"Game of Thrones" just won Best Drama Series at the Emmys and set a new record for most series victories in a single year (12). Meanwhile, another ratings and critical hit — "The Walking Dead" — lost its four Creative Arts bids. In five seasons, it has never been nominated for writing, directing, acting or series. Why has one taken off with Emmy voters while the other hasn't?
"Thrones" and "Dead" are quite different, but both premiered in the same Emmy season (2010-2011), both are among the most watched shows on television, both are on networks that typically win lots of awards ("Thrones" on HBO, "Dead" on AMC), both are based on hugely popular source material and both routinely kill their beloved characters.
It's possible there are only enough sci-fi/fantasy fans in the academy for one show at a time. Every once in a while, voters will bestow multiple bids on genre programs, but rarely more than one at a time. So you get years of nominations for "Quantum Leap." Then years more for "The X-Files." Then "Lost." Now "Game of Thrones." There were also blips for "Heroes" and "True Blood" along the way, but there's rarely much overlap during which two or three sci-fi/fantasy shows get in at the same time.
We asked our forum posters: why has "The Walking Dead" been overlooked? Read some of their comments below, then click here to join the discussion in our newly overhauled message boards (pages load FAST) where Hollywood titans dish, spar, tattle and bitch. And make sure to predict what will happen in this Sunday's all new episode.
Reis: For me, "TWD" has only two good seasons, the first and the last one … Season six is incredible, the series at its best. They finally found the "TWD" identity and are knowing how to work well with it. Maybe this year will be worth at least a nomination.
Slh315: I love "The Walking Dead," but I don't consider it consistent enough to be Emmy worthy. However, I do think it's better than some things that are nominated. Season four was deserving, in my opinion, though. Melissa McBride as Carol honestly deserves some recognition. Not just the nomination, but to take home some gold. That's the bigger snub.
WaltEagle: In terms of production methods, "Game of Thrones" is more significant to the history of television. It has tons of all-time records when it comes to production and filming, even if "TWD" has some basic-cable ratings records. It helps in some small part that "Game of Thrones" is much more of a dialogue/acting/writing showcase, and similar to a period drama in many ways. That can contribute to it, but wouldn't explain everything on its own.
Tyler The Awesome Guy: Maybe because "Walking Dead" focuses on zombies, and "Game of Thrones" doesn't focus on anything that is supernatural or creepy. It has a medieval theme and is more relatable because it in and of itself is a sub-genre. While both shows are phenomenons, I feel that "GoT" is more accessible, even for the more curmudgeonly voting fellers.
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"Walking Dead" photo credit: AMC
"Game of Thrones" photo credit: HBO