Murderers’ Row: The Greatest Emmy Awards Lineups Ever

The strongest nominee for each major category in TV’s top honors

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Best Drama, 1985

Best Drama, 1985

The Lineup: Cagney & Lacey (winner), Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, Murder, She Wrote, St. Elsewhere

Welcome to Peak 1980's TV. Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere made much of the great TV to come possible by enriching, expanding, and subverting the emotional content of cop and doctor dramas respectively. (Both were products of Mary Tyler Moore and Grant Tinker's MTM Enterprises, the era's equivalent of HBO airing The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, and Sex and the City simultaneously.) Visionary tough-guy director Michael Mann’s stylish Miami Vice's editing and cinematography made it much more than white jackets and pastel t-shirts, while Cagney & Lacey and Murder, She Wrote transformed average police procedurals and detective stories into showcases for iconic actresses. This was the decade’s state of the art.

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