Emmy-nominated shows that won despite cancellation

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Actor Jason Isaacs made headlines recently when he said he hoped to score an Emmy nomination for his work on the canceled series "Awake."

"We turned this man inside out, upside down, and the whole thing was an exercise in pain and denial, and became this psychological Rubik's Cube. Of course it's disappointing not to continue telling this story that was so engaging, but on the other hand, we didn't repeat ourselves. I feel like we burned briefly, but brightly," he told reporters.

Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Isaacs was snubbed when the Emmy nominations were released last month. It is relatively rare for a show to get nominated, much less win, after it has been canceled.

But some of the time, it is possible for canceled shows or shows at the end of their runs to be nominated for their final season. For example, the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards featured three shows up for awards, despite no longer being on the air by the time the Awards aired: "Monk," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," and "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien." None of the shows won in the categories they were nominated for, however.

Notably, there have also been a number of shows over the years that were canceled, but did win an Emmy after the fact. One of the most celebrated examples in recent memory was the 2004 win for "Arrested Development," which took home the award for Outstanding Comedy Series against a field of competitors that included "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Will & Grace."

Another failed series that included comedian David Cross in its cast was "The Ben Stiller Show." And as "Arrested Development" would do years later, " The Ben Stiller Show " won an Emmy after being canceled. The show won for Outstanding Writing In A Variety Or Music Program against juggernauts like "SNL" and "Late Night with David Letterman."

While Aaron Sorkin may have garnered plenty of accolades for "The West Wing" and plenty of press for "The Newsroom," his early show "Sports Night" only lasted for two seasons. Despite having great characters and interesting storylines, the canned laugh track in early episodes turned off some viewers. Still, despite being canceled before its time, the 2000 Emmys saw the show nominated across five categories, with one win for Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series.

But not every show that wins an Emmy after being canceled is guaranteed to be remembered. The 1988 Emmy Awards provide a clear example. The now nearly forgotten "Frank's Place," a comedy about a Louisiana restaurant and its staff, won the award for Outstanding Writing In A Comedy Series. The win was surprising, both because the show had been off the air for several months, and because other nominees included memorable shows like "Cheers," "Designing Women," and "The Wonder Years."

Even going way back to 1969, the Emmys have an occasional tradition of nominating shows no longer on the air. For example, the 1969 Emmys field for Outstanding Comedy Series included two programs that had been canceled. The winning program was "Get Smart," which had been canceled on NBC (but was later picked up by CBS for another season). Also nominated was the canceled series "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." The other programs nominated were "Bewitched," "Julia," and "Family Affair," all of which were still on the air.

So while it may be rare, there is a precedent for the very best of TV shows to earn Emmy praise, even if they have been canceled.

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