50th Primetime Emmy Awards
  • September 13, 1998
  • August 29, 1998
    (Creative Arts Awards)
LocationShrine Auditorium,
Los Angeles, California
Presented byAcademy of Television Arts and Sciences
Most awards
Most nominations
  • ER
  • NYPD Blue (8)
Outstanding Comedy SeriesFrasier
Outstanding Drama SeriesThe Practice
Outstanding MiniseriesFrom the Earth to the Moon
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy SeriesLate Show with David Letterman
Television/radio coverage
Produced byDon Mischer
← 49th · Primetime Emmy Awards · 51st →

The 50th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, September 13, 1998. It was broadcast on NBC.

When Frasier was announced as the winner of Outstanding Comedy Series, Emmy history was made. The NBC sitcom became the first show to win one of the two main series prizes five consecutive years. This record has since been passed by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whose winning streak was ten years, but for the main two genres, it was not matched until 2014, when the ABC sitcom Modern Family won its fifth consecutive award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Frasier tied for the most major wins overall with three.

The Practice won Outstanding Drama Series. For the second straight year, medical drama ER came into the night as the most nominated program, but once again walked away empty handed, going 0/8 in major categories.

Ally McBeal became the first hour-long series to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series since Love, American Style in 1971.

This year saw the Emmys move to a new venue, the Shrine Auditorium, marking the return of the award ceremony to Los Angeles for the first time since the 1976 Emmy Awards, following a 20-year residency at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium outside L.A. in Pasadena.

As of the 2023 Emmy Awards ceremony, this is the last year where all the nominees for Outstanding Drama Series were from the broadcast networks.

Winners and nominees




Lead performances

Supporting performances



  • The Larry Sanders Show (HBO): "Flip" – Peter Tolan and Garry Shandling
    • Ally McBeal (Fox): "Time of Life" – David E. Kelley
    • Ellen (ABC): "Emma" – Lawrence Broch
    • Frasier (NBC): "The Ski Lodge" – Joe Keenan
    • The Larry Sanders Show (HBO): "Putting the 'Gay' Back in Litigation" – Richard Day, Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck
  • NYPD Blue (ABC): "Lost Israel", Part 2 – Story by : David Milch and Bill Clark
    Teleplay by : David Milch and Nicholas Wootton
    • Homicide: Life on the Street (NBC): "The Subway" – James Yoshimura
    • NYPD Blue (ABC): "Lost Israel", Part 1 – Story by : Ted Mann, Bill Clark and Meredith Stiehm
      Teleplay by : David Milch and Ted Mann
    • The Practice (ABC): "Betrayal" – David E. Kelley
    • The X-Files (Fox): "The Post-Modern Prometheus" – Chris Carter

Most major nominations

Networks with multiple major nominations[note 1]
Network No. of
NBC 49
HBO 29
ABC 25
CBS 19
Fox 13
Programs with multiple major nominations
Program Category Network No. of
ER Drama NBC 8
The Larry Sanders Show Comedy HBO 7
Merlin Miniseries NBC 6
12 Angry Men Movie Showtime 5
Ally McBeal Comedy Fox
Frasier NBC
George Wallace Miniseries TNT
The X-Files Drama Fox
3rd Rock from the Sun Comedy NBC 4
Don King: Only in America Movie HBO
The 70th Annual Academy Awards Variety ABC 3
Chicago Hope Drama CBS
From the Earth to the Moon Miniseries HBO
Garth: Live from Central Park Variety
Gia Movie
Late Show with David Letterman Variety CBS
Moby Dick Miniseries USA
More Tales of the City Showtime
The Practice Drama ABC
Seinfeld Comedy NBC
Tracey Takes On... Variety HBO
Cinderella ABC 2
Dennis Miller Live HBO
Dharma & Greg Comedy ABC
Homicide: Life on the Street Drama NBC
Law & Order
Mad About You Comedy
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Variety
Touched by an Angel Drama CBS
What the Deaf Man Heard Movie

Most major awards

Networks with multiple major awards[note 1]
Network No. of
Programs with multiple major awards
Program Category Network No. of
Frasier Comedy NBC 3
George Wallace Miniseries TNT
NYPD Blue Drama ABC
The 70th Annual Academy Awards Variety 2
Don King: Only in America Movie HBO
The Larry Sanders Show Comedy
The Practice Drama ABC
  1. ^ a b "Major" constitutes the categories listed above: Program, Acting, Directing, and Writing. Does not include the technical categories.

In Memoriam

Patrick Stewart presented a clip tribute to the TV actors who had died: Red Skelton, Shari Lewis, Lloyd Bridges, Roy Rogers, singer John Denver, Robert Young, dancer Jerome Robbins, sports narrator Harry Caray, Frank Sinatra, singer Buffalo Bob, E. G. Marshall, J. T. Walsh, Sonny Bono, Phil Hartman, and Chris Farley. As an interesting note, Gary Sinise won the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his portrayal of George Wallace on the day that the latter died.