Frontrunners, beware! This year, overdue stars like Steve Carell (“The Office“) and Jon Hamm (“Mad Men“) are expected to finally take home Emmys for their efforts. However, these top TV kudos have a history of shocking upsets. James Spader won three Best Drama Actor awards (2004, 2005, 2007) for playing legal eagle Alan Shore on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” defeating such notable nominees as James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”) and Martin Sheen (“The West Wing”). Last year, “Top Chef” ended the seven-year winning streak of “The Amazing Race” for Best Reality-Competition Series. And in 2007, Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy“) won Best Supporting Drama Actress over a strong field including Lorraine Bracco from “The Sopranos” and her two “Grey’s” costars Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson.
Emmy Award winners are decided by panels who view sample episodes. Last year, Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer“) prevailed as Best Drama Actress over Globe and SAG champ Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife“) because she submitted a more powerful episode. The real Emmy shockers are when someone wins in spite of a substandard submission. In recent years, the Best Supporting Drama Actress Emmy has gone to a string of women whom pundits had counted out after watching their sample reels, including Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”), Cherry Jones (“24“) and Dianne Wiest (“In Treatment“).
Take a look at the twenty most shocking upsets in the history of the Emmy Awards. VIEW GALLERY