The Emmy races for Best Drama Actor and Best Drama Actress are among the closest of the year. “House of Cards” stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are strong contenders, both ranking a close second to win their respective awards according to the combined predictions of our Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users, All-Star Top 24, and All Users. But it’s relatively uncommon for a series to win both lead acting prizes in the same year.
Indeed, only five dramas pulled off this double act; of these, only “The Sopranos” did it twice:
“The Waltons” (Richard Thomas and Michael Learned, 1973)
“Hill Street Blues” (Daniel J. Travanti and Barbara Babcock, 1981)
“Picket Fences” (Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker, 1993)
“The Sopranos” (James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, 2001)
“The Sopranos” (James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, 2003)
“Homeland” (Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, 2012)
Likewise, five comedies have accomplished this feat, with “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “All in the Family” both doing so twice:
“Father Knows Best” (Robert Young and Jane Wyatt, 1958)
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, 1964)
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, 1966)
“All in the Family” (Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton, 1972)
“All in the Family” (Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton, 1978)
“Soap” (Richard Mulligan and Cathryn Damon, 1980)
“30 Rock” (Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, 2008)
Since taking both lead acting prizes is relatively rare, would a double victory for “House of Cards” signal the show’s victory for Best Drama Series? Maybe, but maybe not.”The Waltons,””Hill Street Blues,” “Picket Fences” and “Homeland” all won Best Drama Series the year they swept the lead contests, but ironically “The Sopranos” didn’t win Best Drama either time both of its leads won. In fact, the two times “The Sopranos” won Best Drama Series, neither Gandolfini nor Falco prevailed.
Among the comedies,”Dick Van Dyke,”All in the Family” and “30 Rock” all took Best Comedy Series honors in the years they won both lead races, but “Father Knows Best” and “Soap” didn’t.
So statistically speaking, if Spacey and Wright are both winners on Sunday night, the “Game of Thrones” team might want to brace themselves for a loss when Best Drama Series is handed out soon thereafter, but it’s still no guarantee for “House of Cards.” If the beloved “Sopranos” couldn’t win Best Drama Series after its lead acting sweeps, nothing is certain.
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