In recent years, the Television Academy has released a nifty infographic on ‘How an Emmy is Won’ and this year’s features a brisk explanation of some of Emmy’s history, how the voting process works (who gets to vote in which categories?) and how the voting process has changed over the last 71 years of Emmy.
In 1948, the Emmy Awards were conceived. The Television Academy’s founding fathers struggled to name the award: Television Academy founder Syd Cassyd suggests “Ike,” the nickname for the television iconoscope tube. Pioneer television engineer and future (1949) Academy president Harry Lubcke suggests “Immy,” a nickname for the image-orthicon camera tube instrumental in the technical development of television. “Immy” is feminized as “Emmy” because the statuette, designed by engineer Louis McManus (who enlisted his wife Dorothy to model for it) depicts the winged “muse of art uplifting the electron of science.”
In 1949, the first Emmy Awards – given to Los Angeles area programming – take place at the Hollywood Athletic Club on January 25. Tickets are $5.00. It is broadcast on local station KTSL. There are less than a million television sets in the U.S. The master of ceremonies was popular TV host Walter O’Keefe. Six awards are given out.
- Most Outstanding Television Personality: Twenty-year-old Shirley Dinsdale and her puppet sidekick Judy Splinters for “The Judy Splinters Show.”
- The Station Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement: KTLA (the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River).
- Technical Award: Engineer Charles Mesak of Don Lee Television for the introduction of TV camera technology.
- The Best Film Made for Television: “The Necklace” (a half hour adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s classic short story).
- Most Popular Television Program: “Pantomime Quiz.”
- A special Emmy is presented to Louis McManus for designing the statuette.
Check out the full list of 2019 Emmy nominations and episode submissions in the links below.