Emmys 2016: Why isn’t Orange is the New Black nominated?

When the nominees for the 2016 Emmys were revealed, many people were left to wonder why Orange is the New Black was left off.

Netflix has an extraordinary track record when it comes to their original series, but Orange is the New Black might be the best of the lot. It has the perfect blend of comedy and drama, and it can balance a large ensemble cast extremely well. But despite all of that, it was left off the nomination ballot for the 2016 Emmys. What’s up with that?

The Emmys probably have a hard time categorizing Orange is the New Black as a drama or comedy. But they’ve given Netflix plenty of love, and Orange is the New Black was no exception. In its first season, it received an astonishing eight nominations, including one for Best Comedy Series. The show itself won three awards, but the biggest winner was Uzo Aduba for Outstanding Guest Actress. That win, combined with fan support for her character, helped promote Crazy Eyes to a series regular.

For its second season, the Emmys changed course and put Orange is the New Black in the drama category. As a result, it only garnered four nominations, and it suffered against heavyweights like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and House of Cards. However, Aduba did win for the second straight year, this time for best supporting actress.

The simple reason why it was snubbed by the Emmys this year is because it missed the cut-off date. The Emmys only award series that started before May 31, 2016, and Season 4 of Orange is the New Black streamed on June 17.

They still could’ve recognized season 3, but by now it’s out of date, and it’s unanimously considered the show’s worst season. As far as the story goes, it was all over the place, while the new characters were considered weak. The only highlight of season 3 was its finale, which ranks as one of the series’ best episodes.

Season 4, by contrast, was much darker in tone, and was praised by critics as being the best one yet. While the show has been criticized in the past for being too lighthearted despite its setting, season 4 addressed those issues head on. So while season 3 got snubbed by the Emmys, it’s hard to imagine that being the case for season 4. And considering how dark it was, it will most certainly be nominated in the “best drama” category.