Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama

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Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama
Awarded forOutstanding Writing for a Drama Series
CountryUnited States
Presented byWriters Guild of America
First awarded1961
Currently held byWill Tracy
Succession (2019)

The Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama is an award presented by the Writers Guild of America to the best written episodes of a dramatic television series. It has been presented annually since the 14th annual Writers Guild of America awards in 1962. The years denote when each episode first aired. Though, due to the eligibility period, some nominees could have aired in a different year. The current eligibility period is December 1 to November 30. The winners are highlighted in gold.


Year Show Episode Writer(s)
1961 Naked City "The Fault in Our Stars" Barry Trivers
Have Gun – Will Travel "The Fatalist" Shimon Wincelberg
The Law and Mr. Jones "No Sale" Palmer Thompson
Rawhide "The Incident of the Buffalo Soldier" John Dunkel
The Westerner "Brown" Bruce Geller
1962 Naked City "Today the Man Who Kills the Ants Is Coming" Kenneth M. Rosen and Howard Rodman
Ben Casey "I Remember a Lemon Tree" Jack Laird and Marcus W. Demian
The Defenders "The Benefactor" Peter Stone
Naked City "The Multiplicity of Herbert Konish" Ernest Kinoy
Route 66 "Goodnight, Sweet Blues" Leonard Freeman and Will Lorin
1963 Route 66 "Man Out of Time" Lawrence B. Marcus
Ben Casey "A Cardinal Act of Mercy" Norman Katkov
The Defenders "A Book for Burning" William Woolfolk
Empire "Between Friday and Monday" Kenneth Trevey
Naked City "The S.S. American Dream" Frank Pierson
1964 East Side/West Side "Who Do You Kill?" Arnold Perl
Channing "Freedom is a Lovesome Thing God Wot!" Jack R. Guss and Edmund Morris
"Wave Goodbye to Our Fair-Haired Boy" Kenneth Kolb
The Defenders "The Non Violent" Ernest Kinoy
Gunsmoke "Owney Tupper Had A Daughter" Paul Savage
1965 Mr. Novak "With a Hammer In His Hand, Lord, Lord!" John D. F. Black
12 O'Clock High "Interlude" Dean Riesner
Ben Casey "A Woods Full of Question Marks" Ellis Marcus
Dr. Kildare "Man is a Rock" Christopher Knopf
The Fugitive "Men in a Chariot" George Eckstein
Slattery's People "Did He Who Made the Lamb Make Thee?" William P. McGivern
1966 The Trials of O'Brien "No Justice for the Judge" David Ellis
Court Martial "Judge Them Gently" Gerry Day
The Fugitive "When the Wind Blows" Betty Langdon
Slattery's People "Color Him Red" Pat Fielder
The Virginian "The Horse Fighter" Richard Fielder
1967 Star Trek "The City on the Edge of Forever" Harlan Ellison
The Big Valley "The Martyr" Mel Goldberg
Gunsmoke "Fandango" Don Ingalls
Mission: Impossible "Odd on Evil" William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter
Star Trek "The Return of the Archons" Boris Sobelman and Gene Roddenberry
1968 Judd, for the Defense "To Kill a Madman" Robert Lewin
Hawaii Five-O "Pilot" Leonard Freeman
Judd, for the Defense "The Commitment" Paul Monash
"No Law against Murder" Harold Gast
Mannix "The Name is Mannix" Bruce Geller
The Outcasts "Take Your Lover in the Ring" Anthony Lawrence
Star Trek "Return to Tomorrow" John T. Dugan
1969 Judd, for the Defense "An Elephant in a Cigar Box" Robert Lewin
Hawaii Five-O "To Hell with Babe Ruth" Anthony Lawrence
The Mod Squad "In This Corner -- Sol Alpert" Rita Lakin and Harve Bennett
"Keep the Faith, Baby" Harve Bennett
Then Came Bronson "Two Percent of Nothing" D. C. Fontana
The Virginian "Black Jade" Herb Meadow


Year Show Episode Writer(s)
1970 The Bold Ones: The Senator "A Continual Roar of Musketry" David W. Rintels
Bracken's World "Infinity" Cliff Gould
"Meanwhile, Back at the Studio" Joseph Bonaduce
Hawaii Five-O "Trouble in Mind" Mel Goldberg and Sasha Gilien
The Young Lawyers "The Glass Prison" John W. Bloch
1971 The Psychiatrist "Par for the Course" Thomas Y. Drake, Herb Bermann, Jerrold Freedman and Bo May
The Bold Ones: The Lawyers "The Invasion of Kevin Ireland" Jack B. Sowards and Brett Huggins
The Bold Ones: The New Doctors "Angry Man" Arthur Dales
Columbo "Murder By the Book" Steven Bochco
Hawaii Five-O "F.O.B. Honolulu" Jerry Ludwig and Eric Bercovici
Ironside "No Motive for Murder" Sy Salkowitz
Marcus Welby, M.D. "They Grow Up" Dick Nelson
Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law "Until Proven Innocent" Pat Fielder
1972 Kung Fu "King of the Mountain" Herman Miller
Columbo "Etude in Black" Steven Bochco, William Link and Richard Levinson
Marcus Welby, M.D. "Please Don't Send Flowers" Bess Boyle
McCloud "The Barefoot Stewardess Caper" Glen A. Larson and Michael Gleason
"The New Mexican Connection" Glen A. Larson
The Mod Squad "Taps, Play It Louder" Sandor Stern
1973 The Starlost "Phoenix without Ashes" Harlan Ellison
Gunsmoke "The Golden Land" Hal Sitowitz
Marcus Welby, M.D. "A Necessary End" Norman Hudis
The Streets of San Francisco "The House on Hyde Street" John Wilder and Cliff Osmond
The Waltons "The Easter Story" John McGreevey, and Earl Hamner
"The Odyssey" Joanna Lee
"The Roots" Sheldon Stark
"The Thanksgiving Story" Joanna Lee and Earl Hamner
1974 Gunsmoke "Thirty a Month and Found" Jim Byrnes
McCloud "The Colorado Cattle Caper" Michael Gleason
The New Land "The Word Is: Growth" William Blinn
The Waltons "The Conflict" Jeb Rosebrook
1975 The Law "Prior Consent" Arthur Ross and Stephen Kandel
Gunsmoke "The Busters" Jim Byrnes
Kojak "The Good Luck Bomber" Raymond Brenner
The Streets of San Francisco "Web of Lies" Leonard Kantor
The Waltons "The Woman" Hindi Brooks
1976 Carl Sandburg's Lincoln "Crossing Fox River" Loring Mandel
Baa Baa Black Sheep "Flying Misfits" Stephen J. Cannell
City of Angels "The November Plan" Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell
Rich Man, Poor Man Book II Millard Lampell
The Rockford Files "So Help Me God" Juanita Bartlett
1977 Police Story "Pressure Point" Mark Rodgers
Eight Is Enough "The Gipper Caper" William Blinn
Lou Grant "Christmas" David Lloyd
"Housewarming" Leonora Thuna
Police Woman "Merry Christmas, Waldo" E. Arthur Kean
The Rockford Files "Beamer's Last Case" Stephen J. Cannell, Booker Bradshaw and Calvin Kelly
"Quickie Nirvana" David Chase
1978 Lou Grant "Prisoner" Seth Freeman
Columbo "The Conspirators" Howard Berk
Lou Grant "Murder" Gary David Goldberg
The Rockford Files "The House on Willis Avenue" Stephen J. Cannell
The Waltons "The Captive" Ray Cunneff
"The Illusion" John McGreevey
1979 Lou Grant "Vet" Leon Tokatyan
Eischied "The Demon" Mark Rodgers
Lou Grant "Exposé" David Lloyd
"Home" Gary David Goldberg
"Slammer" Johnny Dawkins
The Rockford Files "Some Things You Can Tell Yourself" David Chase
The Waltons "The Burden" E. F. Wallengren


Year Show Episode Writer(s)
1980 Tenspeed and Brown Shoe "Pilot" Stephen J. Cannell
Little House on the Prairie "Second Spring" John T. Dugan
Lou Grant "Blackout" Steve Kline
"Brushfire" Allan Burns and Gene Reynolds
"Inheritance" April Smith
M*A*S*H "Dreams" Alan Alda and James Ray Rubinfier
Skag "Pilot" Abby Mann
1981 Hill Street Blues "Hill Street Station" Michael Kozoll and Steven Bochco
Hill Street Blues "Film at Eleven" Anthony Yerkovich
Lou Grant "Campesinos" Michael Vittes
"Strike" April Smith
M*A*S*H "Bless You, Hawkeye" Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
Palmerstown, USA "Future City" Ronald Rubin
1982 Hill Street Blues "The World According to Freedom" Michael Wagner
Darkroom "Closed Circuit" Alan Brennert
Fame "A Special Place" Parke Perine
Hill Street Blues "Fruits of the Poisonous Tree" Jeffrey Lewis
Lou Grant "Review" Jeffrey Lane
1983 Hill Street Blues "Trial by Fury" David Milch
Cagney & Lacey "Jane Doe #37" Peter Lefcourt
Hill Street Blues "Eugene's Comedy Empire Strikes Back" Anthony Yerkovich, David Milch, Karen Hall, Steven Bochco and Jeffrey Lewis
"Gung Ho!" David Milch, Jeffrey Lewis and Michael Wagner
St. Elsewhere "Addiction" John Masius and Tom Fontana
Two Marriages "Pilot" Carol Sobieski
1984 Hill Street Blues "Grace Under Pressure" Jeffrey Lewis, Michael Wagner, Karen Hall, Mark Frost, Steven Bochco and David Milch
Cagney & Lacey "Victimless Crime" Peter Lefcourt
Hill Street Blues "Death by Kiki" David Milch and Mark Frost
"Parting is Such Sweep Sorrow" Jeffrey Lewis, Michael Wagner, David Milch, Mark Frost and Steven Bochco
St. Elsewhere "Hello and Goodbye" John Masius and Tom Fontana
"The Women" John Ford Noonan, John Masius, and Tom Fontana
Trauma Center "Turnaround" Harry Longstreet and Renee Longstreet
1985 Cagney & Lacey "An Unusual Occurrence" Georgia Jeffries
Miami Vice "Brother's Keeper" Anthony Yerkovich
Cagney & Lacey "Child Witness" Deborah Arakelian
"Who Said It's Fair?" (Part II) Patricia Green
Call to Glory "A Wind from the East" Josef Anderson
Hill Street Blues "Watt a Way to Go" David Milch, Roger Director, Steven Bochco and Jeffrey Lewis
St. Elsewhere "Sweet Dreams" John Masius and Tom Fontana
1986 Moonlighting "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" Debra Frank and Carl Sautter
St. Elsewhere "Remembrance of Things Past" John Masius, Bruce Paltrow and Tom Fontana
Hill Street Blues "Remembrance of Hits Past" Walon Green, Jeffrey Lewis and David Milch
"What Are Friends For?" Dick Wolf
Moonlighting "Every Daughter's Father is a Virgin" Bruce Franklin Singer
1987 Cagney & Lacey "Turn, Turn, Turn" (Part 1) Georgia Jeffries
Moonlighting "It's a Wonderful Job" Debra Frank and Carl Sautter
Hill Street Blues "Fathers and Guns" Jeffrey Lewis and Jerry Patrick Brown
"More Skinned Against than Skinning" David Black
L.A. Law "Fry Me to the Moon" Jacob Epstein, Marshall Goldberg and David E. Kelley
"The Venus Butterfly" Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher
Moonlighting "Atomic Shakespeare" Ron Osborn and Jeff Reno
"Big Man on Mulberry Street" Karen Hall
St. Elsewhere "A Room with a View" John Masius, Tom Fontana and Channing Gibson
1988 thirtysomething "Pilot" Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick
"Therapy" Susan Shilliday
China Beach "Home" William Broyles Jr.
L.A. Law "Full Marital Jacket" Terry Louise Fisher, David E. Kelley and Steven Bochco
St. Elsewhere "Moon for the Misbegotten" Tom Fontana, John Tinker and Channing Gibson
thirtysomething "Nice Work if You Can Get it" Paul Haggis and Jean Vallely
1989 TV 101 "Rolling" Karl Schaefer
CBS Summer Playhouse "Elysian Fields" Joan Tewkesbury
China Beach "Where the Boys Are" Alan Brennert
"Xmas/CHNBCH VN '67" John Wells
L.A. Law "His Suite is Hirsute" Steven Bochco, David E. Kelley, Michele Gallery and William M. Finkelstein
Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Measure of a Man" Melinda M. Snodgrass


Year Show Episode Writer(s)
1990 China Beach "Souvenirs" John Sacret Young
China Beach "Warriors" Martin M. Goldstein, Neal Baer and Dottie Dartland
L.A. Law "Bang...Zoom...Zap" David E. Kelley and William M. Finkelstein
"Justice Swerved" David E. Kelley and Bryce Zabel
thirtysomething "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?" Winnie Holzman
"Strangers" Richard Kramer
1991 thirtysomething "Photo Opportunity" Racelle Rosett Schaefer
China Beach "Escape" Paris Qualles, John Sacret Young, John Wells, Carol Flint and Lydia Woodward
"Hello Goodbye" John Sacret Young, John Wells, Carol Flint and Lydia Woodward
Law & Order "Everybody's Favorite Bagman" Dick Wolf
Quantum Leap "The Leap Home" (Part 1) Donald P. Bellisario
thirtysomething "Guns and Roses" Liberty Godshall
1992 I'll Fly Away "Amazing Grace" Henry Bromell
I'll Fly Away "Coming Home" Kevin Arkadie
Northern Exposure "Burning Down the House" Robin Green
"Seoul Mates" Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider
1993 Homicide: Life on the Street "Night of the Dead Living" Tom Fontana and Frank Pugliese
Homicide: Life on the Street" "Gone for Goode" Paul Attanasio
I'll Fly Away "Comfort and Joy" Barbara Hall
Life Goes On "Last Wish" Toni Graphia
Picket Fences "Thanksgiving" David E. Kelley
Reasonable Doubts "Thank God It's Friday" Ed Zuckerman
TriBeCa "The Box" David J. Burke and Hans Tobeason
1994 Homicide: Life on the Street "Bop Gun" David Simon, David Mills and Tom Fontana
Homicide: Life on the Street "A Many Splendored Thing" Noel Behn and Tom Fontana
Northern Exposure "Hello, I Love You" Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
NYPD Blue "Pilot" Steven Bochco and David Milch
"Tempest in a C-Cup" Gardner Stern
1995 ER "Love's Labor Lost" Lance A. Gentile
Homicide: Life on the Street "Fits Like a Glove" Bonnie Mark, Tom Fontana and Julie Martin
Picket Fences "Saint Zack" Nicholas C. Harding and David E. Kelley
The X-Files "Duane Barry" Chris Carter
1996 NYPD Blue "Girl Talk" Bill Clark and Theresa Rebeck
Law & Order "Aftershock" Michael S. Chernuchin and Janis Diamond
"Savages" Morgan Gendel, Barry M. Schkolnick, and Michael S. Chernuchin
"Trophy" Jeremy R. Littman and Ed Zuckerman
Murder One "Chapter One" David Milch, Steven Bochco, Charles H. Eglee and Channing Gibson
Party of Five "Falsies" Mark B. Perry
The X-Files "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" Darin Morgan
1997 Law & Order "Entrapment" Rene Balcer and Richard Sweren
ER "Who's Appy Now?" Neal Baer
Law & Order "Deadbeat" Ed Zuckerman and I.C. Rapoport
1998 Nothing Sacred "Proofs for the Existence of God" Paul Leland
ER "Exodus" Walon Green and Joe Sachs
From the Earth to the Moon "Apollo One" Graham Yost
Homicide: Life on the Street "Finnegan's Wake" David Mills, James Yoshimura and David Simon
"Saigon Rose" Eric Overmyer
"Subway" James Yoshimura
Law & Order "Burned" Siobhan Byrne
The Practice "Betrayal" David E. Kelley
Rescuers: Stories of Courage "The Marie Taquet Story" Malka Drucker, Cy Chermak and Francine Carroll
1999 The Sopranos "Meadowlands" Jason Cahill
ER "The Storm" (Part 1) John Wells
Law & Order "DWB" Rene Balcer
Oz "U.S. Male" Tom Fontana and Bradford Winters


Year Show Episode Writer(s)
2000 The West Wing "In Excelsis Deo" Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland
Once and Again "Strangers and Brothers" Richard Kramer
The Sopranos "Big Girls Don't Cry" Terence Winter
"The Knight in White Satin Armor" Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
The West Wing "Enemies" Ron Osborn, Jeff Reno, Rick Cleveland, Lawrence O'Donnell Jr. and Patrick Caddell
"Take This Sabbath Day" Aaron Sorkin, Lawrence O'Donnell and Paul Redford
2001 The Sopranos "Pine Barrens" Tim Van Patten and Terence Winter
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Blood Drops" Ann Donahue and Tish McCarthy
The Sopranos "Employee of the Month" Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
"Proshai, Livushka" David Chase
The West Wing "Somebody's Going to Emergency,
Somebody's Going to Jail"
Paul Redford and Aaron Sorkin
"Two Cathedrals" Aaron Sorkin
2002 The Education of Max Bickford "Pilot" Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin
ER "On the Beach" John Wells
Resurrection Blvd. "Nino del Polvo" Robert Eisele
Six Feet Under "In Place of Anger" Christian Taylor
The Sopranos "Whoever Did This" Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
The West Wing "Game On" Aaron Sorkin and Paul Redford
2003 24 "Day 2: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m." Evan Katz
Law & Order "Bounty" Michael S. Chernuchin
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit "Abomination" Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters
The O.C. "Pilot" Josh Schwartz
The West Wing "Disaster Relief" Alexa Junge and Lauren Schmidt
2004 The West Wing "The Supremes" Debora Cahn
Six Feet Under "Falling into Place" Craig Wright
The Sopranos "Long Term Parking" Terence Winter
The West Wing "Memorial Day" John Sacret Young and Josh Singer
2005 House "Autopsy" Lawrence Kaplow
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Grave Danger" Anthony E. Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Naren Shankar and Quentin Tarantino
Nip/Tuck "Rhea Reynolds" Jennifer Salt
Six Feet Under "Singing for Our Lives" Scott Buck
Veronica Mars "Normal Is the Watchword" Rob Thomas
The West Wing "A Good Day" Carol Flint
2006 Big Love "Pilot" Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer
Battlestar Galactica "Occupation" / "Precipice" Ronald D. Moore
Lost "Two for the Road" Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim
Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King "The End of the Whole Mess" Lawrence D. Cohen and Stephen King
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip "Pilot" Aaron Sorkin
The West Wing "Election Day", Part 2 Eli Attie and John Wells
2007 The Sopranos "The Second Coming" Terence Winter
The Closer "The Round File" Michael Alaimo
Dexter "The Dark Defender" Tim Schlattmann
Lost "Flashes Before Your Eyes" Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard
Mad Men "The Hobo Code" Chris Provenzano
The Wire "Final Grades" David Simon and Ed Burns
2008 Breaking Bad "Pilot" Vince Gilligan
Breaking Bad "Gray Matter" Patty Lin
Burn Notice "Double Booked" Craig O'Neill and Jason Tracey
Dexter "There's Something About Harry" Scott Reynolds
Eli Stone "Faith" Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim
House "Don't Ever Change" Doris Egan and Leonard Dick
2009 House "Broken" Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, David Foster and David Shore
Big Love "Come, Ye Saints" Melanie Marnich
Breaking Bad "Phoenix" John Shiban
Mad Men "The Grown-Ups" Brett Johnson and Matthew Weiner
"Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" Robin Veith and Matthew Weiner
True Blood "I Will Rise Up" Nancy Oliver


Year Show Episode Writer(s)
2010 Mad Men "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" Erin Levy
Breaking Bad "I.F.T." George Mastras
"I See You" Gennifer Hutchison
The Good Wife "Boom" Ted Humphrey
House "Help Me" Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner and Peter Blake
Lost "The End" Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse
2011 Breaking Bad "Box Cutter" Vince Gilligan
Homeland "The Good Soldier" Henry Bromell
Boardwalk Empire "The Age of Reason" Bathsheba Doran
"A Dangerous Maid" Itamar Moses
Breaking Bad "End Times" Thomas Schnauz and Moira Walley-Beckett
Dexter "Just Let Go" Jace Richdale
2012 Mad Men "The Other Woman" Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner
Breaking Bad "Buyout" Gennifer Hutchison
"Dead Freight" George Mastras
"Fifty-One" Sam Catlin
"Say My Name" Thomas Schnauz
Homeland "New Car Smell" Meredith Stiehm
2013 Breaking Bad "Confessions" Gennifer Hutchison
Breaking Bad "Buried" Thomas Schnauz
"Granite State" Peter Gould
The Good Wife "Hitting the Fan" Robert King and Michelle King
House of Cards "Chapter 1" Beau Willimon
Masters of Sex "Pilot" Michelle Ashford
2014 The Good Wife "The Last Call" Robert King and Michelle King
Boardwalk Empire "Devil You Know" Howard Korder
"Friendless Child" Riccardo DiLoreto, Cristine Chambers and Howard Korder
Game of Thrones "The Lion and the Rose" George R. R. Martin
Mad Men "A Day's Work" Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner
Rectify "Donald the Normal" Kate Powers and Ray McKinnon
2015 Better Call Saul "Uno" Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould
Game of Thrones "Mother's Mercy" David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
The Good Wife "Mind's Eye" Robert King and Michelle King
The Leftovers "International Assassin" Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse
Mad Men "Person to Person" Matthew Weiner
Narcos "Explosivos" Andy Black
2016 This Is Us "The Trip" Vera Herbert
Better Call Saul "Gloves Off" Gordon Smith
"Klick" Heather Marion and Vince Gilligan
"Switch" Thomas Schnauz
Game of Thrones "The Winds of Winter" David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Shameless "I Am a Storm" Sheila Callaghan
2017 Better Call Saul "Chicanery" Gordon Smith
The Americans "The Soviet Division" Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg
Better Call Saul "Slip" Heather Marion
Good Behavior "The Heart Attack is the Best Way" Chad Hodge
The Leftovers "The Book of Nora" Tom Perotta, Damon Lindelof and Tom Spezialy
The OA "Homecoming" Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij
2018 Homeland "Paean to the People" Alex Gansa
The Affair "407" Lydia Diamond, Sarah Sutherland and Jaquén Castellanos
The Handmaid's Tale "First Blood" Eric Tuchman
Narcos: Mexico "Camelot" Eric Newman & Clayton Trussell
Ozark "The Precious Blood of Jesus" David Manson
This Is Us "The Car" Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger
2019 Succession "Tern Haven" Will Tracy
The Crown "Moondust" Peter Morgan
Mr. Robot "407 Proxy Authentication Required" Sam Esmail
The OA "Mirror Mirror Dominic Orlando & Claire Kiechel
Ray Donovan "A Good Man is Hard to Find" Joshua Marston
This Is Us "Our Little Island Girl" Eboni Freeman

Total awards[edit]

  • NBC – 21
  • ABC – 14
  • CBS – 11
  • AMC – 7
  • HBO – 4
  • Fox – 3
  • Showtime – 2
  • Syndicated – 1

Programs with multiple awards[edit]

Programs with multiple nominations[edit]


  1. ^ thirtysomething's double win in 1988 is counted as only one win.