Entertainment

‘Lovecraft Country’ and other canceled shows that got Emmy nominations

Canceled shows are stealing the spotlight at the 2021 Emmys.

“Lovecraft Country” was the most nominated show, with a grand total of 18, despite being canceled by HBO after just one season.

“It doesn’t make sense to fans and that’s all who matter,” actor Courtney B. Vance said in his “Lovecraft Country” acceptance speech for Guest Actor in a Drama at the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards. “We set everyone up and then we don’t deliver for whatever reason. I’m tired of it.”

This isn’t the first time short-lived shows have been nominated — and won – at the Emmys, though.

The series joined a stack of awards show nominations — past and present — for TV shows that, while critically acclaimed, were only briefly on-air or canceled.

“Lovecraft Country” was nominated for 18 Emmys, despite a premature cancellation.
AP

Lovecraft Country (2020)

The series, which only aired for one season on HBO, received 18 nominations, including for Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama for Jonathan Majors, who plays Tic, and Jurnee Smollett, who plays Leti.

“Lovecraft Country” was based on a novel by Matt Ruff in which the characters embark on a journey across racially segregated Jim Crow America in the 1950s. The crew face equally terrifying racism and monsters along the way.

Fans were disappointed upon hearing their new favorite was canceled, desperate for answers after the first season left things open-ended and unanswered.

In its July 2021 announcement — shortly before the 2021 Emmy nominations came out — HBO said in a statement it would not renew the show for a second season: “We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of the gifted cast and crew, and to [showrunner] Misha Green, who crafted this groundbreaking series. And to the fans, thank you for joining us.”

Lovecraft Country
The HBO show “Lovecraft Country” is based on the novel from Matt Ruff.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (2020-2021)

NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” got two seasons, which included an array of musical numbers. The energetic show, which featured Jane Levy in the starring role, received five nominations for its most recent season.

Levy, who plays a woman who hears people’s inner thoughts as popular music, was crushed that the network pulled the plug. “Our show is about love. It’s a real shame to take that off the air. I feel like it’s the wrong move,” the actress told Vanity Fair in June.

Some of its 2021 nominations included Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” includes a variety of musical dance numbers and songs.
Sergei Bachlakov/NBC

Watchmen (2020)

HBO’s “Watchmen” was nominated for a whopping 26 Emmys in 2020 after only airing nine episodes. It went on to win 11 in total, including Regina King’s Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Emmy for her turn as masked police detective Sister Night.

Based on the comic book series of the same name, “Watchmen” offered an alternate history of America with the real-life 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, race massacre of hundreds of black residents as its starting point.

It’s unclear if a second season will ever get made as HBO has said it would only green-light another series if creator Damon Lindelof was involved.

“We designed these nine episodes to be as self-contained as the original 12 issues,” Lindelof told Deadline in 2019 of his decision to do just one season.

Watchmen
“Watchmen” was canceled after only nine episodes.

Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)

The ABC series, which followed a pastry chef who solved murder mysteries by bringing the dead back to life, only ran from 2007 to 2009. Despite its short, two-year run, Kristin Chenoweth won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy in 2009.

“It’s a tremendous honor to see ‘Daisies’ win in so many categories — and, in the spirit of the show, win posthumously,” creator Bryan Fuller told the Hollywood Reporter after the show took home four trophies. “Now can we please make the ‘Pushing Daisies’ movie?”

Despite talk of a film or even a Broadway musical, no projects have come to fruition to date.

Pushing Daisies
Kristin Chenoweth won at the Emmys in 2009 for “Pushing Daisies” after its demise.
ABC

American Crime (2015-2017)

ABC’s anthology drama “American Crime,” which starred Felicity Huffman and Regina King and focused on social politics, ran for three seasons before its premature cancellation.

The series received two nominations for its final season. King was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (she won the category twice before for the show) and her co-star Huffman was nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Lovecraft Country
Shows such as “Lovecraft Country” (pictured) can be nominated after their cancellation as long as the series falls within the last production year.
AP

Taxi (1978-1983)

Canceled by NBC in 1983 only a year after picking up the show from ABC, “Taxi” had three post-cancellation wins, including Judd Hirsch for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Carol Kane for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

The show ran for five years, four of which were on ABC. Despite winning the Outstanding Comedy category in years past, in 1983, the show did not get the gold.

Despite being a pioneering series that made household names out of Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Christopher Lloyd and Tony Danza, the show “Taxi” was ultimately run off the road by low ratings.

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