44th Primetime Emmy Awards
DateAugust 30, 1992
LocationPasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, California
Presented byAcademy of Television Arts and Sciences
Hosted byTim Allen
Kirstie Alley
Dennis Miller
Most awards
Most nominationsNorthern Exposure (9)
Outstanding Comedy SeriesMurphy Brown
Outstanding Drama SeriesNorthern Exposure
Outstanding MiniseriesA Woman Named Jackie
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy ProgramThe Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Television/radio coverage
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The 44th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, August 30, 1992. The ceremony was broadcast on Fox from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.[1] It was hosted by Tim Allen, Kirstie Alley and Dennis Miller, and directed by Walter C. Miller.[2] Presenters included Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold, Scott Bakula, Candice Bergen, Corbin Bernsen, Beau Bridges, Lloyd Bridges, and Cindy Crawford.[2] The program was written by Buddy Sheffield and Bruce Vilanch.[3] Over 300 million people watched the ceremony in 30 countries.

A rule change, instituted for this year only, stated that regular and guest performers would compete in the same category. There could be lead guest or supporting guest. This rule allowed Hollywood stalwarts such as Kirk Douglas, who appeared in one episode of the anthology series Tales from the Crypt, and Christopher Lloyd, who guest-starred on Road to Avonlea, to be nominated for the leading actor award (and, in Lloyd's case, to win). However, the rule also meant that, for instance, Harrison Page got nominated as a lead on Quantum Leap alongside Scott Bakula, even though Page appeared in a supporting role in one episode while Bakula starred in every installment, and Shirley Knight got nominated for one episode of Law & Order while the regular cast didn't receive any nominations. The rule was reverted the following year.

On the comedy side, Murphy Brown won Outstanding Comedy Series for the second time, winning three major awards on the night, the most for a comedy series. On the drama side, L.A. Law's strangle hold on Outstanding Drama Series came to an end, as Northern Exposure took home the award. Northern Exposure also won three major awards and received nine major nominations, which tied for the most in each category. For the first time in its run, The Golden Girls, then in its seventh and final season, was not nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series.

For the first time, the Lead Actor, Drama award went outside the Big Four television networks to a cable network show: Christopher Lloyd in Road to Avonlea, from the Disney Channel.

After being on the air for thirty years, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson finally heard its name called when its final season won for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Program. The show was first nominated for the category in 1964 and was 0/13 before this ceremony.

As of the 2021 Emmy ceremony, this was the last year where the Big Four broadcast networks received all the nominations in both the Comedy and Drama Series categories.

Winners and nominees




Lead performances

Supporting performances

  • Michael Jeter as Herman Stiles in Evening Shade (CBS) (Episodes: "Herman in Charge" + "Hasta la Vista")
  • Richard Dysart as Leland McKenzie, Jr. in L.A. Law (NBC) (Episodes: "Monkey on My Back Lot" + "P.S. Your Shrink Is Dead")
    • Edward Asner as Walter Kovacs in The Trials of Rosie O'Neill (CBS) (Episodes: "Knock, Knock" + "Happy Birthday or Else")
    • John Corbett as Chris Stevens in Northern Exposure (CBS) (Episodes: "Only You" + "Burning Down the House")
    • Richard Kiley as Doug in The Ray Bradbury Theater (USA) (Episode: "The Utterly Perfect Murder")
    • Jimmy Smits as Victor Sifuentes in L.A. Law (NBC) (Episodes: "Steal It Again, Sam" + "Say Goodnight, Gracie")
    • Dean Stockwell as Al Calavicci in Quantum Leap (NBC) (Episodes: "The Leap Back: June 15, 1945" + "Dreams: February 28, 1979")
  • Valerie Mahaffey as Eve in Northern Exposure (CBS) (Episodes: "The Bumpy Road to Love" + "Lost and Found" + "Our Wedding")
    • Mary Alice as Marguerite Peck in I'll Fly Away (NBC) (Episodes: "Hard Lessons" + "A Dangerous Comfort")
    • Barbara Barrie as Mrs. Bream in Law & Order (NBC) (Episode: "Vengeance")
    • Conchata Ferrell as Susan Bloom in L.A. Law (NBC) (Episodes: "Spleen It to Me, Lucy" + "P.S. Your Shrink Is Dead")
    • Cynthia Geary as Shelly Tambo in Northern Exposure (CBS) (Episodes: "Oy, Wilderness" + "Get Real")
    • Marg Helgenberger as KC Kolowski in China Beach (ABC) (Episodes: "100 Klicks Out" + "The Always Goodbye")
    • Kay Lenz as Maggie Zombro in Reasonable Doubts (NBC) (Episodes: "One Woman's Word" + "Maggie Finds Her Soul")
  • Amanda Plummer as Lusia Weiss in Miss Rose White (NBC)
    • Anne Bancroft as Kate Jerome in Broadway Bound (ABC)
    • Bibi Besch as Lisa Carter in Doing Time on Maple Drive (Fox)
    • Penny Fuller as Kate Ryan in Miss Rose White (NBC)
    • Maureen Stapleton as Tanta Perla in Miss Rose White (NBC)

Individual performances


  • Unforgettable, with Love: Natalie Cole Sings the Songs of Nat King Cole (PBS) – Patricia Birch


  • The 64th Annual Academy Awards (ABC)
    • In Living Color (Fox)
    • Late Night with David Letterman (NBC)
    • Saturday Night Live (NBC)
    • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (NBC)

Most major nominations

Networks with multiple major nominations[note 1]
Network No. of
NBC 57
CBS 33
ABC 25
Programs with multiple major nominations
Program Category Network No. of
Northern Exposure Drama CBS 9
Murphy Brown Comedy 8
Seinfeld NBC
Miss Rose White Movie 7
Cheers Comedy 6
I'll Fly Away Drama
Broadway Bound Movie ABC 5
L.A. Law Drama NBC
China Beach ABC 4
Law & Order NBC
Quantum Leap
Roseanne Comedy ABC
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Variety NBC
The 64th Annual Academy Awards ABC 3
Brooklyn Bridge Comedy CBS
Doing Time on Maple Drive Movie Fox
Evening Shade Comedy CBS
I'll Fly Away: Pilot Movie NBC
Late Night with David Letterman Variety
The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Drama CBS
Unforgettable, with Love: Natalie Cole Sings the Songs of Nat King Cole Variety PBS
Without Warning: The James Brady Story Movie HBO
The Burden of Proof Miniseries ABC 2
Coach Comedy
The Golden Girls NBC
Homefront: "Pilot" Movie ABC
In Living Color Variety Fox
Mrs. Cage Movie PBS
Road to Avonlea Drama Disney
Saturday Night Live Variety NBC
Wings Comedy

Most major awards

Networks with multiple major awards[note 1]
Network No. of
Programs with multiple major awards
Program Category Network No. of
Miss Rose White Movie NBC 3
Murphy Brown Comedy CBS
Northern Exposure Drama
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Variety NBC 2
  1. ^ a b "Major" constitutes the categories listed above: Program, Acting, Directing, and Writing. Does not include the technical categories.


  1. ^ Staff, "Roseanne Nominated But Her Show Isn't", Beacon Journal, July 17, 1992.
  2. ^ a b Overview for The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1992), Turner Classic Movies, Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  3. ^ The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1992), Hollywood.com, Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  4. ^ Emmys.com list of 1992 Nominees & Winners