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 Comedy, 1973

Best Comedy, 1973

The Lineup: All in the Family (winner), M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Sanford and Son

To understand just how far ahead of their time the comedy crop of 1973 was, look no further than the wall-to-wall schlock in the Best Drama category: Cannon, Columbo, Hawaii Five-O, Kung Fu, Mannix, and your winner, the freaking Waltons. Against this array of mostly wide-tie-wearing private dicks or whatever stood the career-best work of talents like Norman Lear, James L. Brooks, Mary Tyler Moore, Alan Alda, and Redd Foxx — often addressing seismic social change in subtle or overt ways, always being really fucking funny. Comedy was serious art at a time when drama was basically a joke.