable disappointments. Although the Critics Choice and the TCAs give some attention to shows the Academy inexplicably ignores — *cough* Community *cough* — there are plenty of deserving parties that just don't have a shot anywhere.
Whether they are in overpacked categories, on underloved networks, or just plain unlucky, here are 12 TV stars who deserve recognition for their fine work, but probably won't get it.
1. Jack Gleeson, Game of Thrones: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama is arguably the most competitive category on the ballot these days. It could easily be filled by Breaking Bad and Mad Men actors alone, and then you have Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, and last year's Game of Thrones winner, Peter Dinklage, to contend with. The point is, there's just no room for Jack Gleeson, even though the young actor has impressively turned King Joffrey Baratheon into the single most detestable villain on TV. We'd also love to see Alfie Allen get props for somehow making Theon Greyjoy sympathetic. Maybe another year...
2. Vincent Kartheiser, Mad Men: It's a testament to exactly how competitive Best Supporting Actor in a Drama is that Vincent has gotten almost no notice for his work as Pete Campbell on Mad Men. If you ask us, Vincent had more interesting things to do this season than perpetual shoe-in John Slattery, but we would be shocked to see any of the major awards shake things up and nominate him over his co-star.
3. Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries: TVD is a vampire show on the CW, which means it stands exactly zero chance of ever getting recognition from any awards that don't involve fan votes. But Nina's ability to bring both Elena and Katherine to life believably continues to wow us.
4. Kevin McKidd and Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy: Once upon a time, Sandra Oh was an awards show darling, so it's possible she'll get noticed again this year, though the early lack of nods doesn't bode well. Kevin McKidd, on the other hand, is almost certainly out of luck (see again the competitiveness of his category). It's a shame, because the disintegration of Owen and Cristina's marriage was one of the most compelling and well acted plotlines Grey's has had in a while.
5. Emily VanCamp and Gabriel Mann, Revenge: Emily and Gabriel rock our socks every week as the delightfully vengeful duo of Emily Thorne and Nolan Ross. However, Revenge is a primetime soap, which already puts it at a disadvantage for awards, and if anyone from the show is going to land a nod or two, it's the more established Madeleine Stowe.
6. Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation: Any nods for Parks and Rec men will probably go to Nick Offerman, and we absolutely don't argue with that. However, Adam Scott's deadpan-yet-sweet performance as straight man Ben Wyatt is also comedy gold, week after week.
7. Nelsan Ellis, True Blood: True Blood is a far from flawless show these days, but Nelsan Ellis is constantly on point. Lafayette's story this year allowed him to show off his range, from spot-on comedy to gut wrenching heartbreak. But again, this catagory just isn't big enough for shows without a lot of positive critical buzz behind them.
8. Donald Glover, Community: Although Community has gotten some love from the TCAs and Critics Choice Awards, Donald Glover is still shut out of the much deserved spotlight. We adore Dany Pudi and Jim Rash as much as anyone else, but we wish there was room for Donald too, especially after he showed off his dramatic as well as comedic chops during Season 3.
9. Naya Rivera, Glee: We had some issues with the way Santana's coming out arc was handled this year, but Naya sure acted the hell out of it. However, it looks like Glee's star might be falling on the awards circuit, and even if it isn't, Jane Lynch will almost certainly get a nod before Naya.
10. Connie Britton, American Horror Story: We're still annoyed Connie never won an Emmy for Friday Night Lights, and it looks like she's not even going to get nominations for American Horror Story. Yes, Jessica Lange turned in the flashier performance, but Connie brought some much needed groundedness to the show. Sigh. Maybe Nashville will eventually do the trick for her.
Of course, that's hardly everyone. For example, Sons of Anarchy and Fringe get love from critics, but almost never the more mainstream awards. We want to see some nods for Justified's Walton Goggins. The cast of Happy Endings is large enough that no matter what, there will never be enough nominations for it. And how in the world has Courteney Cox never been nominated for an Emmy? Seriously. We could go on and on.
Who is your favorite overlooked TV actor? Let us know in the comments.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
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