If “Mad Men” contends again for Best Drama Series at this year’s Emmy Awards, it will be the first time since 1992 that a multiple champ does not face off against another winner. However, that precedent does not bode well for the AMC hit to pick up a fourth consecutive trophy.
“L.A Law” had also won three in a row when it entered the 1992 race against previous two-time nominee “Quantum Leap,” one-time contender “Northern Exposure,” and category newcomers “Law & Order” and “I’ll Fly Away.” 1988 champ “thirtysomething” had signed off the previous spring after four seasons, leaving “L.A. Law,” which had also won for its debut season in 1987, as the sole Emmy winner in contention. However, it was the recently-crowned Golden Globes champ “Northern Exposure” which prevailed at the Emmys.
Freshman series “Boardwalk Empire” claimed that same prize this year and is all but certain to be a Best Drama Series nominee as is “The Good Wife” for its sophomore season. That CBS hit was one of the also-rans against “Mad Men” last year as were two other shows which returned this year — “Dexter” and “True Blood.”
Not to be found in this year’s lineup is 2005 winner “Lost” which signed off last year after six seasons. Two other one-time Best Drama Series champs — “Law & Order” (1997) and “24” (2006) — also ended their runs last year, albeit without any Emmy love. It is rare for a series to get a parting gift from the Emmys but “The Sopranos” managed it in 2007. That was the last year that there was only one previous winner in the race as “The Sopranos” had also prevailed in 2004.