The TV Show With the Most Emmys May Surprise You

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If you’re lover of television like us, you may be wondering what the TV show with the most Emmys is. Since the first-ever Primetime Emmy Awards in 1949, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has recognized the best of the best when it comes to television (at least, according to them.)

Though many of the TV shows with the most Emmys are fan-favorite series, it’s no secret that the Emmys, like most awards shows, have a history of neglecting actors, writers and directors of color and shows that are not on a major network, cable channel or streaming service. In 2020, the Emmys made a move to be more inclusive by expanding the number of nominees based on how many submissions there are. The nominations will be on a sliding scale (1 to 19 submissions will result in 0 to 4 nominations; 20 to 8 submissions will result in 5 nominations; 81 to 160 submissions will result in 6 nominations; 161 to 240 submissions will result in 7 nominations; and more than 240 submissions will result in 8 nominations.) Likewise, the main categories, Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Comedy Series, will now have eight nominees each instead of its usual five.

“The increase in submissions is a reflection of the number of new voices, new television platforms and a tremendous growth in content from existing platforms across our industry,” Television Academy chairman and CEO Frank Scherma said at the time.

Still, that’s just one move toward inclusivity. Ahead, look at the list of the TV shows with the most Emmys, which shows how much the Emmys (and other awards shows) still have to go in terms of diversity.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

Image: Ben Rothstein / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 16

Nominations: 58

Breaking Bad may be remembered as one of the best television shows of all time, but it has nowhere near as many wins at the TV show with the most Emmys. Still, it has taken home a lot of awards. The drama series, which ran from 2008 to 2013 and followed a drug lord in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has won 16 of its 58 nominations. Most of its wins are for acting categories: Lead actor Bryan Cranston won four times for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama series, while costar Aaron Paul won three times for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

30 Rock

30 Rock

Image: George Taylor / Everett Collection.


Wins: 16

Nominations: 103

30 Rock, which followed the employees of a sketch comedy show at the Rockefeller Center in New York City, ran from 2006 to 2013. The comedy series won 16 of its 103 nominations. A fews wins include for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Mad Men

Mad Men

Image: AMC / Courtesy: Everett Collection.


Wins: 16

Nominations: 116

While Mad Men was on air, the show had a reputation for never winning, despite its massive amount of Emmy nominations. The drama series, which ran from 2007 to 2015, followed the employees of a 1960s advertising agency in New York City. Among its wins was Outstanding Drama Series, which it won for four years straight from 2008 to 2011. Mad Men is also the first basic cable series to win the award.

Murphy Brown

Murphy Brown

Image: Richard Cartwright / CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 18

Nominations: 62

Murphy Brown, which ran from 1988 to 1998 before it was rebooted in 2018, followed the eponymous Murphy Brown, an investigative journalist and news anchor in New York City. The series won 18 of its 62 nominations. Its Emmys include five wins for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for star Candace Bergen.

Taxi

Taxi

Image: Paramount Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection.


Wins: 18 

Nominations: 34

Taxi, which follows a group of New York City taxi drivers and their dispatcher, ran from 1978 to 1983. The comedy series won 18 of its 34 Emmy nominations, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series.

NYPD Blue

NYPD Blue

Image: 20th Century Fox Television. Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 20

Nominations: 84

NYPD Blue ran from 1993 to 2005 and follows the fictional 15th Precinct detective squad in New York City. The show won 20 of its 84 Emmy nominations, including four awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Dennis Franz.

24

24 The TV Show With the Most Emmys May Surprise You

Image: Kelsey McNeal / FOX / Courtesy Everett collection.


Wins: 20

Nominations: 68

24, which ran from 2001 to 2010 before it was rebooted in 2004, followed counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer. Each season comprised of 24 episodes and followed an hour in Bauer’s day. The drama series won 20 of its 68 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series in 2006.

The Sopranos

The Sopranos

Image: Will Hart / HBO.


Wins: 21

Nominations: 112

The Sopranos, which ran from 1999 to 2007, revolved around Tony Soprano, an Italian-American mobster from New Jersey as he balanced family life and his role as the leader of a criminal organization. The show won 21 of its 112 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for James Gandolfini. The show was also the first cable series to be nominated for Outstanding Drama Series.

All in the Family

All in the Family

Image: CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 22

Nominations: 55

All in the Family, which ran from 1971 to 1979, revolved around a working-class father and his family in Queens, New York City. The show won 22 of its 55 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 1978, 1973, 1972 and 1971.

Modern Family

Modern Family

Image: ABC/Bonnie Osborne.


Wins: 22

Nominations: 81

Modern Family, which ran from 2009 to 2020, followed three families in Los Angeles, each of whom are connected to each other. As of August 2020, the show won 22 of its 81 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series for five years straight.

ER

ER

Image: Richard Cartwright / NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 23

Nominations: 124

ER is one of television’s longest-running medical series. The drama series, which followed an emergency room unit in Chicago, ran from 1994 to 2009. The series won 23 of its 124 nominations, including an award for Outstanding Drama Series in 1996.

The West Wing

The West Wing

Image: NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection.


Wins: 26

Nominations 95

The West Wing, which ran from 1999 to 2006, followed the employees of the West Wing of the White House’s Oval Office in the fictitious Democratic administration of Josiah Bartlet. The series won 26 of its 95 nominations, including four consecutive awards for Outstanding Drama Series.

Hill Street Blues

Hill Street Blues

Image: NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 26

Nominations: 98

Hill Street Blues ran from 1981 to 1987. The show followed the employees of a police station on Hill Street in an unnamed big city. The show won 26 of its 98 Emmy nominations, including eight in its first season.

Cheers

Cheers

Image: NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 28

Nominations 117

Cheers ran from 1982 to 1993. The show is set in a bar named Cheers in Boston, where groups of locals come to gather and relax. The show won 28 of its 117 nominations, including nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series for all 11 of its seasons on air.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Image: Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 29

Nominations 67

The Mary Tyler Moore Show ran from 1970 to 1977. The show centered on Mary Richards, an unmarried, independent woman focused on her career as an associate producer at the fictional Minnesota news program WJM news. The show won 29 of its 67 Emmy nominations, including three awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Moore.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons

Image: Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 34

Nominations: 78

The Simpsons premiered in 1989 and is one of the longest running sitcoms on television. The animated series follows a working class family in the fictional town of Springfield. As of August 2020, the show has won 34 Emmys out of 78 nominations, including Outstanding Animated Program several times.

Frasier

Frasier

Image: Chris Haston / NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection.


Wins: 37

 Nominations: 108

Fraiser premiered in 1993 as a spinoff of Cheers. The show ran until 2004 and won 37 of its 108 Emmy nominations. Among its awards was five consecutive wins for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Image: HBO.


Wins: 38

Nominations: 128

As of August 2020, Game of Thrones holds the record for the TV show with the second most Emmy wins. The show, which is based on George RR Martin’s books of the same title, ran from 2011 to 2019. The show won 38 of its 128 Emmy nominations. Its wins include four awards for Outstanding Drama Series. It has the most Emmys of any drama series.

Saturday Night Live 

Saturday Night Live

Image: Will Heath/NBC.


Wins: 80

Nominations: 296

Saturday Night Live is the TV show with the most Emmys, which should come as no surprise to fans. The sketch comedy show, which premiered in 1975, has been on air for more than three decades. As of August 2020, it’s won 54 Emmys out of 242 nominations, the most of any television program in history.

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