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The TV Show That's Won The Most Emmys (It's Not Game Of Thrones)

With the Emmy Awards 2019 on the horizon, there's a great chance for Game of Thrones to further its own collection of Emmys, but it won't be able to break the record for the most wins by a single TV show. While the series currently has 47 wins, the most for a drama series, and holds the record for most victories in a single year (12 in 2015 and 2016), it's actually Saturday Night Live that has the most Emmy awards.

The Emmys dates back to 1949, although it became two separate awards shows - the Primetime Emmy Awards and Daytime Emmy Awards - in 1974, and is generally considered to be TV's equivalent of the Oscars, Tonys, and Grammys. Other big Emmy Award winners aside from Game of Thrones and Saturday Night Live include Frasier, which holds the record for most wins by a comedy series (37), and The Simpsons, which has 33 awards so far, but none come close to the brainchild of Lorne Michaels.

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Related: Why Game Of Thrones Got So Many Emmy Nominations (Despite Season 8)

Since debuting on NBC back in 1975, SNL has won an astonishing 72 Emmy Awards, which is far more than Game of Thrones and just about anything else for that matter. Unsurprisingly, it also holds the record for most nominations by a single series, with a whopping 270 so far (for reference, Game of Thrones has 160, while Cheers, the most nominated comedy series, received 117). The series won four Emmys for its very first season, including the biggest prize it's eligible for, Outstanding Variety Series (which is now Outstanding Variety Sketch Series). Curiously, despite the amount of awards and nominations, SNL has won the top Emmys prize just four times across its storied run, including twice in the last two years.

2019 Primetime Emmy Awards

There are a couple of big factors when it comes to Saturday Night Live's major success at the Emmys. The first is the series' sheer longevity: it's now been running for well over 40 years, and while the quality has varied as the writing teams and comedy styles of the times have changed, it's generally remained a popular show and thus one easy to give nominations and awards to. Another reason is that many of its wins come from the Creative Arts branch of the Emmys, including Hairstyling and Technical Direction. Combine the number of categories it's eligible for alongside the amount of years it's been going, and while SNL's number of Emmy wins is still very impressive, it is more understandable.

Saturday Night Live has 18 nominations for the Emmy Awards 2019, 14 of which are from the Creative Arts Emmys, so the likelihood is it will only extend its dominance. Game of Thrones has 32 Emmy nominations this year, so it mathematically does have a slim chance to beat SNL. Even if it somehow pulls that off, however, the show is now over, so SNL would easily be able to reclaim its crown as the TV show with the most Emmys.

More: Best Sketches From SNL Season 44

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