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Emmy Nerd Trivia: Will Julia Louis-Dreyfus win again?

by Nathaniel R

Final Emmy voting starts on Monday and the most exciting thing is that for the first time in ages, the Emmy voters will be forced to choose at least one major new winner (Drama Series). One could argue that only one incumbent is considered the frontrunner to win again making this a potentially unusual Emmy night -though knowing the Academy they'll probably deliver more repeats than people expect. That leading incumbent would be Julia Louis-Dreyfus, she who is already buried in trophies.

For the record she has seven Emmys, five of them consecutively for Veep's first five seasons. If she wins a sixth for the sixth season she breaks her tie with Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) as most lead actress wins for the same series, drama OR comedy. But Louis-Dreyfus is already the record holder for most lead wins, drama or comedy (overall) and most lead nominations in a comedy (overall).

You know what all of that means --> TRIVIA after the jump!

Most Leading Nominations Overall, Drama AND/OR Comedy Series

  1. Edie Falco (12, in Drama and Comedy)
  2. Angela Lansbury (12, all in Drama)
  3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Comedy (11 all in Comedy)


Most Leading Nominations Drama AND Comedy (because not many people are nominated for both!)


  1. Edie Falco (12, six for The Sopranos and six for Nurse Jackie)
  2. Allison Janney (5* noms, four for West Wing and one for Mom)


* Janney has a weird Emmy track record because her lead nominations always spring from supporting nominations for the same roles! (Her actual record once you include every type of category -- she's been nominated in five different categories -- is 13 nominations and 7 wins)

Most Leading Nominations, Drama Series


  1. Angela Lansbury (12, all for Murder She Wrote  - curiously she never won)
  2. Sharon Gless (8, six for Cagney & Lacey, two for The Trials of Rosie O'Neill)
  3. Michael Learned (8, six for The Waltons, two for Nurse)
  4. Julianna Marguiles (8, four for The Good Wife, four for ER*)
  5. Mariska Hargitay (8, all for Law & Order: SVU)


* Originally she was considered a supporting actress on ER so she actually has six nominations from that series)

Curiously the 'Most Likely To Enter This All Time List Next' looks to be Elisabeth Moss despite only becoming famous 10 years ago. She's already been nominated 6 times for Leading Actress, Drama Series - five times for Mad Men and once for The Handmaid's Tale. Like Marguiles she has an additional nomination for her breakthrough role but in supporting. The other possibility is Claire Danes who also has six nominations for lead drama actress (five from Homeland, one for My So-Called Life) but she seems less likely to return to the nominee pool next year unless she wraps up Homeland and moves on to a new series.

Most Leading Nominations, Comedy Series


  1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (11, six for Veep, five for The New Adventures of Old Christine)
  2. Mary Tyler Moore (10, seven for Mary Tyler Moore, three for The Dick Van Dyke Show)
  3. Bea Arthur (9, five for Maude, four for The Golden Girls)
  4. Lucille Ball (9, five for I Love Lucy*, four for The Lucy Show)
  5. Jean Stapleton (8, all for All in the Family)


* the category was changing titles so much in the original Emmys that some people say she was only nominated four times for I Love Lucy. It seems to us that it's five... even more if you count "Best Comedienne" nominations with no specifity)

P.S. Curiously, even if you included male leads in these statistics, they wouldn't top the lists. For instance, Bergen and Louis-Dreyfuss have each won five Emmys in lead; no man ever has. But three men would tie for #1 with Louis-Dreyfuss in 'Most Leading Nominations, Comedy Series' with 11 noms each for Alan Alda, Kelsey Grammer, and Ted Danson

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Reader Comments (25)

I just don't understand her charm, I guess. Every year people claim she gives the best performance on tv, but I don't think she'd make my top 6 in the category at this point - it's so competitive, and the Emmys are ignoring so much young talent (Issa Rae, Gina Rodriguez, Rachel Bloom). And it seems ludicrous to me that she should have more Lead Actress comedy nominations than Bea Arthur or Mary Tyler Moore, both of whom starred in two legendary comedy series (which The New Adventures of Old Christine was not) or that she should have so many Emmys when Amy Poehler has one (and it's for guest-hosting SNL with Tina Fey!) and Lisa Kudrow has none.

But she'll probably win again, because Emmy voters are notoriously lazy.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is fabulous on Veep, but I'm definitely on the "share the wealth" train. I'd be totally down for Tracee Ellis Ross or the legendary Lily Tomlin taking this one.

I will admit, I probably would've voted for Louis-Dreyfus last year, however. The episode she submitted - Mother - was one of the most brilliantly cringeworthy pieces of comedic acting I've ever seen. I don't know how she and the writers pulled that off, but it was breathtaking.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Her performance in veep was always (by far) the best in all the years she won (including this one). As long as the category is called best performance, she should continue winning

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLSS

I think she's great in Vepp and last year's "Mother" episode was an amazing example of that. This year has been Veep's weakest season and I don't think she deserves to take it this time.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Time to move on. So sad Lena Dunham didn't make it!

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

She's been deserving of the awards for the later seasons of "Veep", so this kind of situation seems really hard to fix. She didn't even deserve a single nomination for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (if there was someone worthy of mention in that show that'd be Alex Kapp Horner), and she had terrific competition when she won in 2006.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

I'd love to see a new winner as much as anyone, but it's hard to not justify her Veep wins, and she'd totally deserve it this year - it's her 2nd strongest season IMO after Season 4.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Suzanne - I am totally agreeing with you on Poehler & Kudrow, that neither of them won for "Park & Rec" nor "The Comeback" is further proof that emmy voters are lazy + clueless

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Also "Veep" who was a very good show for 5 seasons, was to me unwatchable this year, what's the point if she is neither president or running for it? I also found that the show as become to cynic & mean

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

I'm with Sawyer - it'd be great to see more winners, but she's put in the high quality work to earn her wins (and maybe another this year).

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

Smart money is on Julia Louis-Dreyfus. "Veep" hasn't lost its power for the people who like it. Its quality is as good as it ever was and who in the industry dislikes Dreyfus? I don't see them rewarding Kemper. Tomlin and Fonda seems like a situation where vote splitting might happen and Adlon, talented as she is, is likely happy to be there.

Tracee Ellis Ross and Allison Janney are the two nominees that could possibly unseat Dreyfus, if anyone in fact can. Janney because they love her (again, who wouldn't?) and Chuck Lorre shows are such a draw for their actors to garner statues. Ross because I bet her semi-surprise Golden Globe win caused people to stand up and take notice of her for the first time. Even though this is Ross' second nomination in this category, that Globes speech put a much deserved spotlight on her in a way that can only help her case. And she did great work on "Black-ish" this year--a show the Emmys clearly liked a lot. Given that "Black-ish" is unlikely to win anywhere else and "Veep" will very likely pick up a slew of other trophies, including "Best Comedy Series" perhaps they'll want to spread the wealth and give Dreyfus a break from speech-giving. If that's the case, Ross is the beneficiary I suspect.

Though, money is on Dreyfus to repeat. They've given it to her 5 years in a row, right? 5...6. What's the difference? They clearly have no issue repeating winners over and over and over and over and over again.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

The thing about JLD is that each and every year she won for Veep, she had the best tape. FAR AND AWAY the best tape. What she is doing on Veep is some next-level stuff, hitting its sublime peak in last year's "Mother", which was just an unbelievable performance. Ideally, she would simply stop submitting herself, but that's probably not gonna happen. But as long as Veep keeps giving her material this good, I don't see her losing any time soon.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

Veep's season six is its worst. JLD should take the L just because.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

You can't really fault her for winning all the time. She's just SO GOOD in every episode. The "Groundbreaking" episode was the best one for her this season and I'm so happy she chose it as her submission.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBhuray

Nat: Do you think the Emmys should create dedicated "Action Series" categories? The pre-requisite for being an action show would be: In at least half of your episodes (so a 13 episode show would need action scenes in at least seven), there must be a gunfight, a melee fight, or a chase scene. That way straight dramas including a lone gun fight for a season or series finale wouldn't be unnecessarily looped in, but it also doesn't cast the net too narrow to only allow shows that have action scenes in literally 100% of their episodes. Would that work, or are Emmy voters middle brow enough that they'd resent having to having to think of "action" TV?

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I'd never bet against Janney winning. Even with Dreyfus as competition and resident juggernaut. The Emmys adore in Allison Janney in a singular way.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJane Tennison

Her performance in veep was always (by far) the best in all the years she won (including this one).

EH. Definitely NOT the year Lisa Kudrow was nominated for The Comeback. And definitely not in any years Gina Rodriguez has been acting (but the Emmys didn't nominate her so it's THEIR loss).

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

She's fantastic, but this season of Veep was truly the pits. I think it deserves to go elsewhere.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

People are getting tired of her acceptance speeches.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Peak TV has meant that I'm slightly more forgiving of the Emmys for these repeat wins now than I used to be. JLD wouldn't be top of my ballot this year, but she's doing very strong work on a show that everybody likes, so it's less egregious to me than all those Big Bang Theory and Modern Family wins. Gina Rodriguez would have been my choice last year, but I'm not caught up with this new series of Jane the Virgin, or on countless other shows I like a lot, or on the numerous others that I think I might like but haven't got around to yet. And I imagine that has to be true of Emmy voters too, which can only add to this problem of consensus wins.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

ben1283 -- it's funny because i have the exact opposite reaction to peak TV. I think it makes repeat wins even less excusable. If there really is so much great television it should be hard to win repeatedly.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Kudrow actually *did* win an Emmy—in 1998, for Friends. (She and Jennifer Aniston are the only Emmy winners among that ensemble.) Kudrow, of course, should've won for The Comeback (season one), but the Academy of Television Artless and Senile were never going to do that. Constance Wu deserves to be in this lineup.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I just still can't believe Angela Lansbury never won an Emmy. It's completely awful.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDg

I like JDL very much. But winning six years in a row just seems gross. Sorry.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Oops JLD

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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