Peter Capaldi has failed to make the shortlist for top drama performance at the National Television Awards - the first time the star of Doctor Who has been snubbed since the sci-fi show was revived by the BBC.
His predecessors Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith have all previously triumphed for their role as The Doctor at the annual prize bash.
Instead, this year's contenders are Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch and Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire, as well as Sheridan Smith lining up against her namesake Dame Maggie.
Smith, who received an OBE in the New Year honours list, has been included for her lead role in ITV's Cilla, while Dame Maggie is up for her performance as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey.
Doctor Who does not miss out entirely, lining up against Sherlock, Downton and Cilla for the best drama award.
Capaldi has just completed his first full season as The Doctor, having taken over from Smith, who twice won the top acting award at the NTAs, and was shortlisted on a further two occasions. Tennant won for four years consecutively and Eccleston triumphed for his one year in the role, following Doctor Who's rebirth in 2005.
In other categories at the awards - to be staged on January 21 - X Factor panellists Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini go head to head as best talent judge, with Britain's Got Talent's David Walliams and Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry completing the list.
Bake Off is up for another prize, competing for the skills challenge award against The Apprentice, Masterchef and Come Dine With Me.
Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright - who play Queen Vic bosses Mick and Linda Carter - are both up for the best serial drama crown, against Emmerdale's Verity Rushworth (who plays Donna Windsor-Dingle) and Nikki Sanderson, who plays Maxine Minniver in Hollyoaks.
The factual programme prize will be fought by Gogglebox, Long Lost Family, Top Gear and Paul O'Grady: For The Love of Dogs.
Regular NTA winners Ant & Dec - who have won the most popular entertainment presenter prize for 13 years running - are up for the title yet again, facing Bradley Walsh, Keith Lemon and ceremony host Dermot O'Leary.
The Geordie duo also feature twice in the best Entertainment Programme category with both their Saturday Night Takeaway and I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! in with a chance. The category also features Through The Keyhole and Celebrity Big Brother.
The X Factor may have been unable to match the audience of Saturday night rival Strictly Come Dancing last year but it has a chance to redeem itself in the public vote as the two shows are shortlisted for best talent show along with The Voice and Britain's Got Talent.
Christmas Day TV hit Mrs Brown's Boys faces Benidorm, Outnumbered and The Big Bang Theory for the best comedy prize.
Voting for the awards, staged at London's O2 Arena in London and broadcast on ITV, opens today at www.nationaltvawards.com.