Most Emmy-Winning Shows of All Time

With television’s biggest night only a few months away, the nominees for the 75th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2024 will need a miracle if they hope to get even close to catching up to some of the ceremony’s most awarded shows. Still, the prospective nominees for the upcoming ceremony are nothing to scoff at, with so many shows in the running to be recognized. House of the Dragon, The Last of Us, Barry, Succession, Better Call Saul, Abbott Elementary, and The Bear are just some of the acclaimed shows expected to be nominated, making a serious case that this past year may have been one of the best runs for television programming ever.

With a history spanning the better part of a century, the Emmys have had a decently diverse array of winners over the years. That being said, three names have consistently made it into consideration for the awards show and have achieved records for their many award wins. These shows include a long-running sketch comedy, a groundbreaking political fantasy drama, and a therapeutically funny sitcom. Not only do all three of these shows and franchises hold the records for the most Emmy-winning shows ever, but they may even continue to have a presence at the next Emmy Awards ceremony and beyond.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Holds the Record for Most Emmy Award Wins

One of the longest-running shows on television, it should come as no surprise that Saturday Night Live has consistently raked in Emmy Award nominations since premiering in 1975. Produced to this day by creator Lorne Michaels, Saturday Night Live has lasted generations, taking full advantage of its ability to deliver sketches and comedy relevant to the times. Just like the amount of awards the hit comedy series has, the number of iconic characters and cast members that Saturday Night Live has produced in its nearly 50-year run is astounding. Sketches that include motivational speaker Matt Foley (Chris Farley), a satirical Mr. Rogers Neighborhood parody Mr. Robinson (Eddie Murphy), and the various hosts of the traditional Weekend Update are just scratching the surface of what Lorne Michaels’ pioneering series has to offer.

In addition to having the most Emmy wins of all time, Saturday Night Live also has the most Emmy nominations of all time, with an astounding total of 306 total nominations. That is almost double the amount of nominations for the second-most nominated Emmy series, which we’ll discuss momentarily. Of those 306 nominations, Saturday Night Live has won a record-breaking 87 Emmy Awards. The categories for these awards include Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress, Outstanding Guest Actor and Actress, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series, and many more. Saturday Night Live is also on a streak for the most coveted award in its category, Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, winning the title every year since 2017. It’s a streak that is not expected to end anytime soon, even though the hit show has been on hold since mid-April due to the ongoing Writer’s Strike.

‘Game of Thrones’ Has Left a Lasting Legacy at the Emmy Awards

It’s a shame that Game of Thrones ended on a sour note with an almost universally disliked final season. Still, it cannot be understated that the first six seasons of HBO’s fantasy epic are masterful television storytelling. Based on the novels of George R. R. Martin, the Game of Thrones saga takes place on the fictional continent of Westeros, which is a magical place filled with demonic White Walkers and fearsome dragons despite being grounded in reality and politics. Here, various houses and factions in the kingdom and beyond vie for control of the coveted Iron Throne and dominion over the entire kingdom.

Game of Thrones is right behind Saturday Night Live as both the second most awarded and the second most nominated series ever to grace the stage of the Emmys. HBO continued its track record of critical acclaim with Game of Thrones, with an illustrious total of 164 Emmy nominations. It’s an obviously smaller number than Saturday Night Live, but considering that Saturday Night Live accumulated it’s 300+ nominations over 49 seasons while Game of Thrones got it’s 160+ in only eight, that’s an even more impressive achievement. Of those 164 nominations, Game of Thrones earned an astonishing 59 Primetime Emmys, and the series also won Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row.

Game of Thrones may have ended in 2019, but its legacy is preserved with the greatly acclaimed prequel series House of the Dragon, which is sure to have a big night at the upcoming Emmys with a practically guaranteed nomination for Paddy Considine‘s performance as King Viserys.

‘Frasier’ is One of the Most Celebrated Sitcoms Ever Made

The still gleaming bronze medal for the show with the third most Emmy nominations is none other than the Kelsey Grammer-starring sitcom Frasier, which is set to return to screens with an upcoming revival. A remarkably successful spin-off of another beloved sitcom, Cheers, Frasier chronicles the many misadventures of Dr. Frasier Crane (Grammer), a charismatic psychologist who is also the host of a moderately successful radio show. While living in the bustling city of Seattle, Frasier gets into all sort of wild escapades, almost always featuring his producer Roz (Peri Gilpin), his brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), his father Martin (John Mahoney), and his housekeeper Daphne (Jane Leeves).

Frasier has a commendable 107 nominations, winning a total of 37 times. Eight of those times were for acting categories, with Kelsey Gammer and David Hyde Pierce both earning four Emmy wins each for their performances, being nominated even more times. It is the most Emmy wins for a serialized sitcom ever, beating out even the heaviest of hitters in the likes of shows like Seinfeld, Friends, and the aforementioned Cheers. While David Hyde Pierce and the late great John Mahoney won’t be back for the upcoming revival, hopefully, the Frasier reboot will be able to recapture the Emmy-winning magic of the original.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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