New York — With nominations for the Emmy Awards announced on Thursday, the looming question becomes: Who will win?
But until the trophies are presented in September, here are answers to other questions about television's biggest honour:
1. Were the Emmys the first major awards for TV?
Yes, by an eyelash. In 1941, the brand-new George Foster Peabody Awards declared its first slate of winners — all for radio. In April 1949, among the Peabodys presented were its first two for television, to the NBC kids' show Howdy Doody and to ABC's dramatic anthology, Actors Studio. The Television Academy first convened in 1946, with the first Emmy Awards ceremony was held in January 1949.
2. Does winning a major Emmy award guarantee eternal recognition?
You decide. The first Emmys included Pantomime Quiz as the Most Popular Show, an episode of the drama anthology Your Show Time as Best Film for Television, and Shirley Dinsdale, ventriloquist-host of the kids' show Judy Splinters, as Outstanding Television Personality. Remember?
3. Is it really an honour just to be nominated, or more like being a bridesmaid instead of the bride?
We wouldn't know, but there are plenty of stars who could tell us. Like Angela Lansbury, who was nominated 18 times with nary a win. But who could match host-comedian Bill Maher, who since 1995 has been nominated some three dozen times in various capacities for his TV series and specials (and whose Real Time snagged another nomination on Thursday) but has won only once — sharing a producing award for the HBO news-and-public-affairs series Vice? "I stopped caring a long time ago," Maher said recently.
4. Who was the Emmy host with the most?
You might say it's a tie. Comedian Joey Bishop shared the stage with fellow co-hosts four times (1960, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1967). But newly anointed Tonight Show host Johnny Carson co-hosted with Bob Newhart and David Brinkley in 1962, then went on to preside solo from 1971-74. (And after that, he hosted the Oscars five times.) Surely Carson gets the edge.5. Who was arguably the most unusual host of an Emmy telecast?
We'd nominate Earl Warren. Then-governor of California, he hosted the Emmys in 1950. But considering his subsequent 15-year reign as chief justice of the United States, we think he might have served the Emmys even better as a judge.
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