The 73rd Primetime Emmys kicked off on Sunday night, representing some of the best and biggest of the past year of television. By the time the night was through, a number of shows had taken home prizes, while some fan-favorites were snubbed in key categories. One show, in particular, was shut out of the awards entirely — and accidentally made history in the process. Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale had earned a total of 21 nominations in the 2021 Emmys, but did not end up winning any of them. This broke the record for most losses in a single year, after Mad Men lost in seventeen categories.
The series had been nominated for a slew of high-profile awards in 2021, including Outstanding Drama Series, and eight acting nominations for stars such as Elisabeth Moss, Bradley Whitford, O-T Fagbenle, and Ann Dowd. This will be the first year that the series, which is based on Margaret Atwood's iconic novel of the same name, has not won an Emmy since it premiered. It previously earned eight Emmy wins for its debut season, including Outstanding Drama Series and awards for Moss, Dowd, and Alexis Bledel.
"We're very grateful to Hulu and MGM that the show will be returning for a fifth season, and especially to our loyal fans for their support," series showrunner Bruce Miller shared in a statement when the announcement was made. "We are thrilled to be able to continue to tell these stories, with our incredible cast and crew, and can't wait to be back on the air with season four next year."
Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, Offred, is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.
"It's not up to me, but I think that we all agree that this is the story of one woman and it's not the story of Gilead," Moss previously shared with ComicBook.com of the series' trajectory. "We're tracking her story and we're taking care of her story and it will be up at some point. I think that we keep that as our guideline. When we feel like that story has been told, then it will be over."