Can ‘Boardwalk Empire’ break Emmy record for most wins?

As anyone who knows me knows, my favourite series of all time is “The West Wing.” Because of this I feel quite protective of the many Emmy records it holds. One of these is the record for most Emmys won by a comedy or drama series in a single season — it earned nine for its first year in 2000.


Every year when the Emmy nominations come out, I look to see what shows are nominated in nine or more categories. As the creative arts winners are announced, I tally up totals to see if any show still has a shot at tying or breaking that record haul. The reason shows struggle to rack up big tallies (unlike the Academy Awards where a half dozen films have won nine or more Oscars) is because each category is judged by a separate panel of people.

Up until this year the closest any series had come to tying the record was “The West Wing” which won eight Emmys in 2001. “30 Rock” claimed seven awards in 2008. At last Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys“Boardwalk Empire” won a whopping seven of the 11 categories in which it contended, setting a record for series at these awards. It competes for four Emmys next Sunday, and must win two to tie and three to set a new record. 

With Oscar champ Martin Scorsese nominated for directing the pilot of “Boardwalk Empire” pundits are viewing his win as a foregone conclusion. However, winning a ninth Emmy could prove more difficult. 

To prevail as Best Drama Series, “Boardwalk Empire” must defeat reigning three-time champ “Mad Men.” “Empire” did win both the Globe and SAG ensemble prize but “Mad Men” has entered six very strong episodes. 

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“Empire” leading man Steve Buscemi is coming off wins at the Globes and SAG. He has submitted the powerhouse season finale to the Emmy panel. His main rival for Best Drama Actor is Jon Hamm (“Mad Men) who could finally win  on his fourth bid as he entered the highly praised episode “The Suitcase.” 

“Empire” supporting actress Kelly Macdonald made a terrible submission. If she manages to win it will be one of the big head scratchers of the night though such surprises are not unknown in her category. Just last year, Archie Panjabi stunned all Emmywatchers when she won this race for “The Good Wife.” 

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