Emmy Awards History

The Emmy Awards, which are considered as Oscars for the television industry, honor the contributions made by actors, producers, directors, writers and other technicians involved in the television industry. Emmy awards recognize talent in different sectors of the television industry like entertainment programming, sports programming and news and documentaries.

History of Emmy Awards

Instituted by the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) in 1949. Emmy Awards were an image-building exercise to promote and honor the talent in the television industry. Emmy is a Statuette that shows a winged woman holding an atom.

The first-ever Emmy Awards, which were held on January 25, 1949, at Hollywood Athletic Club, concentrated on shows produced and aired in Los Angeles only. Shirley Dinsdale made history when he got the first-ever Most Outstanding Television personality award. In the 1950s, Emmy awards were turned into a national event, which was telecasted throughout the nation.

In 1955, ATA's sister organization National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) was formed which concentrated on programming and shows in the East Coast. Regional chapters were opened by NATAS all over the United States, which started local Emmy Award shows for local programming.

Initially, only one Emmy awards ceremony was held annually which was telecasted throughout the United States. Later, Daytime Emmy Awards, which concentrated on just daytime programming, was introduced in 1974. Soon other area-specific Emmy Awards were introduced. International Emmy Awards, which are aimed at TV shows produced and aired outside the US, were started in the early 1970s.

Later, differences between ATAS and NATAS led to a split in 1977 but they decided to share the statuette and trademark and divided among themselves a specific set of award shows.

Area-Specific Ceremonies:

The Emmy Awards are given annually in different area-specific ceremonies throughout the year.

Primetime Emmys: Given by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS), these award shows honor the primetime programming, except sports. Generally held in mid-September, these award ceremonies will be telecasted on the ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox networks by rotation.

Some categories involving behind-the-scene professionals like art directors, cinematographers, casting directors, costume designers and sound editors are given awards at Creative Arts Emmys ceremony held a few days earlier.

Daytime Emmys: Given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in June, Daytime Emmy Awards honor the excellence in daytime television programming. The first separate Daytime Emmy award ceremony was held in 1974. Separate Creative-Arts Emmy awards were given few days before the Daytime Emmys to honor excellence of behind-the-scene personnel working in daytime programming.

Sports Emmys: Given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in April-May in the New York City, the award honors the contribution made by those associated with sports programming.

Regional Emmys: Given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), there are 20 chapters which hold regional Emmy award ceremonies to honor talent in their region.

Boston/New England, Chicago/Midwest, Cleveland, Heartland, Lone Star, Los Angeles, Michigan, Mid-America, Mid-Atlantic, Midsouth, National Capital/Chesapeake Bay, New York, Northern California, Northwest, Ohio Valley, Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain Southwest, South East/Mississippi, Sun coast Chapter and Upper Midwest are the 20 regional chapters.

International Emmys: Given by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in November every year, International Emmy award honors the TV shows produced and aired outside the US. There are 14 categories in which International Emmy awards are given. These include Best performance by an actor and actress,Current Affairs, documentary, best interactive channel, best TV movie/mini-series etc.

Student Emmys: Students studying in high school can submit their production in categories like news, arts and entertainment, documentary, public affairs/community service/public service, sports, technical achievements and writing to their regional chapter. Each region separately honors the contribution made by students.

Winners from all the regions are judged by a panel, they will receive the National Student TV award for excellence.