23 Emmy-Winning TV Shows You Can Stream Right Now
These critically acclaimed dramas, comedies, and fantasy shows have serious award show cred.
The Emmy Awards have been around since 1949, honoring the best in the television. And in that illustrious history, there have been many shows that couldn't stop piling up trophies. If you're looking for something prestigious and critically acclaimed for your next binge watch, you're in luck. These 23 Emmy-winning TV shows—some of the most decorated ever—are available to stream. Get watching, and see if you agree with the Television Academy. And if you're looking for quantity in addition to quality, here are The 20 TV Shows Streaming on Netflix That Have the Most Episodes.
Saturday Night Live
Since its debut in 1975, the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live has racked up 71 Emmy Awards. It holds trophies for everything from makeup to guest actor/actress accolades for several of its all-star hosts. If you have Hulu, you can stream 21 of its 45 seasons, whether you decide to go in order or skip around to your favorite sketches. And if you're interested in Hulu's original programming, These Are the Best Hulu Shows to Stream While in Quarantine.
Game of Thrones
Out of 160 nominations, the fantasy epic Game of Thrones took home 59 Emmys across its eight-season run, including four for Outstanding Drama Series and several for acting. Based on George R.R. Martin's still ongoing series of novels, the show became a massive hit for HBO and a tentpole for visually striking (and expensive) TV. The entire series is streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.
Game of Thrones is now the scripted series with the most Emmy wins, but that title used to belong to Frasier, the Cheers spinoff starring Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane, who moves to Seattle and starts a radio talk show. The series can claim 37 Emmy wins, including five for Outstanding Comedy Series and a handful for Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, who played Frasier's even fussier brother, Niles. You can stream all 11 seasons on Hulu or CBS All Access.
Most TV snobs will insist that the glory days of The Simpsons has passed, but Matt Groening's animated series about a working class family is still on the air 31 years after its debut. It also has been awarded by the Television Academy 34 times, mostly for Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Voice-Over Performance. The entire series (aside from the season currently airing on Fox) can be streamed on Disney+. And to make the most of your Disney+ subscription, These Are the Best Movies to Stream on Disney+.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Mary Tyler Moore became a bonafide television icon by following up her role as a loving, pants-wearing wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show with this tribute to the modern working woman. In the show that bears her name, Moore plays Mary Richards, a single woman who works as a producer on a news program. She took home three Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and the show won 29 in total across its seven seasons, all of which are on Hulu. And for more vintage greats, check out these 15 Classic TV Shows You Didn't Know You Could Stream Right Now.
Frasier may have out-Emmy-ed Cheers, but it wouldn't have even existed without the iconic sitcom that birthed it. Cheers, which is set in a Boston bar, won a total of 28 Emmys over 11 seasons. Most of its main cast were at least nominated, with Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman, and Woody Harrelson among the actors who won in their categories at least once. You can stream Cheers on Netflix to see (or be reminded) why it was so acclaimed.
Hill Street Blues
The influence of the gritty and realistic cop drama Hill Street Blues can be seen in other crime shows on this list—and on countless other series that are still running. Thankfully, it was rewarded for its innovation by the Television Academy in its time. The show holds 26 Emmy wins out of 98 nominations, including four for Outstanding Drama Series. Its seven-season run is streaming on Hulu.
The West Wing
The Television Academy couldn't get enough of awarding the acting on this political drama, which follows a group of White House staffers as they run the country and deal with their personal lives. It took home 26 Emmy Awards in total—among them, four Outstanding Drama Series trophies and wins for Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, John Spencer, and Stockard Channing. You can start it from the beginning on Netflix. And for more to watch on Netflix, These Are the Best Netflix Shows to Stream While in Quarantine.
The Carol Burnett Show
Comedienne extraordinaire Carol Burnett and her stuff racked up 70 nominations and 25 Emmys for her sketch comedy series. The list of wins speaks to the variety of the series, with acknowledgements for acting, writing, and music. The whole hilarious run is streaming on Amazon Prime. And for more shows you can enjoy with your whole household, here are 23 Great TV Shows to Watch as a Family.
ER started the '90s medical drama boom, because everyone wanted a piece of its ratings and prestige. The ensemble show set in a Chicago hospital claimed 23 Emmys (mostly in the writing, acting, and directing categories) out of 124 nominations. All 15 seasons can be streamed on Hulu.
This crime drama centered around introspective mobster and family man Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) paved the way for shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad to add to the anti-hero canon. Over six seasons (which are streaming on HBO's services), The Sopranos logged 21 Emmy wins, including two for Outstanding Drama Series and three acting awards each for the late Gandolfini and for Edie Falco, who played Tony's wife, Carmela.
This procedural gave a relatively (and shockingly, at the time) uncensored look at the life of a police officer. And the Television Academy was all in for that. Over 12 seasons, NYPD Blue was nominated for 84 Emmy Awards, of which it won 20. Dennis Franz, who played Detective Andy Sipowicz, was named Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama four times. NYPD Blue is streaming on Hulu in its entirety.
Counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is the hero of this long-running, real-time action series. Certainly a product of its time (and the post-9/11 anxieties therein), 24 is a tightly wound espionage adventure that won 20 Emmys in its eight-year run, including the 2006 award for Outstanding Drama Series. You can stream it on Hulu.
This period drama about gangsters and bootleggers in Atlantic City circa the 1920s starred Steve Buscemi and had Martin Scorsese's stamp of approval. (He directed the pilot and served as an executive producer.) Nominated for 57 Emmys, it won a total of 20, including nods for production design, cinematography, and art direction. It ran for five seasons, which you can stream on HBO Now and HBO Go.
A colorful group of New York City cab drivers are the stars of Taxi, which first premiered in 1978, and chronicles the personal lives and wild rides of its ensemble. In its five seasons—which are streaming on Hulu—it won 18 Emmys from a total of 34 nominations. Among them were comedy acting nods for Christopher Lloyd, Judd Hirsch, and Carol Kane, plus three consecutive wins for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Will & Grace
Counting its recent three-season revival, revolutionary sitcom Will & Grace, about the lifelong friendship between a straight woman and a gay man, has collected 18 Emmy awards from 91 nominations. Each of the principal stars—Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally—were recognized for their acting, and the show also got a win in Outstanding Comedy Series back in 2000. Hulu has all eight seasons of the original run streaming, plus the most recent season of the revival.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus very nearly made an Emmys sweep, winning the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy for every year that she played despicable career politician Selina Meyer but the last. (That one went to Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag.) But six consecutive trophies are nothing to sneeze at, nor are Veep's other wins (17 total), including three for Outstanding Comedy Series. To stream all seven hilarious and cringey seasons, visit HBO Now or HBO Go.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
As the title suggests, The Next Generation isn't the first TV series in the expansive Star Trek franchise, but it is the most decorated, counting 17 Emmy wins from 58 nominations. Most of its wins were at the Creative Arts Emmys, which honor the technical side of things. But TNG did get a nod for Outstanding Drama Series in 1994, which it lost to Picket Fences. You can stream its seven-season run on Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, and CBS All Access.
Masculinity, capitalism, and existential dread are all explored in Mad Men, the AMC series about a group of Madison Avenue advertising executives building their careers and destroying their personal lives in the 1960s. It won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series four times, but it wasn't until the final season that Jon Hamm was recognized for his leading performance as the restless Don Draper. Despite its acclaimed cast, that's the only acting Emmy to the show's name. You can stream all seven seasons (constituting 16 total wins) on Netflix.
Starring co-creator Tina Fey, the absurdist and reference-heavy 30 Rock skewered the TV industry itself. Evidently, the Television Academy didn't take it personally, as it nominated the backstage comedy for 103 awards, of which it won 16. Hulu and Amazon Prime have all seven seasons available to stream.
Breaking Bad, the tense and densely plotted series about a high school science teacher's (Bryan Cranston) downward spiral into crime and violence after a cancer diagnosis, has appeared on many, many lists of the most addictive shows ever. Cranston won four trophies for playing the increasingly terrifying Walter White, while Aaron Paul took home three for playing White's former student turned meth-making partner, Jesse Pinkman. The show won 16 Emmys all told, including two for Outstanding Drama Series. Stream its five-season run on Netflix, which also has the sequel film, El Camino.
The Amazing Race
Since premiering in 2001, The Amazing Race—a show that sends off teams of two contestants on a global scavenger hunt—has been a staple of reality TV. It's so standard-setting that it has won the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program 10 out of a possible 15 years. Counting a total of 15 Emmy awards, 29 seasons of The Amazing Race are streamable on Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Set in the fictional estate that it's named for, Downton Abbey explores the lives of the wealthy family living there, as well as those of their servants. The period drama was about as popular with Emmy voters as it was with viewers, who couldn't get enough of its soapy drama and exquisite costumes. It won 15 of the 69 trophies for which it was nominated, including one for Outstanding Miniseries. All six seasons are streaming on Amazon Prime and PBS, but if you want to follow up your marathon with the 2019 feature film continuation, you'll have to rent or buy it.