TV Shows With the Most Emmy Wins of All Time

September 4, 2019 by Steven M. Peters

Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
Each year since 1949, the Emmy awards have honored the best in primetime television. This year will be no different with the 71st Emmy Awards scheduled to take place on Sunday, Sept. 22.

A variety of programs have been nominated for awards this year. Some are newer shows that have never been nominated before, such as the comedy show “Fleabag” and the Netflix series “Russian Doll.” Others, including “Veep” and “The Big Bang Theory,” have had substantial success at past Emmy Awards and are returning for more.

24/7 Tempo has identified the 35 television shows that are the all-time Emmy achievers based on data from the Television Academy. Many of these shows managed to maintain overall excellence over long on-air tenures. Other series have had shorter life spans yet dominated awards ceremonies to such a degree that they’ve made history, ranking among the Emmy Awards’ top echelons.

Among the shows with longer life spans are series like “The Simpsons,” which will soon be premiering its 31st season. While the show’s exceptional number of years on the air has contributed to its large number of awards, it is its popularity that has driven it longevity. Other successful shows have left the airwaves only to return later on. These are the best TV shows getting rebooted.

A show like “Boardwalk Empire,” on the other hand, may be hindered by its short run. The HBO series only aired for five seasons, though its outstanding quality compelled the Television Academy — the organization behind the Emmys — to confer it with numerous awards.

“Game of Thrones” is another HBO Original that has done wonders at the Emmys. It has a record breaking 32 nominations this year, thanks in no small part to its recent, widely-watched series finale. These are the greatest television finales of all time.

Click here to see the TV shows with the most Emmy wins of all time.

Source: Courtesy of CBS

35. The Practice
> All-time Emmys: 15
> Nominations: 41
> Years: 1997-2004
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (6)

All of the Emmy awards “The Practice” won were for exceptional acting, aside from the award for Outstanding Drama Series, which it won in both 1998 and 1999. Actor James Spader won an award for his work in the lead role of Alan Shore, while actors such as Sharon Stone, William Shatner, and Alfre Woodard picked up awards for their guest appearances.

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Source: Courtesy of 20th Television

34. The X-Files
> All-time Emmys: 15
> Nominations: 61
> Years: 1993-2002, 2016, 2018
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series (2)

FOX’s sci-fi series “The X-Files” originally ran from 1993 through 2002. At the time, the show won 15 Emmy awards for numerous categories, including art direction, cinematography, and acting. The series returned for two seasons that aired in 2016 and 2018, though it did not receive any further nominations for that period.

Source: Courtesy of PBS

33. Downton Abbey
> All-time Emmys: 15
> Nominations: 69
> Years: 2010-2015
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single Camera Series (4)

“Downton Abbey” — a British series about the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants — was a hit on both sides of the pond. As a well-crafted period piece set in the early 20th century, the show drew acclaim for many aspects of its production design. The show received four Emmy awards for hairstyling.

Source: Courtesy of CBS

32. Everybody Loves Raymond
> All-time Emmys: 15
> Nominations: 69
> Years: 1996-2005
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series (4)

Family sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” ran for nine seasons on CBS. Over this period, the show won 15 Emmys, including multiple acting awards for Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts. It also won the award for Outstanding Comedy Series during its final year.

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Source: Courtesy of CBS Television Distribution

31. The Amazing Race
> All-time Emmys: 15
> Nominations: 81
> Years: 2001-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Reality Competition Program (10)

The reality show “The Amazing Race” has run for a notable 31 seasons, with a 32nd on the way. The series hasn’t won an Emmy in the past five years. Its most recent win was for Outstanding Reality Competition Program in 2014.

Source: Courtesy of NBC

30. L.A. Law
> All-time Emmys: 15
> Nominations: 89
> Years: 1986-1994
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Drama Series (4)

This dramatic series about a Los Angeles law firm ran for eight seasons beginning in 1986. During this period, it picked up four Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series. Other shows to match this record are “Hill Street Blues,” “The West Wing,” and “Mad Men.”

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Source: Courtesy of Discovery

29. Deadliest Catch
> All-time Emmys: 16
> Nominations: 51
> Years: 2005-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Cinematography For Reality Programming (5)

“Deadliest Catch” has won five Emmys for its cinematography over its 15-season run. The reality show, which follows fishermen working in the Bering Sea, is undoubtedly a challenge to film due to severe weather, wet conditions, and the nature of working on a moving ship. In an interview with IndieWire, Executive Producer Arom Starr-Paul described the show’s camera operators as “basically professional athletes.”

Source: Courtesy of CNBC-e

28. Breaking Bad
> All-time Emmys: 16
> Nominations: 58
> Years: 2008-2013
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series (4)

“Breaking Bad” was hugely popular during its five-season run, and it currently holds an exceptional rating of 9.5/10 on the Internet Movie Database. The quality of the program didn’t go unacknowledged by the Television Academy, which nominated it for 58 awards and presented it with 16 over its relatively short existence.

Source: Courtesy of FOX

27. So You Think You Can Dance
> All-time Emmys: 16
> Nominations: 68
> Years: 2005-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Choreography (11)

“So You Think You Can Dance” has received multiple Emmy nominations every year that the show has been eligible, except for its first. It won at least one award during all but two of the years it has been nominated. Perhaps unsurprisingly, its most common award has been for Outstanding Choreography.

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Source: Courtesy of NBC

26. 30 Rock
> All-time Emmys: 16
> Nominations: 103
> Years: 2006-2013
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Comedy Series (3)

Comedy series “30 Rock” was created by Tina Fey following her stint as head writer at Saturday Night Live. The show was loaded with talent and received 103 Emmy nominations over just seven seasons. In 2009 alone it received 22 nominations — the most of any comedy series in a single awards year ever.

Source: Courtesy of Midget Entertainment

25. Mad Men
> All-time Emmys: 16
> Nominations: 116
> Years: 2007-2015
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single Camera Series (4)

AMC’s “Mad Men,” a drama about a New York City ad agency during the 1960s and the people who worked there, averaged more than 16 Emmy nominations each season it was on air. Among the awards it won were four Best Drama Series awards from 2008 through 2011 and Best Lead Actor for Jon Hamm in 2015.

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

24. Star Trek: The Next Generation
> All-time Emmys: 17
> Nominations: 58
> Years: 1987-1994
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series (4)

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” is often ranked among the best Star Trek series. It certainly won the most Emmy awards, amassing 17 over its seven seasons. The majority of these awards were for technical aspects of the sci-fi series, including its excellent visual effects.

Source: Courtesy of HBO

23. Veep
> All-time Emmys: 17
> Nominations: 68
> Years: 2012-2019
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series (6)

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus struck gold following her years on “Seinfeld” with the comedy series “Veep,” which ran for seven seasons on HBO before concluding in May 2019. The show won seven more Emmy awards than “Seinfeld,” and Louis-Dreyfus set the record for most Emmys won by a performer in the same role in a single series with six.

Source: Courtesy of American Broadcasting Company

22. Dancing With The Stars
> All-time Emmys: 17
> Nominations: 105
> Years: 2005-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Technical Direction Camerawork Video Control For A Series (5)

“Dancing With the Stars,” in which celebrities team up with professional dancers to compete against one another, has been nominated for multiple Emmy awards every year that it’s been eligible, totaling in 105 nominations. Last year was the first year the show did not win an Emmy since 2007, though it will have four chances to win one this year.

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Source: Courtesy of CBS Television Distribution

21. Taxi
> All-time Emmys: 18
> Nominations: 34
> Years: 1978-1983
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Comedy Series (3)

“Taxi,” about a New York City taxi cab company, ran for only five seasons beginning in 1978. During this time it was nominated for 34 Emmy awards, of which it won more than half. The show took home the award for Best Comedy Series in 1979, 1980, and 1981.

Source: Courtesy of CBS

20. Murphy Brown
> All-time Emmys: 18
> Nominations: 62
> Years: 1988-1998, 2018
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series (5)

Actress Candice Bergen won the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series five times for her work as TV journalist Murphy Brown on the series of the same name. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the only actress to surpass her in this measure for her role on “Veep.” The 2018 reboot of the show following its 1998 finale, however, did not receive any nominations.

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Source: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution

19. Will & Grace
> All-time Emmys: 18
> Nominations: 91
> Years: 1998-2006, 2018
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Cinematography For A Multi Camera Series (5)

Sitcom “Will & Grace” ran from 1998 through 2006 and was then revived in 2018. It has received Emmy nominations every year that it’s been eligible, with only two years in which it did not win any awards. It’s up for three awards this year.

Source: Courtesy of PBS

18. American Masters
> All-time Emmys: 20
> Nominations: 56
> Years: 1986-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series (9)

Documentary series “American Masters” has been on air since 1986. Over this period it’s won 20 Emmy awards, nearly half of which were for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, an award the show is nominated for once again this year.

Source: Courtesy of HBO

17. Boardwalk Empire
> All-time Emmys: 20
> Nominations: 57
> Years: 2010-2014
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Art Direction For A Single Camera Series (3)

HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” had a successful five-season run, during which time it won 20 Emmy awards. These include an award for Outstanding Directing for Martin Scorsese’s work on the show’s pilot.

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Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Television

16. 24
> All-time Emmys: 20
> Nominations: 68
> Years: 2001-2010
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Music Composition For A Series Original Dramatic Score (3)

FOX’s “24” was a tension-laden action series that starred Kiefer Sutherland as counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer. The show’s heightened level of suspense was achieved in part thanks to its music, for which it won three Emmy awards. The music was composed by Sean Callery, who has also worked on the shows “Homeland” and “Jessica Jones.”

Source: Courtesy of 20th Television

15. NYPD Blue
> All-time Emmys: 20
> Nominations: 84
> Years: 1993-2005
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series (4)

The crime series, centered around New York City homicide detectives, ran for 12 seasons before concluding in 2005. It seems it was at its best during the 1990s, which is when it won all of its Emmys. In the following decade, “NYPD Blue” received only four nominations but failed to win any awards. The show’s final nomination was related to sound mixing in 2002.

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Source: Courtesy of HBO

14. The Sopranos
> All-time Emmys: 21
> Nominations: 112
> Years: 1999-2007
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (6)

“The Sopranos” is often considered one of the greatest series to ever grace television. The story of New Jersey-based mafioso Tony Soprano entertained audiences for six seasons. During its run, the show was nominated for 112 Emmy awards and won 21. Six of these awards were for Outstanding Writing, while two were for Best Drama Series.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Television

13. All In the Family
> All-time Emmys: 22
> Nominations: 55
> Years: 1971-1979
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Comedy Series (4)

Norman Lear’s influential sitcom featuring Archie Bunker and family ran for nine seasons with its first full season airing in 1971. That same year, it won Emmy awards for both Best New Series and Best Comedy Series.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Television

12. Modern Family
> All-time Emmys: 22
> Nominations: 82
> Years: 2009-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Comedy Series (5)

“Modern Family” has been on the air for 10 seasons, with an 11th scheduled to premiere this September. The show has been nominated for at least one Emmy award every year that it’s been eligible, though it hasn’t won an award since 2015. It is also only nominated for a single award this year, related to its sound mixing.

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Source: Courtesy of Comedy Central

11. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
> All-time Emmys: 23
> Nominations: 60
> Years: 1999-2015
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Variety Music Or Comedy Series (11)

Jon Stewart hosted “The Daily Show” beginning in 1999 through the end of the 2015 season, during which time the show won 23 Emmy awards. Under Stewart’s leadership, the show won the award for Outstanding Variety Music Or Comedy Series an impressive 10 times. It also won numerous awards for its writing.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution

10. ER
> All-time Emmys: 23
> Nominations: 124
> Years: 1994-2009
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series (4)

Medical drama “ER” accumulated 124 Emmy nominations throughout its 15-season run, the third most nominations of any television program. The final award the series won was for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series in 2009.

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Source: Courtesy of CBS Television Distribution

9. The Carol Burnett Show
> All-time Emmys: 25
> Nominations: 70
> Years: 1967-1978
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series (5)

Carol Burnett’s comedic variety show swept the Emmy awards throughout the late 1960s and ’70s. It won the greatest amount of awards for its writing. Actor Tim Conway also personally took home three Emmy awards for his acting on the show.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution

8. The West Wing
> All-time Emmys: 26
> Nominations: 95
> Years: 1999-2006
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Drama Series (4)

“The West Wing” — Aaron Sorkin’s popular drama about the inner workings of the White House — was an Emmys smash right out of the gate, winning nine awards its first season. This is more than any other series in Emmy history. The show is also tied with three others for most Best Drama Series wins with four.

Source: Courtesy of NBC

7. Hill Street Blues
> All-time Emmys: 26
> Nominations: 98
> Years: 1981-1987
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Drama Series (4)

Police drama “Hill Street Blues” ran for seven seasons in the 1980s. The program won the award for Outstanding Drama Series in 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984, and was nominated for it the following two years. It was the first series to win the award four times.

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Source: Courtesy of CBS Television Distribution

6. Cheers
> All-time Emmys: 28
> Nominations: 117
> Years: 1982-1993
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series (6)

The show about a Boston bar where everybody knows your name was popular at the Emmys throughout its 11-season existence, collecting the fourth most nominations of any program and the sixth most wins. Actors Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson also both won awards for their performances on the show.

Source: Courtesy of CBS

5. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
> All-time Emmys: 29
> Nominations: 67
> Years: 1970-1977
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (5)

Comedy classic “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” won a large portion of the awards it was nominated for over its seven season span: 29 out of 67. Its most commonly won award was for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, though it also won Best Comedy Series three consecutive times beginning in 1975.

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Source: Courtesy of FOX

4. The Simpsons
> All-time Emmys: 33
> Nominations: 92
> Years: 1989-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (14)

After it was first introduced in short cartoon form on “The Tracey Ullman Show,” “The Simpsons” premiered as a series in 1989 — it is the longest-running animated series of all time. It has therefore had lots of time to win Emmy awards. While some fans are less enthusiastic about the show’s newer seasons, it continues to be honored at the yearly event. As recently as 2018, an award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation was presented to Simpsons artist Caroline Cruikshank for her work on the series. The show has also been nominated for two awards this year.

Source: Courtesy of CBS Television Distribution

3. Frasier
> All-time Emmys: 37
> Nominations: 107
> Years: 1993-2004
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Multi Camera Picture Editing For A Series (7)

“Frasier,” the sitcom revolving around the life of radio psychologist Dr. Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer, won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series five times. The only other program to accomplish this feat is “Modern Family.” “Frasier” also took home an exceptional six Emmy awards in 2004 — its final year of eligibility.

Source: Courtesy of HBO

2. Game Of Thrones
> All-time Emmys: 47
> Nominations: 160
> Years: 2011-2019
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Special Visual Effects (5)

Fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” was a massive hit for HBO, with its recent season finale smashing the network’s all-time record for viewership. The series has been incredibly successful when it comes to the Emmys as well, garnering the second most overall nominations and wins in Emmy history. Just this year, the show broke another record: 32 nominations — the most for a drama series in one year.

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Source: Courtesy of NBC

1. Saturday Night Live
> All-time Emmys: 67
> Nominations: 270
> Years: 1975-present
> Most frequent award: Outstanding Technical Direction Camerawork Video Control For A Series (13)

The long-running comedy sketch show has won the most Emmy awards of any program. It has also earned the most nominations, by a significant margin. Since premiering in 1975, SNL has been nominated for at least one Emmy in all but three years — 1981, 1982, and 1988. The last two years were in fact the show’s best with regards to wins. In 2017 and 2018 alone, the show gained 17 of its 62 overall wins.