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Emmy Awards

Emmy Awards

Sep 12, 2022

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Ever wonder why the Emmy Awards are called the Emmy Awards?

In the mid-1940s when the founding fathers of the Television Academy decided to honor the best shows and stars in the new medium of television, they wrestled with what to call the awards they would give out.

Sid Cassyd, the first president of the Academy, suggested “Ike,” the nickname for an iconoscope, the tube that captured images in the earliest video cameras.

Good idea but it wouldn’t work. “Ike,” his colleagues said, would make people think of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Then Henry Lubcke, who would become the academy’s third president, suggested “Immy,” the nickname for the image-orthicon camera tube, another device used to record video.

Sounded good to academy members. That would work ... except the statuettes, already in the works, were women. So, they feminized it a bit to “Emmy” to match the awards’ design: a winged woman holding an atom. The wings made her a muse of the arts and the atom she holds represents the modern technology of television.

If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to the Emmy Awards, Paramount Business Jets can arrange a flight that will make you feel as glamorous as the stars you are going to see.

Paramount can arrange to fly you into any airport in the Los Angeles area, where the awards have been held in late summer or early fall since the 1970s.

  1. Northrop Field Municipal Airport, KHHR, HHR, Hawthorne, CA, United States (9 miles)
  2. Los Angeles International Airport, KLAX, LAX, Los Angeles, CA, United States (11 miles)
  3. Santa Monica Municipal Airport, KSMO, SMO, Santa Monica, CA, United States (11 miles)
  4. Compton/Woodley Airport, KCPM, CPM, Compton, CA, United States (11 miles)
  5. Hollywood Burbank Airport, KBUR, BUR, Burbank, CA, United States (12 miles)
  6. El Monte Airport Airport, KEMT, EMT, El Monte, CA, United States (14 miles)
  7. Long Beach Municipal Airport, KLGB, LGB, Long Beach, CA, United States (17 miles)
  8. Whiteman Airport, KWHP, WHP, Los Angeles, CA, United States (17 miles)
  9. Van Nuys Airport, KVNY, VNY, Van Nuys, CA, United States (17 miles)
  10. Zamperini Field Airport, KTOA, TOA, Torrance, CA, United States (17 miles)

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In 1946, when the Television Academy first met in Los Angeles, a mere 50,000 U.S. homes had televisions. By 2014, when the the 66th Emmy Awards show was broadcast, some 116 million homes had televisions. In between, the Television Academy had some tumultuous years as professionals on the East Coast, wanting a piece of the action, duked it out with TV professionals on the West Coast.

In 1955, Ed Sullivan led the formation of a New York Television Academy but it was short-lived.

A couple years later, the two merged into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and, for some 15 years, award shows were held in both New York and Los Angeles. That ended in 1971 when the combined awards were held at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Emmy Awards

Stage at the 2014 Emmy Awards. Picture credit: IndieWire.

Some interesting facts about those top TV prizes:

  • The first Emmy Awards, in 1949, were only for local Los Angeles shows. Tickets were $5 ($49 in 2015 dollars).
  • Edgar Bergen was the first celebrity to step up – most stars laid low in matters pertaining to television, which was seen as a threat to motion pictures -- and become president of the Television Academy. That was 1947.
  • Carl Reiner won the most Emmys – nine – of any performer.
  • Cloris Leachman won the most Emmys – eight – for acting.
  • Sheila Nevins, HBO’s president of documentary and family programming, won 27.
  • In a display of mutual admiration, the winner of the most Emmy awards is the Academy Awards, winning in categories such as outstanding art direction for variety, nonfiction and reality programming. The second biggest winner is “Frasier,” which won 37 Emmys.
  • Winners are presented with Emmy statuettes but if they want to keep them, they have to pay for them. The dipped-in-gold winged women cost about $400 each to make.
  • The oddest winner was football’s yellow line down marker in 1998. Called 1st and Ten, the technology was formulated by a company called Sportvision and ESPN. It won two awards for technical achievement.

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