49th Primetime Emmy Awards
  • September 14, 1997
  • September 7, 1997
    (Creative Arts Awards)
LocationPasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, California
Presented byAcademy of Television Arts and Sciences
Hosted byBryant Gumbel
Most awardsNYPD Blue (4)
Most nominationsER (14)
Outstanding Comedy SeriesFrasier
Outstanding Drama SeriesLaw & Order
Outstanding MiniseriesPrime Suspect V: Errors of Judgement
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy SeriesTracey Takes On...
Television/radio coverage
Produced byDarnette Herman
Michael Seligman
← 48th · Primetime Emmy Awards · 50th →

The 49th Primetime Emmy Awards were held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, in 1997. They were presented in two ceremonies hosted by Bryant Gumbel, one on Saturday, September 13 and another on Sunday, September 14. The September 14th ceremony was televised on CBS.

Frasier became the first series to win Outstanding Comedy Series four consecutive years, it joined Hill Street Blues which won Outstanding Drama Series four straight years a decade earlier. For the first time since 1979, James Burrows did not receive a Directing nomination, ending his run at 17 consecutive years. Beginning the following year, Burrows would begin a new streak that lasted another six years. In the drama field perennial nominee Law & Order won for its seventh season, the first time a show had won for this specific season. In winning Law & Order became the first drama series that did not have serialized story arcs[note 1] since Hill Street Blues perfected the formula. Law & Order remains the only non-serialized winner since 1981.

For the first time, not only did the Fox Network win the Lead Actress, Drama award, with Gillian Anderson, for The X-Files, but hers was also the network's first win in any of the Major Acting categories. (Laurence Fishburne and Peter Boyle won for Fox in only guest performances. The latter of which was for The X-Files just the year before.)

This ceremony marked the end of a 20-year residency for the Primetime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium dating back to the 29th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1977 ceremony.

This is the most recent year in which the Big Four Networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) took home the top 14 Emmys (Comedy and Drama Series, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress in Comedy and Drama, and Directing and Writing for Comedy and Drama).

The Larry Sanders Show had 16 nominations and zero wins, tying the record with Northern Exposure in 1993 and becoming the first (and only to date) comedy series to set the record. These records would later be broken by Mad Men in 2012 with 17 nominations and without a single win and The Handmaid's Tale in 2021 with 21 nominations and without a single win.

Winners and nominees




Lead performances

Supporting performances



  • Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (HBO)
    • Dennis Miller Live (HBO)
    • Late Night with Conan O'Brien 3rd Anniversary Show (NBC)
    • Late Show with David Letterman (CBS)
    • Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher (ABC)
    • Tracey Takes On... (HBO): "Vegas"

Most major nominations

Networks with multiple major nominations[note 2]
Network No. of
NBC 50
HBO 41
CBS 21
ABC 19
Programs with multiple major nominations
Program Category Network No. of
ER Drama NBC 14
The Larry Sanders Show Comedy HBO 10
NYPD Blue Drama ABC 8
Miss Evers' Boys Movie HBO 6
Seinfeld Comedy NBC
The X-Files Drama Fox 5
Chicago Hope CBS 4
Frasier Comedy NBC
Gotti Movie HBO
In the Gloaming
Tracey Takes On... Variety
3rd Rock from the Sun Comedy NBC 3
The 69th Annual Academy Awards Variety ABC
Bastard Out of Carolina Movie Showtime
Bette Midler: Diva Las Vegas Variety HBO
Ellen Comedy ABC
The Last Don Miniseries CBS
Mad About You Comedy NBC
Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher Variety ABC
Chris Rock: Bring the Pain HBO 2
Cybill Comedy CBS
Dennis Miller Live Variety HBO
George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy
Hidden in America Movie Showtime
Late Show with David Letterman Variety CBS
Law & Order Drama NBC
Mandela and de Klerk Movie Showtime
The Odyssey Miniseries NBC
Prime Suspect V: Errors of Judgement PBS
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Variety NBC
Touched by an Angel Drama CBS

Most major awards

Networks with multiple major awards[note 2]
Network No. of
NBC 11
Programs with multiple major awards
Program Category Network No. of
NYPD Blue Drama ABC 4
3rd Rock from the Sun Comedy NBC 2
Chris Rock: Bring the Pain Variety HBO
Frasier Comedy NBC
Miss Evers' Boys Movie HBO
  1. ^ Saying Law & Order had no serialized arcs is potentially misleading. It's true that Law & Order is at its core a procedural, with only very lightly-serialized elements as a general rule. However, in its Emmy-winning season, the show had a three-episode arc—"D-Girl", "Turnaround", and "Showtime"—concerning a high-profile murder case. In addition, the episode "Entrapment" was a sequel to season 3's "Conspiracy" .
  2. ^ a b "Major" constitutes the categories listed above: Program, Acting, Directing, and Writing. Does not include the technical categories.