The first Emmy ceremony took place in 1949, when less than 2 percent of Americans owned television sets. The winner of the first Emmy for a TV series was a popular game show, Pantomime Quiz
. Freelance writer Hyatt's guide to that and subsequent winners gives popular-culture fans and scholars the opportunity to rediscover favorite shows--and ponder the wisdom of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in some cases. Covering 100 nationally aired prime-time entertainment programs, the chronologically arranged entries include lists of all Emmy awards won, dates and times of broadcast, actors and their dates of appearance, producers, directors, and writers. The articles describe the programs in considerable detail and, in some cases, include information from cast and crew; Hyatt writes in his introduction that he was able to speak with people involved with more than half of the shows that are profiled. Reference to these interviews can be found in the bibliography that precedes the index of names and titles.
The book's appendix is particularly appealing for pure unadulterated trivia, including lists of award winners and one list entitled "Longest Delay from Debut until Emmy Series Win." (The Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, had a 30-year wait.) Thankfully, the author has left out the latest Emmy, that for Outstanding Reality Series, as he does not consider these programs to be entertainment. This well-written and researched book is recommended for large public libraries and academic libraries with communications, film studies, and popular-culture collections. Lisa Johnston
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Freelance writer Wesley Hyatt
is also the author of A Critical History of Television’s The Red Skelton Show, 1951–1971
(2004) and Short-Lived Television Series, 1948–1978
(2003). He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.