Bryan Cranston has played high school chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter “Heisenberg” White for five incredible seasons on AMC’s Breaking Bad. Despite predictions, Cranston didn’t collect a trophy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series on Sunday night.

Cranston, who won an Emmy for the role three times – after each of the show’s first three seasons – was expected to take it home again as Breaking Bad’s fifth and final season is winding to a close. He was up against, Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Damien Lewis (Homeland) Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom). Shocking many, it was Daniels who received the top acting honor.

As Walt, Cranston has offered a nuanced performance of a meek family man who transforms – or rather metastasizes into – a power hungry drug lord willing to cut down anyone in his way. Vestiges of the man that was introduced in Breaking Bad’s first season, who decided to “break bad” to make money to leave for his family after a terminal cancer diagnosis, still shine through on occasion, though less and less in the last few almost unbearably tense episodes.

Breaking Bad, which has been lauded by many as one of the best drama series to ever air on TV, aired its penultimate episode on Sunday during the Emmys broadcast. While Cranston was snubbed – as was his costar Aaron Paul in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category – Anna Gunn took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and Breaking Bad won for Outstanding Drama Series.

Breaking Bad's series finale will air Sunday, Sept. 29 on AMC at 9/8c.

– Chelsea Regan

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