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Why Did Helen Hunt Win Four Consecutive Emmys?

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  • dude93
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    #293082

    I’ve never really seen Mad About You, but can someone shed some light on Hunt’s obviously brilliant performance on the show and why it warranted four consecutive Emmy wins from 1996-1999? (I’m assuming she gained some extra buzz in 1997 as it was the year she won the Academy Award for As Good As It Gets…) 

    Thoughts on this?

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    Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)
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    #293084

    I have one word: laziness.

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    joesilver
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    #293085

    Calista Flockhard deserved to win in 1999 for Ally McBeal.

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    dude93
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    #293086

    Was there a lot of flak surrounding her constant wins? Did she simply have the best reels submitted? Was she widely predicted to take home the Emmy every year…? 

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    montana82
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    #293087

    She submitted good tapes and the competition outside of Calista Flockhart was arguably at its weakest in this category.  Most of her fellow nominees were on flawed light weight shows (Cybill, The Nanny, Ellen, Home Improvement, Dharma and Greg) and rather one note actresses (Fran Drescher, Ellen, Jenna Elfman).

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    Chris Beachum
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    #293088

    She kept losing to Candice Bergen, who then took herself off the ballot. Helen Hunt won the following year, mostly for her performance but also because she was overdue. Then she won the Oscar and became the “it” actress of the moment. That helped propel her to even more wins.

    There was an incredibly long stretch where it was Bergen five times and Hunt four times (with Roseanne thrown in once in Bergen’s run). Since then, it has been almost all different women (with Patricia Heaton twice and Julia Louis-Dreyfus twice but for two different shows).

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    dude93
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    #293089

    Thanks for the replies guys. I have a feeling if Poehler or Dern don’t upset this year, Louis-Dreyfus could easily break the streak by winning for the same role two years in a row… And possibly have more future wins as Selina Meyer. 

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    joesilver
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    #293090

    When she won for the first time in 1996 she even thanked Candice Bergen for her generosity (because she stopped submitting herself after her 5 wins).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1dbSqcKALw

    Ironicaly that year she started her own monopoly of wins.

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    Guest2014
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    #293091

    Chalk that up to being a Great Mystery of Life.  Sorta like Patricia Arquette winning for Medium when Kristen Bell was clearly her superior, only 4x worse. 

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    Emmyfan
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    #293092

    I thought that Ellen DeGeneres would have won in 1997.

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    Renaton
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    #293093

    The length of screentime probably helped, but it is true alos that most of her competition were more standard comediennes, like Ellen or Fran. Hunt was the respected actress, so she concentrated support most of the time. Flashy tapes + screentime + respected actress pretty much made her a done deal. Although, even as she had a two parter, I was surprised she managed to beat Flockhart. I mean, not too surprised, since she just kept winning. But Flockhart had so much range and her show was so hot and popular at the time.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #293094

    I actually managed to see clips from the 1994 show, and Bergen herself (after winning her fourth Emmy) said onstage that she thought “my friend Helen Hunt would win”, so that, combined with the fact that Mad About You had already been nominated for Best Comedy Series by 1996, helps validate the claim that Hunt was probably overdue by the time of her first win.

    I bet Roseanne and Kirstie Alley were thanking the Lord that they managed to break through the Bergen monopoly (though Alley would end up winning a few years later for a TV movie she did anyway).

    The show itself was lightweight, but I certainly wouldn’t have minded seeing Patricia Richardson win at some point for Home Improvement, though I haven’t seen any of her tapes, so I’m not sure if she ever added any competition.

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    Renaton
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    #293095

    I don’t think it was a matter of simply being overdue, because honestly, that probably didn’t play much of a factor. It was probably more that once Bergen left, Hunt became the most respected actress in the category. Look at her competition that year: Ellen, Fran, Cybill and Patricia Richardson. You could make a case Cybill was just as respected (and more overdue since she never won for Moonlightning), but they never really embraced her show much beyond Baranski. I’ll be surprised to hear from anyone saying that Hunt wasn’t a lock that year, because she sure does look like one in retrospect.

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #293096

    It was mostly deserved. Her submissions were also perfect for the category. She won for two one hour submissions (the birth and the finale). I always thought she had won in 98 for the episode where they let Mabel stop crying by herself, but the submissions thread says it was Moody Blues, the one with postpartum depression, which was also great.

    I don’t know what she submitted the first year she won, the submissions thread says Finale, obviously a mistake.

    I remember she mentioned Ellen when she won against her Puppy Episode. She then mentioned in 99 that she didn’t expect it or think she would win it.

    Her main competition was probably Calista Flockhart and maybe Jenna Elfman in 98 and 99 as they both became new it girls for a while but it never quite happened thanks to Hunt having those submissions. She really was the most logical winner for the first two years, then came the Oscar and she managed to keep the “real actress” tag she had against women that were 100% comedians.

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    Renaton
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    #293097

    Whatever she had in that postpartum depression episode (I don’t remember if I have watched it or not), couldn’t possibly be better than Flockhart in “One Hundred Tears Away”. That’s probably the best episode of that show, and Flockhart really was great in it.But Oscar is probably what made them go Hunt for a third time. 

    “Sideshow” was also an excellent, excellent submission, but I can see how finale sentiment carried Hunt through (although in that case I’m sure Flockhart was better). Looking at the past submissions thread actually made me a bit confused to see Flockhart was so deserving and had truly smart submissions and still lot even with all the hype and acclaim and nominations the show got at the time.
    The Emmys really did like to repeat people in the 90’s. Someone with all the factors Calista had and submitting that well would have never lost like that, especially when being the direct alternative to a previous winners. 

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