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 current winning streak is 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.
The Practice won Outstanding Drama Series and tied for the most major wins overall with three. 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 0/9 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.
Winners and nominees
|Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
- Mel Brooks as Uncle Phil on Mad About You (Episode: "Uncle Phil And The Coupons"), (NBC)
- Hank Azaria as Nat on Mad About You (Episode: "Nat and Arly"), (NBC)
- Lloyd Bridges as Izzy Mandelbaum on Seinfeld (Episode: "The Blood"), (NBC)
- John Cleese as Dr. Neesam on 3rd Rock from the Sun (Episode: "Dick and the Other Guy"), (NBC)
- Nathan Lane as Professor Twilley on Mad About You (Episode: "Good Old Reliable Nathan"), (NBC)
- Emma Thompson as Herself on Ellen (Episode: "Emma"), (ABC)
- Carol Burnett as Teresa on Mad About You (Episode: "Coming Home"), (NBC)
- Jan Hooks as Vicki Dubcek on 3rd Rock from the Sun (Episode: "Eat, Drink, Dick, Mary"), (NBC)
- Patti LuPone as Zora on Frasier (Episode: "Beware of Greeks"), (NBC)
- Bette Midler as Caprice Feldman on Murphy Brown (Episode: "Never Can Say Goodbye"), (CBS)
|Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Most major nominations
- By network [note 1]
- NBC - 49
- HBO - 29
- ABC - 25
- CBS - 19
- Fox - 13
- By program
- ER (NBC) - 9
- NYPD Blue (ABC) - 8
- The Larry Sanders Show (HBO) / The X-Files (Fox) - 7
- 3rd Rock from the Sun (NBC) / Frasier (NBC) / Mad About You (NBC) / Merlin (NBC) - 6
Most major awards
- By network [note 1]
- ABC - 9
- NBC - 7
- HBO - 7
- CBS - 5
- TNT - 2
- By program
- Frasier (NBC) / George Wallace (TNT) / NYPD Blue (ABC) / The Practice (ABC) - 3
- Don King: Only in America (HBO) / The Larry Sanders Show (HBO) / Mad About You (NBC) - 2
- ^ a b "Major" constitutes the categories listed above: Program, Acting, Directing, and Writing. Does not include the technical categories.
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.