Being a perennial Emmy nominee can be a blessing and a curse. You get invited to television’s biggest show year after year but have to sit there and smile when you lose time and again. Among this year's perpetual also-rans looking for a first win are a trio of Best Drama Actor contenders: Hugh Laurie ("House") has been nominated for this role six times while Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") and Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") have each racked up four bids for their current characters. All three men have lost other Emmy races as well. For the full breakdown of their Emmy history and a look at other potential first-time winners: VIEW GALLERY
Winning, when it happens for a repeat loser, is all the sweeter. Just ask Kiefer Sutherland who received 11 successive Emmy nominations (2002-2009) for both acting and producing “24.” He finally won Emmys for Lead Drama Actor and Best Drama Actor in 2006. Sarah Jessica Parker followed a similar path earning 10 bids as both actor and producer on “Sex and the City.” She won in 2001 for Best Comedy Series and again in 2004 for Best Comedy Actress.
Ted Danson lost eight Emmy races as Best Comedy Actor for "Cheers" before finally winning in 1990. He won again with his 11th straight nomination in 1993. After four losses, Kyra Sedgwick won her Best Drama Actress Emmy on her fifth bid.
However, some perennial Emmy nominees aren’t so lucky: John Goodman (“Roseanne”) and Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”) each lost seven consecutive Emmy races in the lead comedy categories. Goodman had to wait till his 10th nomination to win an Emmy; that was as Guest Drama Actor for “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” More recently, Steve Carrell (“The Office”) lost nine Emmy races (six for Best Comedy Actor and three for Best Comedy Series).