emmys 2011 unlikely drama Emmys 2011: The best dramas that WON'T be nominatedThis is the third year that we’ve done the “best shows that won’t get Emmy nominations” posts, and for the first time “Friday Night Lights” won’t be on our list.

That’s because yours truly is already on record as saying the show, whose series finale airs on NBC Friday (July 15), will finally get its first nod for best drama series when the Emmy nominations are announced Thursday morning. It may be a case of thinking with my heart more than my head, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if “FNL” misses the cut again, but we’re not having it both ways. (My predictions for the nominees in best drama series and a host of other categories are at GoldDerby.com).

There are, however, a few repeats from last year’s list. The shows are just as deserving (if not moreso) than they were last year, but we’re once again figuring that a combination of a fairly crowded field and long-entrenched thinking on the part of Emmy voters will keep them on the outs.

Here are Zap2it‘s picks for the best dramas that won’t be named in Thursday’s Emmy nominations (go here to see our unlikely comedy nominees).

“Fringe”: “The X-Files” got four nominations for best drama series in the mid- and late 1990s, and “Lost” was a four-time nominee during its run, but those are exceptions to the rule that the Emmys don’t seem to respect series with science-fiction elements as much as more conventional dramas. (And you could make an argument that “Lost’s” sci-fi elements were secondary to its story.) That may not be fair, especially given “Fringe’s” consistently strong 2010-11 season, but we don’t see that trend reversing itself this year.

“Game of Thrones”: The fact that it airs on HBO may give the epic fantasy series an outside shot at a nomination. But we’re guessing more voters might be turned off by its setting in a mythical kingdom and its unflinching embrace of gruesome violence and unabashed sex. We don’t agree, but we don’t get a vote.

“Lights Out” and “Terriers”: Both one-and-done FX series from this past season were very good, at times great. But the fact that they came and went so quickly is a big mark against them when it comes to the Emmys.

“Parenthood”: NBC’s series deals in the same kinds of intimate stories that “Friday Night Lights” does (no surprise, since they share an executive producer in Jason Katims). We’re betting, though, that the farewell season of “FNL” gets a place in line before “Parenthood.” Maybe next year?

“Sons of Anarchy”: Like “Fringe’s” paranormal investigators and “GoT’s” sword-wielding lords, the outlaw bikers of “SOA” seem like the kind of people the TV academy just don’t want to let in. More’s the pity, because “Sons” is richly deserving of a spot in the field. Upside: If a segment of academy voters are looking for a show that deals in the same morally gray areas that “Breaking Bad” (ineligible this year) does, maybe they’ll land here.

“Treme”: The Emmys ignored “The Wire” for five years, and as good as it is, David Simon‘s follow-up to that show will probably get the cold shoulder too.

“The Walking Dead”: See above re: “Fringe,” “Game of Thrones.” It’s a great time for high-quality “genre shows” on television, but our bet is the Emmys won’t much notice.

Which dramas do you want to see nominated on Thursday?

Posted by:Rick Porter