On Sunday night, "Downton Abbey" became the latest critically-acclaimed series to never win an Outstanding Series Emmy. Though it received high praise from critics, a loyal fanbase on both sides of the Atlantic and three Emmys for Maggie Smith
, its hopes for the top prize fell over the last five years to juggernauts like "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones." Here are some other series that never won -- and in some cases weren't even nominated -- or Outstanding Series.
Though it defined a decade and a generation's sense of humor, "The Simpsons" has never been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. It has won ten Emmys for Outstanding Animated Program, most recently in 2008 for an episode parodying "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
While "Parks and Recreation" was as much of a hit for NBC as "30 Rock" and "The Office," it didn't enjoy the Emmy success those shows did. "Parks and Rec" got two Outstanding Series nominations but lost to "Modern Family" and "Veep."
Before HBO became known as the king of Sunday night dramas, there was "Oz," a racially diverse and deeply disturbing drama inside a maximum-security prison. Though it paved the way for "The Sopranos," it only received two Emmy nominations in its entire six-year run for casting and guest actor.
"The Shield" earned Michael Chiklis
a lead actor Emmy in 2002, but it never got a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, even after its critically-acclaimed final season.
Louis C.K. is one of the most talked about comedians today, but the show that helped push him into the mainstream, "Louie," has never been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, though it did get C.K. a writing Emmy in 2012.
"Deadwood" was a gripping Western that helped continue the momentum for HBO that began with "Oz." But while it won the West in the creative categories, it lost its only Outstanding Drama Series potential victory to "Lost."
While "Game of Thrones" has opened up the Emmy voters to awarding genre shows, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" did not have such a luxury. Though it made Joss Whedon
a household name and had an enormous influence on the Golden Age of Television that followed, it only received one nomination outside of the creative categories, even as the media outrage grew in fervor with every passing year.
The cast of "Roseanne" got plenty of Emmy nods with four wins and 17 nominations. But when it came to Outstanding Comedy Series, it was completely shut out, as "Frasier" went on its famed five-year winning streak.
"Friday Night Lights" gave an emotionally honest look at a part of the world some casually dismiss as "flyover country." After five years of quietly doing its magic without much Emmy recognition, it finally got a writing award and lead actor award in its final season. Unfortunately, its one bid at an Outstanding Series trophy lost out that year to "Mad Men," which won in that category for the fourth straight year.
's classic, "The Wire" never received an Outstanding Drama Series nomination. In fact, it didn't get any acting nominations either. Although it received two writing nominations -- including one for its series finale -- it lost both. Some critics have labeled its omission as the equivalent of Stanley Kubrick
never winning a directing Oscar.