TV Series with the Most Primetime Emmy Nominations

The next time an actor or producer says “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” believe them, especially when it comes to the Primetime Emmys. Since D’Arcy Carden and Ken Jeong will be announcing the 71st Emmy nominees July 16, it seemed like the prefect time to comb through the Television Academy’s Awards Database to see which TV series have garnered the most nominations in Emmy history. Here’s what we found. 

  1. SNL, NBC, 1975-present; 252 nominations — Not only is SNL one of television’s longest-running shows, multiple hosts seem to get nominated each year in addition to cast and crew, so it’s not surprising it has the most nominations in television history.
  2. Game of Thrones, HBO, 2011-2019; 129 nominations — With just 73 episodes spanning an eight-season run, GoT’s position on the list is impressive, and the number will undoubtedly grow once this year’s nominations are announced.
  3. ER, NBC, 1994-2009; 124 nominations — ER ran a long time, but its impressive cast, guest stars, and powerful story arcs made it a perennial Emmy favorite.
  4. Cheers, NBC, 1982-1993; 117 nominations — Despite a slow start in the ratings, Cheers nabbed its first 13 nominations and five wins in 1983, eventually becoming one of TV’s most enduring comedies.
  5. The Sopranos, HBO, 1999-2007; 112 nominations — Perhaps HBO’s first real break-out drama, this series set a high bar for premium TV, earning 112 nominations over the course of just 86 episodes.
  6. M*A*S*H, CBS, 1972-1983; 109 nominations — One of television’s least conventional comedies for its time, M*A*S*H proved that adding a bit of drama can elevate a comedy into something memorable and moving.
  7. Frasier, NBC, 1993-2004; 107 nominations — More than a long-running comedy, Frasier refined the concept of an ensemble comedy series.
  8. The Tonight Show, NBC, 1962-present; 98 nominations (42 under Johnny Carson, 40 under Jay Leno, 4 under Conan O’Brien, and 12 to date under Jimmy Fallon) — Each incarnation of the iconic talk show has delivered legendary guests, comedy bits, and timely monologues, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
  9. Hill Street Blues, NBC, 1981-1997; 97 nominations — TV’s original “gritty” police show, its large ensemble cast, handheld camera work, and powerful storylines forever changed the DNA of virtually every police show to follow.
  10. The West Wing, NBC, 1999-2006; 96 nominations — The political infighting in this D.C.-set drama seems tame by today’s standards, but impassioned speeches by sharply-drawn characters, often during a walk-and-talk, will never get old.
  11. The Simpsons, Fox, 1989-present; 93 nominations (including nominations for a 1990 Christmas special and a 20th anniversary special) — D’oh! With its cast, guest stars, and some TVs top comedy writers bringing the animated series to life, of course The Simpsons made the list.
  12. NYPD Blue, ABC, 1993-2005; 84 nominations — This boundary-pushing series was banned in some television markets when it first debuted, but strong language, violence, and the occasional bare bottom didn’t deter Emmy voters.

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