Primetime Emmy Awards facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The Primetime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming. First awarded in 1949, they were originally referred to as just the "Emmy Awards" until the first Daytime Emmy Award ceremonies were held in the 1970s, and the word "primetime" was added to disambiguate between the two.

Award categories

Primetime Emmys are currently awarded in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Drama Series
  • Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Made For Television Movie
  • Outstanding Miniseries
  • Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking
  • Directing
    • Directing for a Comedy Series
    • Directing for a Drama Series
    • Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program
    • Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
  • Writing
    • Writing in a Comedy Series
    • Writing in a Drama Series
    • Writing in a Variety, Music or Comedy Program
    • Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
  • Outstanding Reality Program
  • Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
  • Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
  • Outstanding Informational Series
  • Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special
  • Lead role
    • Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
    • Lead Actor in a Drama Series
    • Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
    • Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
    • Lead Actress in a Drama Series
    • Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
  • Supporting role
    • Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
    • Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
    • Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
    • Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
    • Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
    • Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
  • Guest role
    • Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
    • Guest Actor in a Drama Series
    • Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
    • Guest Actress in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Special Class Program

Creative Arts Primetime Emmys

The Creative Arts Emmy Award are awarded in the following categories (some of which separately recognize work based on whether a single-camera and multi-camera setup was used):

  • Animation
    • Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)
    • Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)
    • Voice-Over Performance
    • Individual Achievement in Animation
  • Art Direction
    • Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series
    • Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series
    • Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
    • Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program
  • Casting
    • Casting for a Comedy Series
    • Casting for a Drama Series
    • Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
  • Children's Program
  • Choreography
    • Choreography
  • Cinematography
    • Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series
    • Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series
    • Cinematography for a One Hour Series
    • Cinematography for a Half-Hour Series
    • Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie
    • Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming
  • Commercial
  • Costumes
    • Costumes for a Series
    • Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
  • Directing for Nonfiction Programming
  • Hairstyling
    • Hairstyling for a Series
    • Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
  • Interactive Television
    • Interactive Television, Program-Specific
    • Interactive Television, Non-Program-Specific
  • Lighting Direction
  • Main Title Design
  • Makeup
    • Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Prosthetic)
    • Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic)
    • Makeup for a Miniseries or a Movie (Non-Prosthetic)
  • Music
    • Individual Achievement - Classical Music/Dance Programming
    • Music Composition for a Series
    • Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
    • Music Direction
    • Music And Lyrics
    • Main Title Theme Music
  • Nonfiction
    • Nonfiction Series
    • Nonfiction Special
  • Picture Editing
    • Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series
    • Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series
    • Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
    • Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series
    • Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
    • Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming
  • Sound Editing
    • Sound Editing for a Series
    • Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
    • Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming
  • Sound Mixing
    • Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series
    • Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie
    • Multi-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series or Special
    • Sound Mixing for a Variety or Music Series or Special
    • Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming
  • Stunt Coordination
  • Technical Direction
    • Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Series
    • Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
  • Variety, Music or Comedy Special
  • Visual Effects
    • Special Visual Effects for a Series
    • Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
  • Writing for Nonfiction Programming

Retired awards

A number of awards have been retired throughout the years, including some that have been replaced by similar award categories in the Daytime Emmys, Sports Emmys, and other areas of recognition.

  • Actor of the Year
  • Actress of the Year
  • Best Kinescope Show
  • Best Live Show
  • Best New Program
  • Most Outstanding Kinescoped Personality
  • Most Outstanding Live Personality
  • Outstanding Live Sports Special †
  • Outstanding Sports Personality †
  • Outstanding Program Achievement by Individuals in Daytime Drama ‡
  • Outstanding Program Achievement in Daytime Drama ‡
  • Program of the Year
  • Best Sports Coverage†
  • Best Western Series (1958-1959 only)
  • Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program
† Replaced by a similar category in the Sports Emmy Awards
‡ Replaced by a similar category in the Daytime Emmy Awards

Leading nominees

Most Emmy nominations for an individual
  • Jac Venza: 57 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for a television program
  • Saturday Night Live: 126 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for a comedy series in a single year
  • 30 Rock (2009): 22 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for a drama series in a single year
  • NYPD Blue (1994): 26 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for an animated series in a single year
  • The Simpsons (1992): 7 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for a miniseries
  • Roots (1977): 37 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for a television movie
  • Eleanor and Franklin (1976); Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977); and Grey Gardens (2009): 17 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for a variety series in a single year
  • Saturday Night Live (2009 and 2010): 13 nominations
Most Emmy nominations for an individual without a win

Leading winners

Most Emmy wins by a individual
  • Sheila Nevins: 21
Most Emmy wins for a television program
  • Frasier: 37
Most Emmy wins in the comedy series category
  • Frasier: 5
Most Emmy wins in the drama series category
  • Hill Street Blues: 4
  • L.A. Law: 4
  • The West Wing: 4
Most Emmy wins for an animated series
  • The Simpsons: 25
Most Emmy wins for a miniseries
  • John Adams (2008): 13
Most Emmy wins for a television movie
  • Eleanor and Franklin (1976): 11
Most Emmy wins in a single year for a network
  • CBS (1974): 44
Most performing Emmys wins
Most Emmy wins for the same character in the same series
Most Emmy wins for the same character in different series

Related pages


Primetime Emmy Awards Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.