The Primetime Emmy Award is an American accolade bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American primetimetelevision programming. First given in 1949, the award was originally referred to as simply the “Emmy Awards” until the first Daytime Emmy Award ceremonies were held in the 1970s, and the word “primetime” was added to distinguish between the two.
The Primetime Emmys generally air in mid-September, on the Sunday before the official start of the fall television season. They are currently seen in rotation among the four major networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox). Because of NBC’s coverage of Sunday Night NFL Football beginning in September, when NBC has had the rotation in 2006, 2010 and 2014, the Emmys moved to late August for those years only.
Emmys are considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards (for film), Grammy Awards (for music), and Tony Awards (for stage).