The first Emmy Awards show was held at the Hollywood Athletic Club in 1949. Tickets for the show, hosted by Walter O’Keefe, cost $5 and only six prizes were awarded – one of which went to a ventriloquist.
Named for the Image Orthicon camera tube, or “immy,” which was instrumental in capturing images for television, the Emmys were established by the Television Academy to recognize excellence in the television industry. The Emmy Award statue was intended to depict a winged woman representing the arts, holding up an atom, and representing science. It was modeled after television engineer Louis McManus’ wife, Dorothy McManus. Over time, the Emmy Award gained recognition and grew into one of the most respected awards in the entertainment industry.
To celebrate the Emmys, Stacker has compiled a comprehensive ranking of the top Emmy-nominated shows based on IMDb user ratings, with ties broken by votes. The data was obtained in May 2022. All drama, comedy, competition, variety, anthology and limited series that have been nominated for at least one Emmy and have more than 2,500 IMDb user votes were considered for ranking. Nature documentary series are not included in this list.
Over the years, the Emmys have become an awards show where anything can happen. From an impromptu smooch between Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, to an unsuccessful prank to steal Betty Thomas’ prize, to Viola Davis’ powerful speech on diversity in the entertainment industry – the Emmy Awards have always brought together visionaries and artists with diverse perspectives.
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