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2021 Emmy nominations: Here are the biggest snubs and surprises

An old favorite was left out, while another old favorite scored a career first.
/ Source: TODAY

“It’s an honor just to be nominated” is a mantra we’ve all heard before, but the news didn’t come for everyone when the nominations for the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Tuesday.

There was a fair of share of snubs, with several shows and stars being left out, while others unexpectedly got the call, letting them know they’re in the running on TV’s biggest night.

In a year when millions of people turned to the small screen to pass the time while remaining home as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on and shows had to halt production, there were plenty of offerings for viewers. Here’s a look at some of the slights and surprises from the nominations that will have people talking.

Ted Danson couldn't win over the voters for "Mr. Mayor."NBC

Ted Danson has 18 Emmy nominations in his career — and a pair of wins — but that number won’t grow this year, as he was shut out for his work on “Mr. Mayor.”

“Cobra Kai” enjoyed a boon in popularity after moving to Netflix and the show was rewarded by earning a nomination for outstanding comedy series. Hulu's "PEN15," about the misadventures of a pair of awkward middle schoolers, is another series that crashed the party.

Including those shows may have come at the cost of “Master of None.” The show had been a favorite of the Television Academy in its two previous seasons, earning nods for outstanding comedy series, but it came up short in the category this time around. Peacock's "Girls5eva" also failed to make a dent in that field.

Kaley Cuoco has starred on “The Big Bang Theory,” one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, but she never earned an Emmy nomination — until now. She scored a nod as lead actress in a comedy series for “The Flight Attendant.”

While that may be a surprising fact, she was expected to garner a nomination. The field does feature one surprise: Aidy Bryant, who is in the running for “Shrill” (she also picked up a nomination for "Saturday Night Live"). Many felt Jane Levy would be recognized for “Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist,” but she is not among the women competing.

Kenan Thompson joined Bryant by pulling double nomination duty. In addition to "SNL," he was nominated for lead actor in a comedy for "Kenan," the first non-"SNL" Emmy nomination in his career.

"Friends" may have gone off the air nearly two decades ago, but it's still making TV magic. The highly anticipated reunion was nominated for outstanding variety special (pre-recorded).

A little more than a week after generating a storm of controversy for supporting Bill Cosby after his release from prison, Phylicia Rashad is enjoying some less scandalous news when she picked up her third consecutive Emmy nomination for "This Is Us," in the guest actress in a drama category.

“Pose” star Mj Rodriguez made history, becoming the first transgender actor to earn a nomination for a leading role in the leading actress in a drama field.

Mj Rodriguez's performance in "Pose" has made her an Emmy pioneer.Alamy

A slew of A-list talent came up empty. Chris Rock had generated some buzz for his work on "Fargo," but didn't make the cut. The same can be said for veteran actor Donald Sutherland, who was passed over for "The Undoing." His co-star in the HBO miniseries, Nicole Kidman, also failed to get a nomination, as did the show itself in the outstanding limited series category.

The Emmy Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, will air live on CBS on Sept. 19.