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Emmy loves first timers, but is split on old timers

October 1, 2008 |  9:51 am

Emmy can be fickle. She often rewards first-time nominees in a category while leaving other performers forever in the wings.

Suffering their third defeats this year were Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") and Hugh Laurie ("House"). Neither could have been heartened by the Emmycast appearance of six-time lead actor nominee Martin Sheen (2000–2005, 2007), who reminded us that he never won for "The West Wing."

Meantime, all of these stars won this year for their first acting nominations: Zeljko Ivanek (supporting actor in a drama series, "Damages"), Paul Giamatti (best TV movie actor, "John Adams") and Eileen Atkins (best supporting actress in a TV movie/mini, "Cranford").


Among those Ivanek defeated was "Damages" co-star Ted Danson, who had to wait till nomination No. 8 before he won best actor in a comedy series for "Cheers" in 1990.

Perhaps that can be of some comfort to Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy"), who just lost her fourth consecutive bid for best supporting actress in a drama series this year. And on the comedy front, lead actor contenders Steve Carell ("The Office") and Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men") weren't laughing at becoming three-time losers, as did Sheen's supporting players Jon Cryer and Holland Taylor.

In our forums, frequent poster Noble kicked off an interesting discussion on this year's perennial runners-up and reminded us of others who left the airwaves without ever winning.

Sure, Bryan Cranston finally won this year as best lead drama actor ("Breaking Bad") after losing three times in the supporting slot for the laffer "Malcolm in the Middle" earlier in his career, his "Malcolm" wife Jane Kaczmarek lost seven consecutive lead bids (2000–2006). Among those actresses who beat her were two first-time category nominees: Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives") in 2005 and Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") in 2006. While Louis-Dreyfus may have been lucky first time out of the gate in the lead category, DoubleD reminds us she had to wait till nomination No. 5 in 1996 before winning in the supporting race for "Seinfeld."

In 2004, Kaczmarek lost to Sarah Jessica Parker, who finally won with her sixth consecutive nod for "Sex and the City," while the previous year Debra Messing had prevailed after only four bids for "Will & Grace." Parker's first defeat in 1999 had been to Helen Hunt, who won her fourth consecutive Emmy for "Mad About You." And, as per RichT315, that was the same year Hunt's co-star Paul Reiser lost his sixth consecutive lead actor bid for a role he co-created. That year also marked the beginning of a seven-year losing streak for Peter Boyle ("Everybody Loves Raymond"). Among those who beat Boyle were his co-star Brad Garrett, who prevailed three times.

Continue reading more examples in our forums, HERE.

(Fox, HBO)

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In regards to Martin Sheen's multiple losses for "The West Wing", keep in mind that he did win previously for a 1995 guest appearance on "Murphy Brown". Peter Boyle similarly won for a guest appearance (on "The X-Files") before his seven year losing streak.

Jason Alexander went Emmyless on seven nominations for "Seinfeld". Like Boyle, he lost three times to his co-star (Michael Richards).

Julia Duffy recieved seven consecutive Supporting Actress nominations for "Newhart".

Even Helen Hunt's four consecutive Best Actress wins for "Mad About You" came after three consecutive losses (two of them to Candice Bergen for "Murphy Brown"-- who swore it was going to Helen Hunt each year).

John Goodman criminally lost seven times for "Roseanne" as well as two additional nominations in the longform category. He finally received his due for a guest actor stint last year on "Studio 60".

Sandra Oh's co-star Chandra Wilson has also lost three times in the Supporting Actress category. Last year both lost to co-star Katherine Heigl. I bet the Emmys regret that one. LOL.

And Phylicia Rashad -- who was spectactular in "Raisin in the Sun"--was passed over again for an Emmy. This was her first nomination in 22 years after two consecutive losses for "The Cosby Show".



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