Mad Men wound up setting a dubious — and surprising — record at the Primetime Emmys this year. Not only did AMC’s slick 1960s-set drama see its four-year winning streak as best drama series snapped by Showtime’s Homeland, it failed to win a single trophy tonight or at the Creative Emmys last week. Heading into the awards with the most nominations, 17, Mad Men went 0-for-17 to set a record for the biggest shutout in Emmy history. It broke the mark of 16 held jointly by Northern Exposure (1993) and The Larry Sanders Show (1997). While there was a consensus that Mad Men had lost its Emmy momentum this year, few could have predicted the nominations frontrunner would be left completely empty-handed. There was a likely warning sign for this year’s drought in 2011, when the praised series was able to convert only two of its 19 nominations to a win.
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Mad Men already had a losing streak going on. In its five seasons on the air, the period drama has been shut out in all of its Emmy acting nominations — that’s 25 without a win. This year, Mad Men was bidding to become the first drama series ever to win five Emmys in the biggest category. It is now tied with Hill Street Blues, LA Law and The West Wing and will have to wait a year for another shot at breaking that record.