How TV Series Can Break Into the Emmy Race at Any Age

Television academy voters have been known to snub series that originally missed the Emmy boat in subsequent seasons: Consider “The Leftovers,” “Oz” and “The Wire.” None of those shows were ever nominated in the drama series category despite overwhelming critical acclaim. But the Academy has also learned from its mistakes: Series such as “Parks and Recreation,” “Friday Night Lights” and “The Americans” managed to get nominated in their respective categories during subsequent seasons, even after coming up short their first.

FX CEO John Landgraf expected “The Americans” to join “The Wire” and “Oz” as a terminally overlooked series after the spy drama failed to land an Emmy nom in the drama series category its first three seasons.

“Anyone who follows the history of scripted drama in television would tell you that ‘The Wire’ was one of the best television series ever made,” he says. “That it was never nominated is a black mark on the Emmys. We thought that ‘The Americans’ would end up in that same [situation]. So of course we were thrilled that that wasn’t the case.”

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