The
71st Primetime Emmys
are expected to bring some record-breaking
wins for several shows. Game
of Thrones
is looking to add several more trophies to their already
impressive hall, and shows like
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
are looking to create a lasting legacy.
While Emmy Awards are undoubtedly an excellent indicator that a show has
performed well over the course of a season, it’s not the be-all and end-all of
success. In fact, some wildly popular television shows have far fewer Emmy
awards than you would expect.

Friends doesn’t have a vast Emmy haul to show for its
success

Friends
became a cultural icon almost immediately upon its release in 1994. Over ten
seasons, nearly everyone in the country became acquainted with the six pals who
attempted to navigate living in Manhattan in their 20s and 30s. Syndication kept
the show fresh in the minds of millions, and a deal with Netflix ensured a
younger generation would see the show, but the classic TV show has far fewer Emmys
than you probably think.

While the series was nominated for 62 individual awards over
its 10-year run, the show and its cast only managed to snatch six wins. Only
two of the six main cast members managed to win an individual award. Lisa
Kudrow, famed for her portrayal of Pheobe Buffay, picked up a win in the
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1998. Four years later Jennifer
Aniston won in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category.  Courtney Cox, who played the loveably neurotic
Monica
Geller
, was never even nominated, according to Entertainment
Weekly
.

NCIS has never won an Emmy

With 17 seasons under their belt, most fans would assume NCIS has picked up a ton of Emmy wins and nominations along the way, but in actuality, the show has been notoriously snubbed by The Television Academy. The police procedural has only been nominated for three Emmy Awards during the entirety of its run, and the show hasn’t taken home a single trophy.

NCIS
NCIS cast | Photo by Sam Lothridge/CBS via Getty Images

The snubs seem intentional, but the
lack of Emmy wins for the renowned show
might have more to do with its format
and the current television climate than a willful desire to snub the show.
Episodic shows have had a notoriously difficult time gaining traction with The
Television Academy. The committee behind the nominations seems to prefer shows
that follow a season or series arc rather than an episode arc format.

NCIS also happened to hit television screens just as
cable networks and, now, streaming platforms, hit their stride. The Oustanding Drama
Series category has primarily been reserved for premium cable networks in
recent years. A Network channel has not won in the division since 2006. The
Sopranos
win in 2007 appeared to herald in a brand new era for the
category, and there seems to be no going back.

Prison Break only received one Emmy nomination during its
six seasons

Prison
Break
is another show that received critical acclaim and took the world
by storm. For the first several seasons, everyone was watching the show, but
the Television Academy never felt the need to acknowledge all that went into
the show.

Over the course of six seasons, the show received exactly
one Emmy nomination, and that was for a Creative
Arts Emmy
. The cast and crew were completely locked out of the major
categories. In 2006 the show was nominated in the Oustanding Original Main
Title Theme Music category.  It lost ut
to Masters of Horror, a short-lived dramatic offering from Showtime.

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