#DallasChat Daily: Why Did Emmy Snub ‘Dallas’?

John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

The Primetime Emmy nominations were announced yesterday, and — surprise, surprise — “Dallas” was shut out of every eligible category.

The question is: Why? It’s true “Dallas” delivered its fair share of ridiculous plots and campy acting this season, but the TNT series also boasts genuinely impressive performances from the likes of Linda Gray and Josh Henderson.

Also, it’s not like Emmy doesn’t appreciate soap operas: “Downton Abbey,” “The Good Wife,” “Scandal,” “House of Cards” and “Game of Thrones” — serialized dramas that all have outlandish moments — each scored multiple nominations yesterday. Are those shows better than “Dallas” overall? What other factors might be involved?

Your #DallasChat Daily question: Why did Emmy snub “Dallas” this year?

Share your comments below and join other #DallasChat Daily discussions.


  1. The Emmy sweet spot seems to be a combination of three factors, in this order 1) previous nominations, 2) critical acclaim, and, distantly, 3) ratings. Five of this year’s nominees were nominees last year, with Homeland dropping out to admit True Detective. Fairly or not, Dallas lost acclaim for the third season, slipping to a 51 on Metacritic. Metacritic scores for the six nominated dramas ranged from 72 (Downton Abbey) to 99 (Breaking Bad) for their most recent seasons. Homeland, once a winner, saw its acclaim slip from 91 for its debut season to 77 for the third season (interestingly, still above Downton Abbey, although if Downton Abbey had dropped off too, I think The Good Wife would have filled its slot). So the cards are stacked against Dallas getting a series nod, which I think can also hurt the actors’ chances, since most of the acting nominees come from the best series shows–15 of the 24 lead and supporting slots this year. This makes it hard for good work on less acclaimed shows to get noticed. For example, a lot of people are bemoaning yesterday’s snub of Tatiana Maslay from BBC America’s Orphan Black, a show with decent but not sky-high acclaim (its Metacritic score is 79).

    Lastly, Dallas is an ensemble show, a casting style that is extremely popular now, making for a crowded field in the supporting categories where actors in such shows tend to be pushed unless they are clearly a focus character. I would assume Henderson would be pushed for lead and Gray for supporting, both challenging categories this year. The acting race has Cranston (6-time nominee, 3-time winner), Hamm (7-time nominee, the Susan Lucci of the Primetime Emmys of late), Daniels (last year’s winner) and three Oscar-caliber movie actors doing TV. Supporting actress is similarly tough with two five-time nominees (Baranski, Hendricks), and two three-time nominees and former winners (Gunn, Smith). Momentum seems to count a lot for the Emmys, even if you’ve already won.

  2. I think that not only is there a built-in bias against Dallas, even in it’s original incarnation, but also I think that this is actually indicative of a much bigger problem of Hollywood summarily ignoring their own history at their peril.

  3. Why? The same thing happened to the news business. It went from telling like it is to telling it like THEY think it should be.

    The logic (lack of logic) has to be that if they publicize what is popular, the popular shows, actors, and actresses will publicize “Emmy.”

    Does anyone really care if a person won or was just nominated for a “Golden Globe”? Why do I always hear “Golden Globe winner… ” or “Golden Globe nominated…”
    Same with the Emmy. The routine is just to nominate what is popular and have the award associated with the popularity. If something is too controversial or something, a politically correct and and then the people in charge of the award’s will brag about how they focus on what is important blah blah blah.

    The Oscars are not much different, although not nearly as bad as the others. “Crash” won for best picture? Seriously?

    To Emmy, some actor who kills himself is more important than Larry Hagman. Larry Hagman who is the real deal and a true contributor to television gets ignored and some person who uses the earnings from his talent of singing songs that had already been published is more important to them.

  4. The Emmy team doesn’t value senior citizen actors like Mr. Hagman. Even the jagoffs gave 2 Oscars to Ben Affleck and one to Matt Damon & they have no talent whatsoever.

  5. It seems that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has a history of not honoring Dallas. The great Larry Hagman was nominated twice for Outstanding Lead Actor in 1980 and 1981. Despite the fact that “The Who Shot J.R.” storyline episodes were some of the most highly watched TV episodes of all time, the Academy failed to honor Mr. Hagman with a well-deserved Emmy. Ever.

  6. Jennifer Irons says:

    I have no idea why the Emmy people refuse to honor Dallas and Larry Hagman, but I know it is a travesty of justice that this wonderful show and cast are not being nominated. They are the best actors on tv, IMHO and probably way more deserving than other actors that have been nominated! Shame on the Emmy people! Larry definitely should have received an Emmy during the original show!

  7. There is so much competition nowadays with HBO, Showtime, Netflix, etc. showing original series. And don’t get me started on all of those horrible “reality” shows.

  8. In my opinion, I believe the reason why Dallas was snubbed is because of all the A-Listers shows on TV. They put those shows more in papers and magazines than the other series.They put several actors and actresses on a pedestal just so they get the nominations while the other actors or actresses who have good performances are being ignored.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dallas is snubbed because those other shows are better. I find Dallas more entertaining than some of them but even I can see they are higher quality shows especially when it comes to the writing. Henderson and Gray definitely gave us emmy caliber performances and Julie Gonzalo did in Season 2. How could a show with a diaphragm poking scene be an honest contender? It is hard to compare the original Dallas with its competitors since I don’t remember what else was on TV.

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