The Emmy Awards did not begin honoring comedy programming until the fourth annual ceremony in 1952, where “The Red Skelton Show” won the first trophy for Best Comedy Series. Since then, a total of 33 different series have been honored as television’s top comedy. In our photo gallery above, we have compiled the definitive list of every single Emmy winner of Best Comedy Series, from that first victory to the current champion, HBO’s “Veep.”
While many of the initial winners were variety shows like “The Red Skelton Show” (1952), “The Jack Benny Program” (1959, 1961) and “The Bob Newhart Show” (1962), the vast majority of winners in this category have been traditional multi-camera sitcoms, a technique pioneered by two-time winner “I Love Lucy” (1953, 1954). In recent years, however, the Emmys have shown more of a preference for single-camera comedies; in fact, the last multi-camera sitcom to prevail was “Everybody Loves Raymond” in 2005.
Two series hold the record for the most wins in this category. “Frasier,” a spinoff of four-time Best Comedy winner “Cheers,” won five consecutive Emmys for Best Comedy (1994-1998), and still holds the record for most Emmy wins for a comedy series with 37 total victories. Just over a decade later, “Modern Family” won its first of five consecutive Emmys in this category.
We will see if a new name is added to the list when the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards are handed out September 17th on CBS, hosted by Stephen Colbert. According to Gold Derby’s racetrack odds, the Top 7 contenders are “Veep,” “Atlanta,” “Black-ish,” “Transparent,” “Silicon Valley,” “Master of None” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.