Best Emmy-nominated shows of all time Kelsi Trinidad, Madison Troyer May 24, 2022 May 24, 2022 Updated May 25, 2022 Facebook Twitter WhatsApp SMS Email Print Copy article link Save UsingIMDbratings,Stackerhas compiled a list of the best Emmy-nominated shows of all time, from “Six Feet Under” to “Breaking Bad.” Best Emmy-nominated shows of all time Updated May 25, 2022 The first Emmy Awards show took place at the Hollywood Athletic Club in 1949. Hosted by Walter O’Keefe, tickets to the show were $5, and just six awards were handed out—one of which went to a ventriloquist.Named after the image-orthicon camera tube, or “immy,” which was instrumental in capturing images for television, the Emmys were created by the Television Academy to award excellence in the television industry. The Emmy Award statue was designed to be a winged woman, representing the arts, holding up an atom, representing science. It was modeled after television engineer Louis McManus’ wife Dorothy McManus. As time went on, the Emmy Award gained acclaim and grew into one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry.In celebration of the Emmy Awards, Stacker compiled a comprehensive ranking of the best Emmy-nominated shows based on IMDb user ratings, with ties broken by votes. Data was sourced in May 2022. All drama, comedy, competition, variety, anthology, and limited series that have been nominated for at least one Emmy and have over 2,500 IMDb user votes were considered in the ranking. Nature documentary series were not considered in this list.Over the years, the Emmys have become an awards show where anything might happen. From an impromptu make-out between “Veep’s” Julia Louis-Dreyfus and “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston to an unsuccessful prank to steal Betty Thomas’ award to Viola Davis’ powerful speech on diversity in the entertainment industry—the Emmy Awards have always brought together visionaries and artists with diverse perspectives.You may also like: 25 most popular Emmy-nominated shows of 2019 Ruby’s Tuna #50. Six Feet Under Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2001-2005The dark HBO series “Six Feet Under” captures the lives of a dysfunctional family who own a funeral home in Los Angeles. Led by Oscar-winning “American Beauty” screenwriter Alan Ball, the show received 23 Emmy nominations in its first season alone. The same year, the series won a Golden Globe for best drama series and a Peabody Award for entertainment. Home Box Office (HBO) #49. Fleabag Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2016-2019Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s British dramedy follows Fleabag, a complicated, viciously funny Londoner played by a magnetic Waller-Bridge. While season one explored Fleabag’s trauma, its second season delivered a transcendent and devastating love story as Fleabag falls in love with an attractive priest (Andrew Scott). The Academy took notice, with the second season nominated for 11 Emmy awards and taking home six, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress for Waller-Bridge, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Two Brothers Pictures #48. Battlestar Galactica Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2004-2009“Battlestar Galactica” tells the story of a society obliterated by their android enemies, the Cylons. The last of this society remains to venture forth to the fabled 13th planet: Earth. As a much-loved sci-fi series, it’s no surprise that this show earned several nominations in special effects, but the show also earned a notable number of nominations for its strong writing. British Sky Broadcasting #47. Rome Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2005-2007This historic drama set in the last days of the Roman Republic stars Kevin McKidd as Lucius Vorenus, a Roman soldier serving the republic as it transitions to an empire. It features many well-known figures of the Roman era including Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, making it an easy favorite for history buffs. With recurring nominations in costume design, makeup, and visual effects, this show excels at its ability to transport viewers back in time. Home Box Office (HBO) #46. The Crown Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2016-presentWhile “The Crown” is most notable for its exorbitant production budget of $130 million, making it the most expensive TV series ever made, the Netflix show has earned its place as a TV heavy hitter. Following the intriguing life of Queen Elizabeth II (played by Claire Foy in the first two seasons and Olivia Colman in the upcoming third season), “The Crown” takes the audience through the difficult ins and outs of navigating royal life. The show’s impressive cast and dedicated following earned it 13 Emmy nominations in 2018, with the show winning five that year.You may also like: Best 'Law & Order SVU' episodes Left Bank Pictures #45. Downton Abbey Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2010-2015This BBC creation took the U.S. by storm, quickly gaining a massive cult following from American audiences. This unlikely hit transports audiences back to the post-Edwardian era and into the Grantham family’s sprawling estate, from which the show gets its title. Led by notable British stars including Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville, the show also helped launch the careers of newcomers like Michelle Dockery. Carnival Film & Television #44. Mad Men Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2007-2015A period drama that centers on a 1960s New York City ad agency and its talented (and complicated) employees, “Mad Men” aired on AMC for seven seasons. The show earned dozens of Emmy nominations for its acting, writing, and visual style over the course of its run, but its most significant win came when it took home the trophy for Outstanding Drama Series after its first season, making it the first basic cable program to do so. AMC #43. Arrested Development Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2003-2019“Arrested Development” follows the misadventures of the Bluth family in Orange County, California. The once-wealthy family faces trouble when its patriarch is charged with a white-collar crime, which leaves them all penniless. Through five seasons and one movie, “Arrested Development” charmed audiences with its somewhat frustrating humor, and it solidified the careers of many of its actors, including Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, and Portia de Rossi. 20th Century Fox Television #42. South Park Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 1997-presentFrom the comedic minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, this long-running animated series follows the boisterous, troublemaking adventures of foul-mouthed friends Cartman, Kenny, Stan, and Kyle. The show often borders on the offensive but has kept viewers engaged by putting a comedic spin on topical political and social issues that are otherwise very serious. Comedy Central #41. The Boys Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2019-presentAfter an avalanche of superhero films and series over the past decade, show developer Eric Kripke swooped in to capture the anti-hero sentiment. The dark show investigates questions like, “What happens when a superhero kills an innocent bystander in the process of saving the city?” and other unaddressed aspects of caped crusading. Karl Urban leads the principal cast. You may also like: The best streaming services in 2021 Amazon Studios #40. The Simpsons Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 1989-presentPremiering in 1989 and still going strong, “The Simpsons” follows the suburban lives of the Simpson family from Springfield, Illinois, with some offbeat twists and turns. The show is the longest-running, prime-time scripted series in the history of television. 20th Century Fox Television #39. The Mandalorian Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2019-presentDisney’s first live-action TV show in its ever-growing roster of adventures set in a galaxy far, far away, “The Mandalorian” follows Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and “Baby Yoda”—a colloquial name for the adorable puppet creature that is not actually Yoda but another creature of the same species who is a toddler at age 50. “The Mandalorian” was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series and won several Emmys in the award show’s creative categories, including Visual Effects, Production Design, and Sound Editing. Fairview Entertainment #38. House Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2004-2012Actor Hugh Laurie’s highly referenced role as Dr. Gregory House earned him six Emmy nominations. The always-skeptical Dr. House brought the flawed world of medical diagnosis into people’s homes while winning audiences over with his keen sense of humanity. Heel & Toe Films #37. House of Cards Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2013-2018Based on the BBC series of the same name, this U.S. version follows Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina who is passed over for secretary of state and exacts his revenge with his equally manipulative wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright).After sexual assault allegations against Spacey surfaced, the show made the executive decision to remove his character from the script, moving Wright into the starring role. Netflix #36. Dexter Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2006-2013A show about everyone’s favorite murderer with a heart of gold, “Dexter” made gruesome crime scenes complex and bingeable. Michael C. Hall stars as psychopathic Dexter, a blood-spatter analyst by day and killer of wrong-doers at night. Miami has never looked the same. Hall earned five nominations for his starring role.You may also like: Award-winning TV shows that ended in controversy Showtime Networks #35. Stranger Things Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.7- Years on the air: 2016-presentThis beloved Netflix show satisfied the country’s craving for ’80s sci-fi kitsch. The story follows a group of childhood friends in a typical Midwestern town, complete with government labs, alternate realities, and monsters. Netflix #34. Vice Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2013-2018Each episode of the documentary series “Vice” tells a different story, from bonded laborers to political assassins. Vice Magazine journalists Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi hosted the deep-dive program alongside contributors Ryan Duffy and Thomas Morton. For most of its run, the HBO series earned more Emmy nominations in the news and documentary categories than any other program. Vice Media #33. The Storyteller Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 1987-1989This oft-forgotten Jim Henson gem features an old, nameless storyteller (John Hurt) who relays various European folk tales to his talking dog. Like most Henson productions, the children’s show featured a mix of human actors and puppets. The short-lived program originally aired on NBC during “The Jim Henson Hour,” but was rerun on HBO in the ‘90s where it gained a much bigger audience. Henson Associates #32. 30 for 30 Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2009-presentIt may not have been a hit from the jump, but over the years, ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series has become one of the most successful sports shows on television. Each 60-minute episode highlights a different athlete, game, or moment in sports history, often shining a light on stories frequently overlooked or generally unknown. The original show has done so well that it has spawned a series of spinoffs, shorts, and podcasts that give fans more of the stories they crave. ESPN #31. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2013-2018World-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain’s final TV series, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” introduced viewers to unique foods eaten by some of the world’s more unexplored cultures. The travelog won 31 Emmy nominations over the course of its 12-season run, and in 2019 Bourdain earned a posthumous Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series.The last episode of the show, which was completed after his death, returns Bourdain to his stomping ground on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, resulting in a particularly emotional and poignant episode of TV.You may also like: 100 best TV episodes of all time CNN #30. Chappelle's Show Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2003-2006Regarded as one of the greatest comedy sketch shows of all time, “Chappelle’s Show” became the avenue through which the world met Dave Chappelle. Known for his boundary-pushing comedy that cuts to the socioeconomic core of America’s racist past and present, Chappelle was nominated for two Emmys for Writing and Outstanding Variety or Comedy Series. Comedy Central #29. Curb Your Enthusiasm Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2000-present“Curb Your Enthusiasm” took “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David out from behind the camera to spotlight his signature deadpan comedy style. Only winning a couple of Emmys out of its many nominations, what the comedic series lacks in awards, it makes up for in very quotable dialogue. Home Box Office (HBO) #28. Succession Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2018-present“Succession” is a satirical comedy-drama about a family fighting each other for control of their massive media and entertainment conglomerate. The series was created by British icon Jesse Armstrong and has won Emmy awards for Outstanding Drama. Home Box Office (HBO) #27. Freaks and Geeks Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 1999-2000The show that launched a thousand careers, “Freaks and Geeks” remains a one-season legend. Conceived from the mind of a young Judd Apatow, the series captured the uncomfortable angst and confusion of teens growing up in 1980s suburbia. The cast includes James Franco, Busy Phillips, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Linda Cardellini. Apatow Productions #26. BoJack Horseman Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2014-2020Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s animated dramedy “BoJack Horseman” is an imaginative blend of self-deprecation, snappy pop-culture wit, and thorough character development. Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, and Paul F. Tompkins round out the stacked principal cast, but the series has even more star power in its long list of A-list guests.You may also like: Best 'Simpsons' episodes of all time Tornante Company #25. Ted Lasso Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2020-presentThe ultimate feel-good show, “Ted Lasso” is about an American football coach who moves across the pond to lead a struggling soccer club. His optimistic demeanor and lack of knowledge alienate the professional athletes at first, but his persistence eventually wins them over. When the Jason Sudeikis series was nominated for 20 Emmys after its first season, it broke a record, becoming the most-nominated freshman comedy in Emmy history. Ruby’s Tuna #24. Twin Peaks Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 1990-1991David Lynch’s iconic first television series follows an FBI agent (Kyle MacLachlan) as he investigates the murder of a young woman in the town of Twin Peaks. Known for its unconventional narrative and surreal tone, this series introduced the masses to what is now David Lynch’s signature filmmaking style. Lynch/Frost Productions #23. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2005-presentThis sitcom follows the depraved and scheming exploits of Dee, Mac, Charlie, Dennis, and Frank—a group of friends dubbed “The Gang.” With many of the outlandish, moral-bending plotlines resulting in slapstick humor, it’s not surprising this show earned its Emmy nominations in stunt coordination. 3 Arts Entertainment #22. Narcos Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2015-2017This Netflix series chronicles the life of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and other drug cartels throughout the region. With the rise of the cocaine trade, the cartels gained power they enforced through bloodshed. The series has been followed by another centered on the drug trade in Mexico, titled “Narcos: Mexico.” Netflix #21. Better Call Saul Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2015-2022An off-shoot of TV sensation “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul” follows the life of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) before the events of “Breaking Bad.” Prior to being Saul Goodman, Walter White’s morally corrupt lawyer, he was small-time lawyer Jimmy McGill just trying to survive in an exploitative world.While the spinoff gained recognition through the success of “Breaking Bad,” it earned accolades in its own right, pulling in dozens of Emmy nominations over the course of the show.You may also like: Best single-season TV shows AMC Network Entertainment LLC #20. Black Mirror Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.8- Years on the air: 2011-2019Netflix’s sci-fi anthology of dystopian, technology-based scenarios earned a cult following with its particular brand of psychological storytelling. From killer robot bees to a cartoon bear elected to office, each episode encapsulates a different fear that audiences didn’t know they had. In 2018, Netflix released a film in addition to the series titled “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” with multiple endings. This was the streaming service’s first foray into interactive entertainment. Netflix #19. The West Wing Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.9- Years on the air: 1999-2006Written by Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin and Emmy-winner Felicia Wilson, “The West Wing” took audiences inside the personal lives of White House staffers in the presidential West Wing. Over seven seasons, the show earned an incredible 95 nominations with 26 wins. John Wells Productions #18. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.9- Years on the air: 2014-presentAfter earning an Emmy for his work as a writer and contributor on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” John Oliver’s distinct voice got the attention of HBO. The series includes Oliver’s comedically British take on world news from the prior week. Home Box Office (HBO) #17. Gravity Falls Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.9- Years on the air: 2012-2016The Disney series “Gravity Falls” follows the story of twins who are sent to spend the summer with their great uncle in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls. The animated children’s show has an unlikely star-studded cast, including Jason Ritter and Linda Cardellini. Disney Television Animation #16. Seinfeld Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.9- Years on the air: 1989-1998A live-action sitcom written by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, “Seinfeld” follows four single friends battling the absurdities of living in New York City. Solidifying the term “New York humor,” the show grew a strong national audience and maintains its devoted following decades later.You may also like: 50 TV ads that made history Castle Rock Entertainment #15. Fargo Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.9- Years on the air: 2014-presentBased on the Coen brothers’ feature film of the same name, this anthology series follows various stories of crime that inevitably lead back to Fargo, North Dakota. In fact, the Coen brothers co-produced the series with writer Noah Hawley, who wrote each season to exist in a different era with an entirely new cast and story. The show has featured a number of highly acclaimed actors including Billy Bob Thornton, Kirsten Dunst, Ewan McGregor, and Ted Danson. MGM Television #14. True Detective Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.9- Years on the air: 2014-2019Much like “Fargo,” “True Detective” is a crime anthology series that switches up stories and casts each season. Written and created by Nic Pizzolatto, the HBO series follows detectives over various eras and has earned excellent reviews from critics for its strong casts and unique cinematography. Casts over various seasons have featured Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Mahershala Ali, Woody Harrelson, and Rachel McAdams. Home Box Office (HBO) #13. Friends Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 8.9- Years on the air: 1994-2004With a whopping 62 nominations, “Friends” launched the careers of some of the biggest stars of the 1990s and 2000s, including Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, and Courteney Cox. Throughout all the years since the show has seemingly only gained fans. Warner Bros. Television // Getty Images #12. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.0- Years on the air: 2016-2019A former member of the Church of Scientology (she joined alongside her family at the age of 9), actress Leah Remini has become an outspoken critic of the divisive movement in recent years. This A&E documentary series digs into the darker side of the religion through the experiences of Remini, her co-host Mike Rinder, and other former members. Each season of the series was nominated for the Outstanding Informational Series or Special Emmy award (it won twice). No Seriously Productions #11. Batman: The Animated Series Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.0- Years on the air: 1992-1995This iconic show from the DC Universe followed the escapades of the dark, moody protagonist, Batman, and his trusty sidekick Robin. While the Batman series of the 1960s largely represented its main characters as campy crime-fighters, this show was praised for its film noir aesthetic and the complexity of its characters.You may also like: Best TV Show released the year you were born Warner Bros. Animation #10. Firefly Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.0- Years on the air: 2002-2003In an odd mashup of genres, “Firefly” is a Western space drama set in the year 2517, when humans have occupied a new star system. It follows the ragtag renegade crew who live aboard a spaceship named Serenity. The show gained accolades for its stunning narrative and its popularity led to the creation of a feature film titled “Serenity.” 20th Century Fox Television #9. The Office Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.0- Years on the air: 2005-2013Welcome to the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Under the guidance of branch manager Michael Scott, a group of oddball office workers brings humor (and heart) to the workplace. Shot as a single-camera mockumentary, the show earned itself 42 nominations and launched the comedy careers of huge stars like Steve Carell, John Krasinski, and Mindy Kaling. NBC Universal Television #8. The Twilight Zone Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.1- Years on the air: 1959-1964With a two-note theme song that instantly makes your heart race and raises the hairs on your neck, “The Twilight Zone” set the precedent for shows that blur the boundaries between horror, sci-fi, and drama. With an impressive 156-episode run, the series has become a prominent part of pop culture. CBS Television Network #7. Sherlock Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.1- Years on the air: 2010-2017This modern update of British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original series of stories stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the ever-perceptive detective Sherlock Holmes. Set in current times, “Sherlock” brings his Victorian-era archetypal detective expertise into today’s forensic landscape. A TV movie titled “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride” was also released in relation to the series. Hartswood Films #6. The Sopranos Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.2- Years on the air: 1999-2007“The Sopranos” was an iconic precedent-setting drama from HBO that changed how television shows portray nuanced and complex stories with character development that rivals feature films. 2019 marked the show’s 20th anniversary and the announcement of a prequel named “The Many Saints of Newark” starring James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini.You may also like: 100 best 'Seinfeld' episodes of all time Home Box Office (HBO) #5. Rick and Morty Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.2- Years on the air: 2013-presentAfter sociopathic scientist Rick Sanchez reunites with his adult daughter and moves in with her family, he takes his grandchildren traveling through alternate dimensions. The adult animated series is created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland and is broadcast on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Harmonius Claptrap #4. Game of Thrones Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.2- Years on the air: 2011-2019Based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” “Game of Thrones” took the world by storm. Arguably one of the most iconic shows of the decade, “Game of Thrones” integrated strong visual effects, character development, and sophisticated writing to create cliffhangers that left viewers on the edge of their seats until the following week. With a whopping 160 nominations, the show won 47 Emmys total in its lifetime of airing. Home Box Office (HBO) #3. Avatar: The Last Airbender Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.3- Years on the air: 2005-2008This animated series portrays a world divided into four nations—the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads—with the Fire Nation hoping to overthrow the other three. The Avatar, who can control all four elements, has disappeared but returns to bring back peace to the world. The Nickelodeon series has become known for its innovative incorporation of the Japanese tradition of anime with Western animation. Nickelodeon Animation Studios #2. The Wire Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.3- Years on the air: 2002-2008Created by former police reporter David Simon, “The Wire” portrays the lives of criminals and corrupt police in West Baltimore. The show, which takes on the perspectives of both drug dealers and law enforcement, gained a dedicated following over its five seasons. Home Box Office (HBO) #1. Breaking Bad Updated May 25, 2022 - IMDb user rating: 9.5- Years on the air: 2008-2013The best Emmy-nominated show of all time according to IMDb users is Vince Gilligan’s drama “Breaking Bad.” Following the story of high school-chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walter White, “Breaking Bad” introduced viewers to the ultimate antihero of our time. Pushed into cooking meth by the financial burden of his inoperable lung cancer, the series juggles Walt’s unfortunate situation with the moral slippery slope that eventually destroys his life.You may also like: Longest-running TV series High Bridge Productions Originally published on stacker.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange. Tags Thestacker Facebook Twitter WhatsApp SMS Email Print Copy article link Save Latest e-Edition Rhea County Herald-News To view our latest e-Edition click the image on the left.