For FX's "The Americans," scoring an Emmy nomination has been like pulling teeth — sometimes literally, as in a notably cringe-worth Season 3 scene. But the critically acclaimed show's major nomination drought ended Thursday.
The nominations for the 2016 Emmy Awards were announced Thursday and "The Americans" was a big winner for its recently concluded fourth season. Long considered one of TV's most underrated shows, "the Americans" was never before able to crack the Emmy's most coveted categories. However, on Thursday the show scored nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress, among others.
"The Americans" will compete for the Drama Series award alongside AMC's "Better Call Saul," PBS' "Downton Abbey," HBO's "Game of Thrones," Showtime's "Homeland," Netflix's "House of Cards" and USA's "Mr Robot." "Game of Thrones" won the award last year, while "Mr. Robot" picked up the equivalent earlier this year at the 2016 Golden Globes.
Elsewhere, the two stars of "The Americans," Matthew Rhys and Kerri Russell, picked up nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress, respectively. The show had only previously been nominated for Outstanding Main Title Music, Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Guest Actress — Margo Martindale won the 2015 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress and picked up her fourth straight nomination in the category this year. The show is also nominated in 2016 for Outstanding Writing.
"The Americans" follows Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Rhys and Russell), sleeper KGB agents living a seemingly normal married life in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. While the show has been a critical darling since its premiere, it has struggled to hit big ratings. However, FX has stayed patient and loyal to the show, at times publicly calling out the Television Academy, which oversees the Emmys, to better recognize the show for its artistic merits.
In March FX renewed the show for two more seasons with plans to bring it to an end following Season 6. Time will tell if the Emmys recognition will bring more viewers on board for the final run.