Emmy Statue

Emmy History and Regulations

Emmy History

Emmy history goes back to the first ceremony. The NATAS constitution empowers it to “recognize outstanding achievements in the television industry by conferring annual awards of merit as an incentive for achievement within the industry…”

In 1948, Charles Brown, then president of the young organization, named a committee to select award winners for that year. He also asked for suggestions on a symbol and what it would be called. Some thought “Iconoscope” (for large orthicon cube) would be an impressive title, but it was pointed out that it would be shortened to “Ike” a name reserved for Dwight Eisenhower.

Another television favorite was “Tilly” (for television). But in the end, “Emmy,” a derivative of “Immy” (a nickname for the image orthicon cube) was chosen. The name was suggested by pioneer television engineer Harry Lubcke (president of the Academy in 1949-50).

Once the name had been selected, the next chore was the symbol. Some one hundred-and-eighteen sketches were submitted to the committee and when the candidates were cut to only two, designer Louis McManus presented an entry and the committee knew it had found its Emmy. On January 25, 1949, the first annual TV Awards were presented at The Hollywood Athletic Club with Walter O’Keefe as host. Of the six awards presented that evening, one went to McManus as a special tribute.

As McManus was called to the head table, he was told, ‘Louis here she is…our baby. She’ll be here long after we’re gone.” McManus was then presented with a gold, lifetime membership card and the Academy’s sincerest form of flattery – an Emmy.



Each Emmy bears the following proprietary notice: “This Emmy is the property of, and all rights are reserved by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Possession hereof has been awarded subject to the recipient’s compliance with all of the rules applicable to EMMY now or hereafter established by the Academy, including rules restricting reproduction or commercial use of EMMY or any element thereof in any manner.

The Emmy is given as an award for achievement and it is the recipient’s right to display it in the home, office or place of business as an index of this accomplishment. If the Emmy itself, or a reproduction should be used for any other purpose, written permission must be obtained from the Academy. This includes the use of the Emmy in any commercial advertisement, even though such advertising may include an Emmy winner.

The use of the Emmy in advertising is confined to the specific achievement for which the award was made, the specific year and awards title (for National Emmy Awards: Daytime Emmy, Sports Emmy, News & Documentary Emmy, Engineering Emmy, & Community Service Emmy). For Local Chapter Area Emmy Awards, all publicity, advertising or any written reference undertaken by winners, must clearly state that the awarded achievement is for a “Local Area Television Academy Award” or “Area Emmy Award”, so that the distinction between Chapter Area Award winners and National Award winners is clearly established. Further, photographs or illustrations used in such references must be of the Area Emmy Award, not of the National Emmy Statuette.

The Emmy given as a program award to a series may be displayed during each show of such series for one year after receipt of the award or until two days prior to the date of the next annual awards ceremony, whichever is sooner.

If the Emmy is reproduced, then the following notice must be included to show that the emblem is copyrighted:

© 1949