Press Pass 16: 1976 Emmy Award Nominations

Entering a new year, television show runners begin to turn their attention to award season, specifically the Emmy Awards. This was no different when M*A*S*H was on the air in the 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, the awards were even more important then because there were only three major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) and PBS. Each year, the networks would battle it out for the most nominations and most wins. In 1976, CBS had the most nominations of any network with 110 and M*A*S*H had the most nominations of any of the CBS shows with eleven. This week, let’s take a look at CBS’s press release announcing the Emmy Award nominations for the year.

Looking at this press release, right away, we see that CBS has the most nominations of any of the other networks, although they only beat ABC by one nomination. M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Carol Burnett Show led the nominations for CBS with eleven, ten, and eight respectively. The release mentioned that M*A*S*H had eleven nominations the previous year as well. Categories for which M*A*S*H was nominated include: Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Aland Alda), Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Gary Burghoff and Harry Morgan), Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Loretta Swit), Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series (Gene Reynolds), Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (Larry Gelbart & Gene Reynolds and Larry Gelbart & Simon Muntner), Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Entertainment Programming for a Series – For a Single Episode of a Comedy Series (Stanford Tischler and Fred W. Berger), and Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for Entertainment Programming for a Series (William K. Jurgensen). M*A*S*H had achieved a respectable collection of nominations including nine major awards and two technical awards. A great showing for the series during it’s fourth season!

The 28th Annual Emmy Awards aired on Monday, May 17 on ABC. CBS did really well that night, but M*A*S*H only ended up taking home awards in two of the eleven categories in which it was nominated. Gene Reynolds won Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for the episode “Welcome to Korea” (04×01) and Stanford Tischler and Fred W. Berger won Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Entertainment Programming for a Series – For a Single Episode of a Comedy Series for the same episode. M*A*S*H was up against some stiff competition, however, with Mary Tyler Moore taking home the most trophies that night. Overall, it was a great showing for CBS and the shows that shared a network with M*A*S*H.

While 1976 might have been disappointed for M*A*S*H in terms of total wins, the series did well with awards over its eleven year run. M*A*S*H ended up with a total of 109 Emmy nominations and 14 Emmy Awards by the time the show wrapped up in 1983. This isn’t too bad considering M*A*S*H was going up against other shows that are now also considered classics of television. The press release offers some great insight into how CBS and the networks fought for Emmy Award nominations at the time. Of course, today, things are very different with the Emmys being dominated by HBO, Netflix, and other streaming services. In M*A*S*H‘s day, the competition was just a stiff, but much more focused. See below for a list of the categories in which M*A*S*H was nominated in 1976, a list of all nominees in those categories, and the categories’ winners (in bold).

Nominations and Winners

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • Mary Tyler Moore, (CBS)
  • All in the Family, (CBS)
  • Barney Miller, (ABC)
  • M*A*S*H, (CBS)
  • Welcome Back, Kotter, (ABC)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Jack Albertson as Ed Brown on Chico and the Man, (NBC)
  • Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H, (CBS)
  • Hal Linden as Capt. Barney Miller on Barney Miller, (ABC)
  • Henry Winkler as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on Happy Days, (ABC)

Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Ted Knight as Ted Baxter on Mary Tyler Moore, (Episode:”Ted’s Wedding”), (CBS)
  • Edward Asner as Lou Grant on Mary Tyler Moore, (CBS)
  • Gary Burghoff as Radar O’Reilly on M*A*S*H, (CBS)
  • Harry Morgan as Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H, (CBS)
  • Abe Vigoda as Det. Phil Fish on Barney Miller, (ABC)

Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore, (CBS)
  • Georgia Engel as Georgette Franklin on Mary Tyler Moore, (CBS)
  • Julie Kavner as Brenda Morgenstern on Rhoda, (CBS)
  • Loretta Swit as Margaret Houlihan on M*A*S*H, (CBS)
  • Nancy Walker as Ida Morgenstern on Rhoda, (CBS)

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series

  • Gene Reynolds for M*A*S*H, (Episode: “Welcome to Korea”), (CBS)
  • Alan Alda for M*A*S*H, (Episode: “The Kids”), (CBS)
  • Hal Cooper for Maude, (Episode: “The Analyst”), (CBS)
  • Joan Darling for Mary Tyler Moore, (Episode: “Chuckles Bites the Dust”), (CBS)

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

  • David Lloyd for Mary Tyler Moore, (Episode: “Chuckles Bites the Dust”), (CBS)
  • Danny Arnold, Chris Hayward for Barney Miller, (Episode: “The Hero”), (ABC)
  • Jay Folb for Maude, (Episode: “The Analyst”), (CBS)
  • Larry Gelbart, Gene Reynolds for M*A*S*H, (Episode: “The More I See You”), (CBS)
  • Larry Gelbart, Simon Muntner for M*A*S*H, (Episode: “Hawkeye”), (CBS)

Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Entertainment Programming for a Series – For a Single Episode of a Comedy Series

  • Stanford Tischler, Fred W. Berger for M*A*S*H, (Episode “Welcome to Korea”), (CBS)
  • Douglas Hines for Mary Tyler Moore, (Episode “Chuckles Bites the Dust”), (CBS)

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for Entertainment Programming for a Series

  • Harry L. Wolf for Baretta, (Episode “Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow”), (ABC)
  • Sol Negrin for Kojak, (Episode “A Questions of Answers”), (CBS)
  • Ted Voigtlander for Little House on the Prairie, (Episode “Remember Me”, parts I and II), (NBC)
  • William K. Jurgensen for M*A*S*H, (Episode “Hawkeye”), (CBS)
  • Howard Schwartz for Rich Man, Poor Man, (Episode on 1 February 1976), (ABC)

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