Status Guide – Emmy Awards, 1949-1979

The very first Emmy Awards ceremony took place on Tuesday, January 25th, 1949 from the Hollywood Athletic Club in Los Angeles, California. The broadcast was carried on KTSL-TV (now KCBS-TV). Only programs produced in Los Angeles were eligible. For the next five years, the Emmy Awards ceremony was seen on a local Los Angeles/Hollywood station. Beginning with the 7th Emmy Awards ceremony (held on Monday, March 7th, 1955) national programs were eligible and the broadcast was seen on network television, initially on NBC and later rotating between the networks.

The history of the Emmy Awards is complicated and involves two different organizations: the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS, founded in 1945 in Los Angeles) and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS, founded in 1955 in New York City). The two groups worked together for many years to produce the Emmy Awards. In 1974 a daytime ceremony was established. In 1977 the organizations split, with ATAS keeping the primetime Emmy Awards and NATAS in charge of the Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards, the Sports Emmy Awards, the Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, the News & Documentary Emmy Awards and the Humanitarian & Public Service Emmy Awards. (The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, founded in 1969, oversees the International Emmy Awards

It is my understanding that the UCLA Film & Television Archive houses the collection of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation and has copies of every awards ceremony dating back to the 6th Emmy Awards, broadcast in February of 1954 on KHJ-TV (now KCAL-TV). Both the Paley Center for Media and the Library of Congress have copies of various ceremonies. I’ve put together the following status guide for the Emmy Awards ceremonies broadcast between 1949 and 1979. If anyone has an comments or corrections, please hit the comments.

(I am not sure exactly when the title was officially changed from Emmy Awards to Primetime Emmy Awards; the first Daytime Emmy Awards were broadcast in 1974 and that seems like a likely date for the switch.)

Emmy Awards
KTSL-TV1st Emmy Awards01/25/1949 
KFI-TV2nd Emmy Awards01/27/1950 
KLAC-TV3rd Emmy Awards01/23/1951 
KECA-TV4th Emmy Awards02/18/1952 
KLAC-TV5th Emmy Awards02/03/1953 
KHJ-TV6th Emmy Awards02/11/1954UCLA
NBC7th Emmy Awards03/07/1955UCLA
NBC8th Emmy Awards03/17/1956UCLA
NBC9th Emmy Awards03/16/1957UCLA
NBC10th Emmy Awards04/15/1958UCLA
NBC11th Emmy Awards05/06/1959UCLA, Paley, LoC
NBC12th Emmy Awards06/20/1960UCLA
NBC13th Emmy Awards05/16/1961UCLA, Paley
NBC14th Emmy Awards05/22/1962UCLA, Paley
NBC15th Emmy Awards05/26/1963UCLA, Paley
NBC16th Emmy Awards05/25/1964UCLA, Paley
NBC17th Emmy Awards09/12/1965UCLA, Paley
CBS18th Emmy Awards05/22/1966UCLA
ABC19th Emmy Awards06/04/1967UCLA
NBC20th Emmy Awards05/19/1968UCLA
CBS21st Emmy Awards06/08/1969UCLA
ABC22nd Emmy Awards06/07/1970UCLA, Paley
NBC23rd Emmy Awards05/09/1971UCLA, Paley
CBS24th Emmy Awards05/14/1972UCLA
ABC25th Emmy Awards05/20/1973UCLA
NBC26th Primetime Emmy Awards05/28/1974UCLA
CBS27th Primetime Emmy Awards05/19/1975UCLA
ABC28th Primetime Emmy Awards05/17/1976UCLA
NBC29th Primetime Emmy Awards09/11/1977UCLA, Paley, LoC
CBS30th Primetime Emmy Awards09/17/1978UCLA, Paley
ABC31st Primetime Emmy Awards09/09/1979UCLA, Paley, LoC


  • Mike S. says:

    The Television Academy would do fans a favor and release past Emmy shows on home video. I have a copy of the 11th Annual Emmy show on DVD purchased from Shokus Video (if I could sneak a plug in); it was not digitally remastered but was entertaining nonetheless. Although I have most of the recent Emmy telecasts on videotape (including the infamous 1983 show with Joan Rivers and Eddie Murphy), it would be nice to have all of them in my collection. Come on, Television Academy: Release the shows to the public and make some money at the same time!

  • DuMont says:

    In addition to the ‘Emmy Awards’, I’d also purchase dvd’s of old ‘Academy Awards’ and ‘Tony Awards’ broadcasts.

    This could turn into a nice income sideline for all the various academies.

  • Alma says:

    Great ideas Mike & DuMont!!

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