Quality matters: Emmy winners & Trivia #AtoZChallenge

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan
Sure, it's fun to win the love of the public for the quality of work you've done but you know what feels just as good? Winning awards for your efforts. And for all the members who work tirelessly to ensure a standard product is made for your TV viewing, there is no bigger honour than winning the iconic trophy come Emmy Award night. 

So, without further adieu, here are your Emmy numbers and trivia saluting quality television over the years:


Numbers that matter: Wins

  • Most wins for a Television Program: Saturday Night Live – 47
  • Most wins for a Comedy series: Frasier - 37
  • Most wins for a Drama Series: Game of Thrones / Hill Street Blues / The West Wing – 26
  • Most wins for Outstanding Drama Series: Hill Street Blues / L.A. Law / The West Wing / Mad Men – 4
  • Most wins for a Comedy Series in the first and final season: Modern Family & Frasier respectively - 6
  • Most wins for a Drama Series in the first and final season: West Wing & Breaking bad respectively, 9

Numbers that matter: Nominations

  • Most nominations for a Television Program: Saturday Night Live – 193
  • Most nominations for a Comedy Series: Cheers – 117
  • Most nominations for a Drama Series: ER – 124
  • Most nominations for a Miniseries: Roots – 37
  • Most nominations for Outstanding Drama Series: Law & Order – 11
  • Most nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series: Cheers / M*A*S*H – 11
  • Most nominations for Outstanding Animated Program: The Simpsons – 24
  • Most nominations for an online-streaming original program: House of Cards – 33


The first Emmy award in history went to a lifeless doll!

Seriously! The first Emmy was awarded to a puppet, Judy Splinters and her ventriloquist, Shirley Dinsdale.

Frasier for the win... always.

Frasier was a comedy that was all about class. And it reflected come awards night winning a grand total of 37 Emmys with 108 nominations, including five consecutive Best Comedy victories.
That record now stands threatened with Modern Family" tying it with five consecutive Emmys for Best Comedy Series.  

For those who don't know, Frasier was a spinoff of the classic comedy Cheers, which itself won 28 Emmys with 107 nominations.
Kelsey Grammer is the only actor to be nominated for an Emmy for the same character on three different shows. He played Dr. Frasier Crane on Wings, Cheers, and Frasier. He had 3 wins – all on Frasier.

The Ageless Wonder - Betty White

Betty White is the only person who has been nominated for an Emmy in six different decades. She won in four of those six decades. Overall, she has 5 wins and 21 nominations.
She has won Emmys in all of the female performing comedic categories possible: Lead Actress, Supporting Actress and Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
White also holds the record for longest gap between nominations: 61 years. Her first was in 1951 and her most recent nomination was in 2012.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride

The highest number of nominations in the same category consecutively is an insane 12 for Angela Lansbury for Murder, She Wrote

Overall, in Emmy history, she had 17 nominations. She never won even once.
The male version of her would be Jon Hamm who has been nominated 12 times and never won till date.
Of course, both of them combined make up Bill Maher's streak! Nominated 29 times since 1995 without a single win! 

So what is the formula to win an Emmy? Be an officer, apparently!

Your best chance is to act in a law enforcement show! The highest number of individual awards (33) have gone to actors portraying law enforcement.
Toppers in this include Dennis Franz (4 Emmys) for the pathbreaking NYPD Blue, Tony Shaloub (3) for Monk and 6 between the duo of Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless for Cagney & Lacey.

Give me everything!

Golden Girls remains one of only 3 shows in history (the other two being "Will & Grace" and "All in the Family") wherein all the stars of the shows won an individual Emmy for their performance.

Alan Alda is the only person to have won Emmys in the comedy series categories for writing, directing and acting in the same series, "M*A*S*H."

Most wins for a series in a single year would be Game of Thrones in 2015 – 12. Its parent network HBO had a record 126 nominations that year!

This won't please Jerry Seinfeld. The iconic Seinfeld had over 75 nominations over the years. While two of his co-stars (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards) did win, Seinfeld never won for his own show!

Try not to laugh here. Bruce Willis' hair won an Emmy!

In 1987, Moonlighting starring the now famously bald Bruce Willis won Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling! Oh my!
In their defence, that is good hairstyling! 

Winning for mocking...

Scrubs has famously been a single camera set-up show. In their nine years, they did just one episode using multiple cameras. The idea behind the episode was to make fun of multiple camera sitcoms and show how real life is not like that. 
They ended up winning for Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series for that one episode.

Did you know the winners have to BUY their trophy??

Sure, you see it handed to them when they win but if they actually want to keep it, they have to shell out $400 plus shipping and engraving! Ouch! 

It's okay for movie stars to shell out that money but spare a thought for Camera operator Hector Ramirez. He holds the record for the most Emmy nominations for an individual. He's been nominated 71 times and has won 17 of them. 

The actual winged statue was modeled by a television engineer after his wife in 1948. They are made of copper, silver, nickel and dipped in liquid gold.

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Let me know what you think.

  1. Wow! They have to buy the trophy!! And Bruce Willis for hair styling... amazing and interesting trivia!!

    1. Ya... it surprised me too that they should buy the award!

  2. Amazing facts. Can't imagine Frazier being funny. I just couldn't get it ever

  3. Thats a lot of trivia. And there is Bruce Willis again on Moonlighting. I loved him.

    1. Yes. We just can't get enough of that show, can we?

  4. This indeed is a great bit of trivia! Emmy's are a big deal in the West! I wonder if we have any Indian equivalents...nahh I don't think so, egads Emmy for Ekta Kapoor serials or worse, too nightmarish! Most of this was news to me! Alda winning it all no surprises there! Game of thrones...hmm I don't like it at all!
    @KalaRavi16 from

    1. Kala, while we have many such awards, in sheer terms of quality, none would compare...

  5. Wow.... They have to buy the award? The price should have changed over the years right?

    1. I don't know what the earlier price was.. presently, comes to roughly 500 including shipping

  6. wow! That's some awesome trivia you got there. good one!

  7. What? You had to buy the trophy and pay shipping too? Okay, now I know from where fixing the Filmfare idea started ;)
    I love Bruce Willis's hair but winning an Emmy for it? Nah!
    I loved the show 'Murder She Wrote' and can't believe that Angela Lansbury had so many slips in winning the Emmy. She was fantastic & I loved her eyes :)

    That's an exciting trivia post. Well done doc!

    @theerailivedin from The Era I Lived In

    1. murder she wrote was brilliant... loved this show. miss it so badly

  8. Loved your blog and the brilliant post.

  9. They have to buy the trophy? Damn, let us Indians not get that idea now.

    1. Exactly.. I think the Indian awards shows are not aware of this... or else, definitely they would have asked for cash

  10. I loved Murder She wrote! I was looking forward to read about Quantico although for your Q!

    1. I honestly haven't watched enough of Quantico to form an opinion yet.

  11. Sheer Brilliance! Such fun stuff you have written about!
    I was checking about GOT! :P

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