What is an Emmy? A breakdown of the prestigious award

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The Emmy Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in television, got its start in 1949 by Syd Cassyd. When the Emmys first started, tickets were just $5 for the event and there were only six awards given out. Now, the event has grown tremendously as one that brings together the biggest names in television and pulls in millions of viewers at home each year. There are different types of Emmy Awards that nominations are given out for every year which include Primetime Emmys, Sports Emmys and Daytime Emmys. 

How are the Emmys different from the Oscars? 

The difference between the Emmys and Oscars is that Emmy Awards are only awarded for television while Oscars are awarded for film. Emmy Awards – or Emmys – are given out by three different organizations. Primetime Emmy Awards are administered by the Television Academy. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences gives out daytime, sports, news and documentary Emmys and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is responsibly for international Emmys. Oscar nominees and winners are chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is also known as The Academy.


The award given to Emmy winners is a winged woman holding an atom while the award given to Oscar winners is a golden statuette. Some categories for Emmy Awards are best comedy, best drama, best limited series and best actor and actresses for various genres. For the Oscars, some categories include best picture, best directing, best actor, best screenplay and best cinematography. 

What does Emmy stand for? 

Emmy actually doesn’t stand for anything and refers to the award that is given. It was Harry Lubcke, the third Academy president who came up with the name. According to the Emmy Awards website, he suggested the name “immy” which came from the nickname of the image orthicon camera. That name stuck, although it was later modified to “Emmy” as we know it today.

“Saturday Night Live” has been nominated for over 300 Emmys and has won 86 awards.
(Dan MacMedan/WireImage)


What qualifies for an Emmy?

In order for a show to qualify for an Emmy, the show has to originally air on American television between June 1 and May 31 of a given year.

Who has the most Emmys?

The person who has won the most Emmy Awards is Julia Louis Dreyfus who has won 11 awards and has been nominated 26 times. Drefus was nominated for many Emmys for her portrayal of Elaine in the popular 90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” and won an Emmy for the role in 1996. She won an Emmy in 2006 for “The New Adventures of Old Christine” but “Veep” is where she really gained most of her Emmy wins. She won nine Emmys for “Veep” and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014. Drefus is tied for the most overall acting wins with Cloris Leachman. The two both have eight Emmys for acting.

"Seinfeld" actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the most-decorated Emmy winner with 11 wins and 26 nominations.

“Seinfeld” actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the most-decorated Emmy winner with 11 wins and 26 nominations.
(ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)


“Saturday Night Live” is the most-nominated series in Emmy history. The show has received 315 Emmy nominations and has won 86 Emmy Awards.