As the Emmy Awards approach, it's notable how, with the exception to Abbott Elementary, the networks are pretty much out of the running. It's all streamer shows with HBO still in there with the likes of Succession.
This seems to be a slam on how quality TV on the networks has faded. To be fair, there are a lot of "cookie-cutter" shows like the FBI and One Chicago series, and a lot of shows that are pretty bad.
But there are still some gems on networks that show not all of the creatives has fled to streamers. These are shows that deserve a lot more love from the Emmys and should have been recognized.
The Emmys loved The Big Bang Theory, as evidenced by Jim Parson's wins. So why has the spin-off, which won much wider critical acclaim, not been as recognized? Surely, it deserves nods for Best Comedy Series, and the cast (especially Iain Armitage, Zoe Cooper, and Annie Potts) should have been nominated as well. With its final season coming up, maybe this show will finally get its due, but it's confusing how the superior prequel show never matched TBBT's Emmy draws.
What does CBS's remake of the British series have to do to get Emmy voters to pay attention? It's not just utterly hilarious but also heartfelt, with truly warm stories of these ghosts facing their past issues and bonding with their mortal "owners." Rebecca Wisocky and Brandon Scott Jones were clearly worthy of Supporting Actors in Comedy nominees, and Rose McIver showed her own daring, too. If any network comedy besides Abbott deserves more Emmy love, it's this one.
Thankfully, the Critics Choice Awards recognized Ramón Rodríguez with a nomination. That just shows how Emmy voters missed the boat as what looked like a cliche ABC crime show had great depth and smart writing. Rodríguez's performance was fantastic, showing this troubled cop hiding his disability and being dedicated to the job. It's also arguable Erika Christensen deserved recognition for her turn as a homicide detective and Will's troubled lover, Angie Polaski. Yet Rodríguez alone had a better performance than scores of actors on streaming shows, and he should have earned an Emmy nod.
So Help Me Todd
This underrated CBS series nicely improved over its freshman season, toning down the drama to become a smart dramedy not unlike the 2000s USA Network shows. Maybe it's light, but Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden is clearly having a ball in it, and her turn as a woman who loves her son but just doesn't understand how to show it could have earned her a supporting actress nod. Maybe season 2 will help So Help Me Todd build its audience more.
A Million Little Things
This ABC drama is the sort of thing classic Emmy voters would have eaten up: After a mutual friend dies, his various loved ones start reconnecting to discover their own secrets and struggles. The show boasted a first-rate cast, with James Roday Rodriguez a standout with his character's long cancer battle. Maybe it piled on the schmaltz a bit, but the series retained a loyal audience and its final year should have gotten more attention rather than have it fade away.
Longevity alone should have gotten The Goldbergs some Emmy love by now. Yet it's remarkable this ABC hit didn't earn a single nomination in its then season run with such a first-rate cast, sharp writing, and a great mix of '80s-themed properties. Wendi McLendon-Covey should have won an Emmy, and amazingly, the show has come to an end without recognition for being one of TV's longest-running sitcoms of recent times.
Crazy? Maybe, but the CW series was also an utter and total delight, with Kennedy McMann showing beautiful drive as Nancy with a great supporting cast. The body swap episode alone showed their talents mimicking each other, and McMann is just as good with Nancy dealing with romances. Maybe the mysteries got too zany, but this was also one of the CW's smartest shows that deserved a lot more attention from Emmy voters.
Superman and Lois
The Emmys have never gotten over bias against superhero shows and that sadly has affected the CW series. Too bad, as the third season was magnificent, with Bitsie Tulloch's wrenching performance as a cancer-stricken Lois outdoing some of the nominees this year. The balance of the superhero action and the family drama was well done but Tulloch alone should have gotten a nomination if voters put as much faith in superhero shows as other genre fare.
Wrapping up its seven-season run, this NBC series could, to be fair, get rather preachy on social issues. But the cast was superb, with Ryan Eggold showing Max adjusting to being dumped even as he tried to keep his hospital going and helping the less fortunate. The supporting cast was just as great, and the show brought various plot points together into a beautifully done finale that was better than most series closers. Given how Emmys used to love medical dramas, New Amsterdam should have received nominations at some point during its run.
The Emmys air Monday, Jan. 15, 2024 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.