Who Deserves an Emmy Nomination, but Won't Get One

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A look at TV's best, most-likely-to-be-overlooked actors and series

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When the Emmy nominations are announced on Thursday, expect a host of familiar names on the list of honorees. Some will be groan-worthy—yes, Mariska Hargitay will likely be back, again—and some will be deserved—Alec Baldwin and Bryan Cranston will never not earn their nods.

Still, not all the good work on TV is being done by the Emmy elite. There are dozens of actors and TV shows that are award-worthy by any standard, but who don't have the buzz, industry cred, or meet some other mythical criteria that keeps the Emmy voters checking the same boxes year after year. Here, we single out one dark horse contender in each of the 10 categories—and we're talking a dark horse so dark Black Beauty would be jealous. They're unlikely to hear their names called Thursday morning, but they're making some splendid television.

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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