Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series

The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series represents excellence in the category of limited series that are two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 minutes. The program must tell a complete, non-recurring story, and not have an ongoing storyline or main characters in subsequent seasons.


The category began as the Outstanding Drama/Comedy – Limited Episodes in 1973. Prior to that year, limited series and miniseries were entered in the same category as continuing series for Outstanding Series – Drama. According to a 1972 newspaper article in the Los Angeles Times, this change might be due to the then recent entry of a number of British produced limited series that were competing with American produced continuing series in the same pre-existing category. The category was renamed Outstanding Limited Series in 1974 and later Outstanding Miniseries in 1986.
In 1991, Outstanding Miniseries category was merged with Outstanding TV Movie, then called Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special, to form Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special and Miniseries and the number of nominees increased from five to six. For that year, two miniseries had competed with four "made for television movies." The decision was reversed in 1992. In 2011, due to a low number of eligible miniseries in recent years, the categories were again merged as Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie before reverting in 2014 following an influx in limited series. A year later, the name of the awards category was changed to Outstanding Limited Series and the rules were made to distinguish that category from that of a movie by having the work have at least two episodes and from that of a regular series by having no more than five episode. The 2015 rule change allowed more short seasons cable TV programs to compete while prior rules had forced the same programs to compete in the same category with full seasons network programs.
What has been unique about this award in recent years is that there is almost always at least one nominee originating from Great Britain. For example, the 2005 winner was The Lost Prince, which happened to be that year's British entry. The 2006 winner, Elizabeth I, was also a British miniseries, although it was a co-production with American television network HBO. Likewise, the most recent winner, Chernobyl, was a co-production of British and American companies.

Winners and nominations







Programs with multiple awards

;3 awards
;2 awards
Totals include continuing series, but not sequels as is the case with Cranford and Return to Cranford, Roots and , and others.
;5 nominations
;4 nominations
;3 nominations
;2 nominations