Better Call Saul breaks an Emmy record (just not a good one)

It may not be the record they wanted, but Better Call Saul broke a very specific record after the Emmys this year.
Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television /

This year Better Call Saul made Emmy history. The show ended its run in August of 2022, which means that the 75th Annual Emmys are the last ones the show will be eligible for.

The series was nominated for five Emmys but ended up not winning any of them. But this shouldn't feel like something new for the show. In fact, despite the critical acclaim, Better Call Saul has never won a single Emmy. In fact, despite being nominated for fifty-three Emmys over its six-year run, when it comes to winning, Better Call Saul was never given the statue, making it the most snubbed series of all time. 

Better Call Saul breaks a longstanding Emmy record

To really put into context how unusual it is for a show to be nominated fifty-three times without ever winning a single time, you can take a look at the show that held the record before Better Call Saul. Newhart, a sitcom that ran for eight seasons from 1982 to 1990 was the previous record holder for most nominations without a single win, but it only received twenty-five nominations, meaning that Better Call Saul's record probably won't be broken any time soon. 

So how is it possible that a show can be recognized with so many nominations, but never win the award for any of the categories it was ever nominated in? Maybe it's just bad timing or bad luck. After all, there are a lot of incredible TV shows out there, and every year there are plenty of shows that could justifiably deserve a win. Maybe Better Call Saul was always against shows that were just a little bit more beloved. 

Another likely reason that Better Call Saul may have never won the award is due to the simple fact that the show is a spin-off. It's not that the Emmys necessarily look down on spin-offs (The Simpsons and Frasier are both spin-offs and both have thirty-seven wins apiece), but Breaking Bad, which is the show that Better Call Saul is a spin-off of, was a pretty big awards winner while it was on the air. 

Is it Breaking Bad's fault it never won an Emmy?

Breaking Bad won sixteen Emmys over its five seasons including two wins for Best Drama Series. Perhaps unfairly, Better Call Saul could be having to deal with living in the shadow of such an impressive show.

Newhart, the show that now has the second most nominations without ever winning, could have shared a similar fate. The show was the second long-running series featuring television comedian Bob Newhart. With how much praise people have given The Bob Newhart Show which aired in the 1970s, it's possible to see how Newhart may have had to contend with the legacy of the previous series. 

Of course, there will never be an official reason that Better Call Saul was never awarded an Emmy. There will only ever be speculation as to why things ended up the way that they did. But it's still clear that Better Call Saul was a beloved show, even if it didn't ever win. Fifty-three nominations is an incredible number and there are plenty of critically acclaimed shows that never even got close to that number. And perhaps in years to come, the Emmys will come to see the exclusion of Better Call Saul as a mistake. 

On two different occasions during the Emmy telecast, the show took time to assemble the casts of beloved shows that for one reason or another never got an Emmy. Martin, which ran from 1992-1997, was never even nominated for an Emmy and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show which has been on for over fifteen years and is still going, has never won an Emmy and only has been nominated for three. Maybe in a decade or two, we'll get a sketch where the cast of Better Call Saul is brought back together to criticize the Emmy for never actually giving them the award.