September 17, 2019


While we wait for the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards, to be presented on Sunday, September 23, here are a few interesting tidbits about the Emmys—general trivia, records held, the Emmy statuette, and more

GAME OF THRONES winning outstanding drama series in 2018
  • This year, GAME OF THRONES became the show with the highest number of Emmy nominations in a single year, with 32 nominations for its final season. The show has already won 10 at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys 2019.
  • GAME OF THRONES is also the series with the second highest Emmy nominations ever—with 161 nominations—next only to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, which stands at a staggering 270 nominations till date.
  • In fact, GAME OF THRONES could also join the club of shows that have won the highest number of Emmys for outstanding drama series. This is presently a club that comprises four shows—HILL STREET BLUES, LA LAW, THE WEST WING and MAD MEN, each of which have won the big prize four times.
  • GAME OF THRONES is also the series with the maximum number of Emmy wins overall for any drama or comedy series. The total Emmy wins before the 2019 Emmys stood at 47.
  • The series to have won the maximum awards for outstanding comedy series are FRASIER and MODERN FAMILY, which have both won five times each.
  • The series with the maximum number of Emmy wins in its first season is THE WEST WING. It was in 2000, and the number of Emmys won was nine.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won six acting Emmys for VEEP
  • The actresses with the highest number of acting Emmy wins are Cloris Leachman, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus—with eight wins each. Louis-Dreyfus could break this record and become the sole holder of this distinction if she wins for VEEP this year. With seven wins each are actresses Mary Tyler Moore and Allison Janney (THE WEST WING, MOM).
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus is actually the actress with the highest number of Emmys for playing the same role. She has won six Emmys for her role as Selina Meyer in VEEP, for each of its six previous seasons. Louis-Dreyfus could break her own record this year, as she is nominated for the seventh and final season of VEEP as well. She is also the performer with the most Emmy wins for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.
  • Tyne Daly (CAGNEY & LACEY) and Michael Learned (THE WALTONS, NURSE) are the actresses with most Emmy wins for outstanding lead actress in a drama series, with four wins each.
  • Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD) and Dennis Franz (NYPD BLUE) are the actors with most Emmy wins for outstanding lead actor in a drama series, with four wins each.
BREAKING BAD's Bryan Cranston (right) and Aaron Paul
  • Aaron Paul's third win for BREAKING BAD in 2014 made him the person with more Emmys for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series than any other living actor.
  • Doris Roberts (EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND) and Rhea Perlman (CHEERS) won Emmys for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series four times each—the highest number in the category.
  • Don Knotts (THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW) holds the record for the maximum wins for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series, with five Emmys for the same role.
  • The maximum Emmy wins for lead actor in a comedy series is a distinction shared by four performers: Jim Parsons (THE BIG BANG THEORY), Michael J. Fox (FAMILY TIES, SPIN CITY), Carroll O’Connor (ALL IN THE FAMILY), and Kelsey Grammer (FRASIER).
  • Kelsey Grammer is the only actor to be nominated for playing the same character, Frasier Crane, in three series—FRASIER, CHEERS and WINGS.
  • Edie Falco is one of only two who have won Emmys for lead performances in both drama and comedy categories. Falco won three Emmys for her role in THE SOPRANOS (drama) and one for NURSE JACKIE (comedy).
  • The first African-American to win an Emmy was the now disgraced actor Bill Cosby, back in 1966, when he was still a celebrated television personality.
  • Recurring GREY’S ANATOMY star Debbie Allen is the African-American with the highest number of Emmy nominations (19) overall. With three Emmy wins, Allen was also the first African-American to be nominated for outstanding lead actress in a drama series.
  • The first and only African-American to have won an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series is Viola Davis, for her portrayal of Annalise Keating in HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Davis is nominated for this role again this year.
Viola Davis is the first and only African-American to have won a drama lead actress Emmy 
  • At the Emmys 2016, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made history, becoming the first joint winners in the category of outstanding guest actress in a comedy series (or any acting category at the Emmys). Their win was for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

  • The first Emmy Awards were presented on January 25, 1949, at a small ceremony at the Hollywood Athletic Club. The Primetime Emmy Awards are now held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
  • The name of the Emmys comes from the word ‘immy’, which referred to an early orthicon camera that was used to film TV shows back in the day.
  • The first Emmy Award was presented to one Shirley Dinsale, a ventriloquist, who won the award for most outstanding television personality.
  • Till date, the awards are given out for ‘outstanding’ series, actors, actresses, directors, writers, and so on. The Television Acacemy refrains from using the term ‘best’.
  • Voting members of the Academy Of Television Arts And Science vote for the acting categories based on single episodes of series that are entered.

  • The Emmy statuette represents an angel holding up an atom.
  • The Emmy statuette was designed by one Louis McManus, a television engineer, who is said to have been inspired by his wife when designing the angel.
  • Each Emmy statuette weighs 6lbs, and is made from a combination of metals including copper, gold, nickel, and silver.
  • The statuettes are manufactured by R.S. Owens & Co, the establishment that also manufactures the Oscar statuette for the Academy Awards.
  • The statuettes are handled only by gloves until the show, so as to ensure that minimum fingerprints are made on the metal.
  • The statuettes presented on stage aren’t what the recipients take home. They get their real trophies backstage, where they also get the plaques engraved on the spot.

(Courtesy: The Academy Of Television Arts And Sciences)


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