45th Primetime Emmy Awards

45th Primetime Emmy Awards
Jerry Seinfeld speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of Seinfeld while accepting
Outstanding Comedy Series
  • September 19, 1993
  • September 18, 1993
    (Creative Arts Awards)
LocationPasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, California
Presented byAcademy of Television Arts and Sciences
Hosted byAngela Lansbury
Most awards
Most nominationsNorthern Exposure (9)
Outstanding Comedy SeriesSeinfeld
Outstanding Drama SeriesPicket Fences
Outstanding MiniseriesPrime Suspect II
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy SeriesSaturday Night Live
Television/radio coverage
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The 45th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, September 19, 1993. The ceremony was broadcast on ABC and was hosted by Angela Lansbury. MTV received its first major nomination at this ceremony.

For its fourth season, Seinfeld won its first, and only, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Cheers was once again nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. It was nominated for all eleven years that it ran and won four times. This tied the record set by M*A*S*H which also went 11/11, but only won once.

On the drama side, Northern Exposure was the defending champion and was seen heavily as the favorite coming into the ceremony being the most nominated show with nine major nominations—but in a major upset, Picket Fences took home Outstanding Drama Series. Northern Exposure set the dubious record for the largest shutout of all time, as it lost all 11 major nominations; including its Creative Arts Emmy Awards nominations, the record increases to 0/16. This record would later be tied by The Larry Sanders Show in 1997, but both of these records were later broken by Mad Men (0/17) in 2012, and again by The Handmaid's Tale (0/21) in 2021.

With David Clennon's win for Outstanding Comedy Guest Actor, this was the first time HBO won an Acting Emmy.

Winners and nominees



Lead performances

Supporting performances

  • Chad Lowe as Jesse McKenna in Life Goes On (ABC) (Episodes: "Lost Weekend" + "Bedfellows")
    • Barry Corbin as Maurice J. Minnifield in Northern Exposure (CBS) (Episodes: "The Big Feast" + "Sleeping with the Enemy")
    • John Cullum as Holling Vincoeur in Northern Exposure (CBS) (Episodes: "Learning Curve" + "Mud and Blood")
    • Fyvush Finkel as Douglas Wambaugh in Picket Fences (CBS) (Episodes: "Thanksgiving" + "The Body Politic")
    • Dean Stockwell as Al Calavicci in Quantum Leap (NBC) (Episodes: "Lee Harvey Oswald: October 5, 1957 – November 22, 1963" + "Killin' Time: June 18, 1958")
  • Mary Alice as Marguerite Peck in I'll Fly Away (NBC) (Episodes: "Ruler of My Heart" + "The Third Man")
    • Cynthia Geary as Shelly Tambo in Northern Exposure (CBS) (Episodes: "Kaddish for Uncle Manny" + "Mud and Blood")
    • Kay Lenz as Maggie Zombro in Reasonable Doubts (NBC) (Episodes: "Two Women" + "Wish You Were Here")
    • Kellie Martin as Becca Thatcher in Life Goes On (ABC) (Episodes: "Visions" + "Last Wish")
    • Peg Phillips as Ruth Anne in Northern Exposure (CBS) (Episodes: "Blowing Bubbles" + "Revelations")

Individual performances


  • The 46th Annual Tony Awards (CBS) – Walter C. Miller
    • The 65th Annual Academy Awards (ABC) – Jeff Margolis
    • Black and Blue (PBS) – Robert Altman
    • Late Night with David Letterman (NBC) – Hal Gurnee


  • Homicide: Life on the Street (NBC): "Three Men and Adena" – Tom Fontana
    • Homefront (ABC): "The Lacemakers" – Bernard Lechowick
    • Law & Order (NBC): "Manhood" – Story by : Walon Green and Robert Nathan
      Teleplay by : Robert Nathan
    • Northern Exposure (CBS): "Kaddish for Uncle Manny" – Jeff Melvoin
    • Northern Exposure (CBS): "Midnight Sun" – Geoffrey Neigher
  • The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (HBO) – Jane Anderson

Most major nominations

Networks with multiple major nominations
Network No. of
NBC 45
CBS 36
HBO 35
ABC 20
Programs with multiple major nominations
Program Category Network No. of
Northern Exposure Drama CBS 9
Seinfeld Comedy NBC 8
Barbarians at the Gate Movie HBO 6
The Larry Sanders Show Comedy
Cheers Comedy NBC 5
Citizen Cohn Movie HBO
I'll Fly Away Drama NBC
The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom Movie HBO
Law & Order Drama NBC 4
Picket Fences CBS
Roseanne Comedy ABC
The 65th Annual Academy Awards Variety 3
Dream On Comedy HBO
Late Night with David Letterman Variety NBC
Murphy Brown Comedy CBS
Saturday Night Live Variety NBC
The 46th Annual Tony Awards CBS 2
Alex Haley's Queen Miniseries
Family Pictures ABC
Home Improvement Comedy
Homefront Drama
Homicide: Life on the Street NBC
Life Goes On ABC
Prime Suspect II Miniseries PBS
Quantum Leap Drama NBC
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe Variety Showtime
Sinatra Miniseries CBS
Sisters Drama NBC
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Variety
Tru Movie PBS

Most major awards

Networks with multiple major awards
Network No. of
NBC 10
Fox 2
Programs with multiple major awards
Programs Category Network No. of
Picket Fences Drama CBS 3
The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom Movie HBO
Seinfeld Comedy NBC
Homicide: Life on the Street Drama 2
Roseanne Comedy ABC
Saturday Night Live Variety NBC
  1. ^ a b "Major" constitutes the categories listed above: Program, Acting, Directing, and Writing. Does not include the technical categories.

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