2020 Emmy Nominations: 10 Disappointing Snubs & Exciting Surprises

Unbeliveable, The Mandalorian, Better Call Saul
Netflix; Disney+; AMC

The nominations for the 2020 Emmys were announced on Tuesday, July 28, revealing which TV series and stars made the cut and which did not.

There were some sure bets when it came to this year’s crop such as Watchmen‘s Regina King and Succession‘s Jeremy Strong, but there were also plenty of surprises and snubs including Better Call Saul‘s Rhea Seehorn and Unbelievable‘s Kaitlyn Dever as well as Normal People‘s Paul Mescal. From refreshingly unexpected acting nominations to notable oversights, the list of nominees was quite a rollercoaster ride.

Below, we’re rounding up some of the most shocking developments made from the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards nominations.

Kaitlyn Dever in Unbelievable

SNUB: Kaitlyn Dever for Unbelievable

Kaitlyn Dever was a favored possible nominee, but the actress who delivered a riveting performance as Marie Adler, a teenager who files a police report claiming she’s been sexually assaulted, was notably absent from the list. Costar Toni Collette made the cut though with an Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Drama Series nomination for her performance as Grace Rasmussen, one of the investigators involved in Marie’s case.

What We Do in the Shadows
Russ Martin/FX

SURPRISE: What We Do in the Shadows

FX’s quirky comedy about vampire roommates living in Staten Island is one of TV’s hidden gems, so it was exciting to see it recognized in the Outstanding Comedy category. Despite no lead acting nominations, this inclusion is promising for the show’s awards future as the title gains more rightful attention. Along with the show nom, the series also earned a writing nod.

Better Call Saul
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

SNUB: Rhea Seehorn for Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul delivered one of its finest seasons to date, but its talent has been severely overlooked as leads Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn didn’t made the nominations list. While Odenkirk has been nominated before, this should have been Seehorn’s turn to shine after packing a powerful punch in Season 5 as Kim Wexler. One scene in particular between her and cartel man Lalo (Tony Dalton) should have been enough to get her foot in the door, but she was shut out yet again and it’s a true shame.

Mandalorian Giancarlo Esposito

SURPRISE: The Mandalorian

After a strong first season, it shouldn’t have been a shock to see The Mandalorian recognized by the Emmys, but it was due to it hailing from new streamer Disney+. Along with being nominated in the Outstanding Drama Series category, Mandalorian also earned a Guest Actor nod for Giancarlo Esposito, who was alsonominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category for his role as Gus Fring in Better Call Saul.

Normal People - Paul Mescal

SUPRISE: Normal People's Paul Mescal

After breaking our hearts as Connell in Hulu’s limited series Normal People, it was a welcome surprise to see Mescal included among this year’s Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series nominees alongside the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Irons, Jeremy Pope, and Hugh Jackman.

This Is Us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

SNUB: This Is Us

NBC’s drama recounting the story of the Pearson family was absent from this year’s Outstanding Drama Series category and we can’t help but feel like it was snubbed. Thankfully, star Sterling K. Brown and guest stars Ron Cephas Jones and Phylicia Rashad all earned acting nods, giving the show a chance for talent recognition.


SURPRISE: Watchmen

HBO’s limited series earned the most nominations including acting nods for sure-bets Regina King and Jeremy Irons, as well as surprising but exciting additions Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, and Louis Gossett Jr. The critically acclaimed series had previously been shut out at other ceremonies, so it’s nice to see the title get some well-deserved recognition.

The Morning Show
Apple TV+

SURPRISE: Steve Carell for The Morning Show

By now, fans of Steve Carell know he can pull off both comedy and drama, but it was a true surprise to see his name among the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series nominations. While he was fine as Mitch Kessler, a disgraced morning show anchor, this performance wasn’t exactly a standout in the all-star cast, which includes fellow (and perhaps, more deserving) nominees Jennifer Aniston, Mark Duplass, and Billy Crudup.

Schitt's Creek
Pop TV

SURPRISE: Schitt's Creek Cast

In a pleasant reveal, the entire core cast of Schitt’s Creek was recognized in comedy acting categories, serving as a nice cap to the show’s run which concluded earlier this year. Along with Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy, the show was also nominated for directing and writing.

Elisabeth Moss Handmaid's Tale

SNUB: Elisabeth Moss for The Handmaid's Tale

Over the years, Elisabeth Moss has become a nominee mainstay for her role as June/Offred in Hulu’s dystopian Handmaid’s Tale. She was noticeably absent from this year’s list though which was slightly surprising, because no matter the show’s plots or story, she always delivers a great performance.