photo: Starz/Netflix/HBO

This Thursday (July 14), a talented crop of actors, writers, producers, and directors — and also the people who make "The Big Bang Theory" —  will have their hard work validated by Emmy nominations. 

However, given that we're currently living in the era of Peak TV, many of the people who deserve nominations most of all probably won't get an excited 8:30 a.m. PST call from their publicist, informing them that they've made the cut. People like ...


Sophie Turner from "Game of Thrones"

photo: HBO

"Game of Thrones" should be everywhere come Emmy nominations day, from Outstanding Drama to Outstanding Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage) and Actress (Lena Headey and/or Emilia Clarke) to Outstanding Writing and Direction. 

But from where I'm sitting, Sophie Turner's Sansa Stark was the one character everyone was talking about this year (after Jon Snow's resurrection in episode two, of course) with good reason. The strong, ever-changing, very nuanced character is getting better and better each year, mostly due to Turner's commanding performance. It's gotten the actress attention from major movie studios, and in an ideal world, she'd get love from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as well.



photo: Starz

"Outlander" got a whole lot of buzz when it received three Golden Globe nominations this past January, but last year Emmy voters refused to acknowledge the song of the lass that is gone. It's a shame, too, because the series and its stars — particularly Caitriona Balfe, who is currently giving one of the best performances on television, but also Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies — deserve trophies more than most of the dramas typically on the list. (Cough cough, "House of Cards.")


Samira Wiley from "Orange is the New Black"

photo: Netflix

Uzo Aduba, Taylor Schilling, and "Orange" writers have received plenty of Emmys love, but it's Samira Wiley's Poussey who was the beating heart of the show's fourth season. She's earned that best supporting actress in a drama nomination ... or is it comedy? I can never really remember.


Eva Green from "Penny Dreadful"

photo: Showtime

Watch Eva Green deliver haunting monologue after haunting monologue to Rory Kinnear in an insane asylum and tell me she doesn't deserve some best actress love. "Penny Dreadful" was a fun ensemble piece, but Green's dynamic performance is what truly made the underrated show worth watching.


Aya Cash from "You're the Worst"

photo: FX

"You're the Worst" is the show every lost 30-something should be watching, and Cash's depression storyline last season was the best, most honest part. She easily deserves a best comedy actress nom, and also a hug.


"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

photo: The CW

If the world is just, the above photo will be recreated on Thursday morning, when Rachel Bloom finds out she's been nominated for best comedic actress, best comedy series, best writing, and so on and so forth. If you're not riding the "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" train yet, hop on before everyone you know has left the station.


"The Americans"

photo: FX

LOL. Not sure why I even bother listing "The Americans" year after year. Despite its fourth season being its best yet, the show — and Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, its phenomenal stars — will be snubbed. 

(Though, to be quite honest, I'd take "Americans" being snubbed in actor, actress, and series categories if it meant Outstanding Supporting for Alison Wright as Martha. It's the least the Academy could do for TV's most unfortunate character.)


Constance Zimmer from "UnREAL"

photo: Lifetime

I'm guessing the Academy would be loathe to give an Emmy nomination to a show that's unofficially about "The Bachelor" and that also airs on Lifetime. Which is a shame, because Zimmer's Quinn is easily the most delightful antihero currently on television. Walter White would think twice before stepping to her ruthless, power-hungry TV producer for. Sure.


Bokeem Woodbine from "Fargo"

photo: FX

Kirsten Dunst will almost definitely get an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series nomination for "Fargo" Season 2, which she 100 percent deserves to fight against Sarah Paulson for. However, Bokeem Woodbine's Mike Milligan was easily the most interesting character on TV this past winter, impressing "Fargo" fans with his smooth-talking '70s gangster. He deserves an Outstanding Supporting nom as much as his character deserved that tragicomic ending.


Sterling K. Brown from "American Crime Story"

photo: FX

... And in an ideal world, Woodbine would be up against his fellow FX scene-stealer Brown in the same category. Brown's costars Paulson, John Travolta, and Cuba Gooding Jr. will definitely get well-deserved nominations for "American Crime Story," but Brown's quieter performance as Chris Darden deserves Emmy love as well. His scenes with Paulson were all fire, and even though Darden is a far less flashy personality than Marcia Clark, Robert Shapiro, or O.J. Simpson, Brown managed to make the character just as engaging as the rest of the clowns in Juice's orbit.


Constance Wu from "Fresh Off the Boat"

photo: ABC

Network comedies outside of "Big Bang" don't get too much Emmys love these days (thanks, "Veep"), but the Academy would be remiss if it overlooked Wu's hilarious, heartwarming role on "Fresh Off the Boat."


"The Leftovers"

photo: HBO

The second season of "The Leftovers" was a masterpiece. No one watches it, but Outstanding Drama, Supporting Actress (Carrie Coon and/or Liv Tyler and/or Regina King), and Writing nominations would all be more than deserved for this show, which explores the depths of human emotion better than anything currently on TV.


Jane Krakowski from "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

photo: Netflix

Krakowski, a sublime comedienne, was even better in Season 2 of "Kimmy Schmidt," as her character Jacqueline Voorhees took half a step off her high horse and became a semi-lovable underdog. She (and Tituss Burgess, who was nominated last year for the show) gave Season 2 its wacky, colorful heart.


Timothy Simons from "Veep"

photo: HBO

Simons knows better than anyone what it's like to star with the de facto best comedic ensemble on television, and have them get way, way more attention than you. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, and Anna Chlumsky more than deserve their nominations (and wins), but it's time to give some love to the most hated dude on the show. "Veep" wouldn't be "Veep" without Jonah. Just ask Richard Splett.


"Jessica Jones"

photo: Netflix

Marvel shows (and movies, for that matter) don't tend to get love in the serious awards department, but their best show yet — "Jessica Jones," duh — deserves love in the Outstanding Actress (Krysten Ritter) and Outstanding Supporting Actor (David Tennant) categories. A nuanced, powerful take on sexual violence isn't what anyone goes in expecting when they watch a superhero story, but "Jessica" did it better than many so-called serious dramas on television. 


"Big Brother"

photo: CBS

Every year, shows like "Top Chef," "The Voice," and "Amazing Race" dominate the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, but none of those shows have an insult robot, or force their competitors to pick Scrabble letters out of giant noses filled with multi-colored boogers.


"Vanderpump Rules"

photo: Bravo

For whatever reason, the Academy got rid of the Outstanding Reality Program category in 2014. Which is insane, because reality is one of the most universally beloved genres on television, and sticking to competition series alone is leaving out outstanding fare like "Vanderpump Rules." If the New York Times agrees that "watching it is like having my brain stroked to a very low-grade, consequence-free orgasm," the Academy should, too.