Everyone loves an underdog! Award shows have notoriously delivered surprising wins, losses and snubs over the years, but there was possibly never a more surprising night of upsets than the 2007 Emmy Awards.
While the evening was filled with entertaining plot twists, nothing left viewers more shocked than The Sopranos walking away with a sole win for Outstanding Drama Series, despite nabbing 15 nominations.
As the crime drama was airing its final season, James Gandolfini was the favorite to take home the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama — delivering what critics referred to as one of the best performances in the history of television. The win, however, went to James Spader for Boston Legal.
Edie Falco, who portrayed Carmela on the HBO series, didn’t fair any better, losing Outstanding Lead Actress to Sally Field from Brothers & Sisters. Aida Turturro and Lorraine Bracco, for their part, were beat in the Supporting Actress category by Katherine Heigl in Grey’s Anatomy — something that left even Heigl herself speechless.
The comedy groups faced their fair share of upsets that same year too. Viewers were stunned when Ricky Gervais was announced as the winner for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in Extras, besting 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin and Two and a Half Men’s Charlie Sheen. The win also meant a loss for The Office’s Steve Carell for his portrayal of Michael Scott — a role that initially was Gervais’ in the British version four years prior.
Carell’s loss was such a twist that Gervais didn’t even show up to the ceremony. In the England native’s absence, however, the Anchorman star ran on stage to accept the award from presenters Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart instead.
In 2008, Gervais attended the Emmys as a presenter, referencing the previous year’s hijinks in his speech.
“It’s great to be here at the Emmys, the most prestigious award show in the world. I couldn’t come last year, which is a shame. But I still won. Do you remember?” he quipped. “Thanks for that. The press called it a ‘major upset’ which means they thought I shouldn’t have won.”
Gervais then showed a clip of the 40-Year-Old Virgin star accepting the accolade in his place, saying, “Look at his stupid face. He couldn’t actually win one of his own so he stole someone else’s. I don’t think that is the original Emmy, I think that’s a shoddy remake,” the BoJack Horseman alum said of the hilarious incident.
“I made you what you are and I get nothing back,” he joked, referring to portraying the role of Scott prior to Carell. “I sat through [your film] Evan Almighty, give me my Emmy [back].”
Despite being nominated every year from 2006 to 2011, Carell never took home an Emmy for his cringe-worthy performance as Dunder Mifflin’s regional manager.
Scroll down to see more of the biggest Emmys upsets over the years: