Emmys Countdown: 15 Fun Facts

Info to amaze and share when those acceptance speeches go on and on and on...

By Colin Bertram
|  Sunday, Sep 23, 2012  |  Updated 4:13 PM CDT
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2011 Emmys Best and Worst Dressed

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"30 Rock" star Tina Fey holds the award for best comedy series backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009. The NBC comedy was nominated a record 22 times that year.

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The 64th annual Primetime Emmys airs Sunday night. Whether you're a die-hard TV afficienado or a casual armchair observer it's always great to have a few fun facts to entertain and discuss with your fellow viewers when those speeches run long or the musical number is, well, a musical number.

Enjoy this list of winners, losers and nominees (for Best Hairstyle no less!) from Emmys' earliest days through to the current crop hoping to hear their name called when the envelope is opened Sunday.

1. The iconic Emmy statuette was created by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948. He used his wife as a model for what would eventually become a three-dimensional winged woman holding an atom. The wings represent the muse of art; the atom the electron of science. The name Emmy was taken from "Immy," a term commonly used for the early image orthicon camera.

2. Close to 400 statuettes are manufactured each year by the R.S. Owens company in Chicago for the Primetime Emmy Awards. While the number of categories rarely changes, the possibility of multiple winners requires the academy to order more statuettes than actually needed. Each Primetime Emmy weighs six pounds, twelve-and-a-half ounces and is made of copper, nickel, silver and gold.

3. The first Emmy was awarded in 1949 to Shirley Dinsdale, a ventriloquist who won the Oustanding Television Personality category. She was 20 at the time.

4. "Dynasty" was nominated 24 times. "Dynasty" lost 23 times. The nighttime soap's only win went to Nolan Miller, who took home the Emmy in 1984 for Outstanding Costume Design for a Series.

5. Kelsey Grammer is the only actor to be nominated for the same character on three different shows. He received nominations for playing Dr. Frazier Crane on "Wings," "Cheers" and, of course, "Frazier."

6. "Frazier" holds the record for most Emmy wins for a single series - 37.

7. Ed Asner won five Emmys for the same character in two different series and genres. For his portrayal of Lou Grant, Asner won supporting actor in a comedy series three times for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and twice in the lead actor in a drama series for "Lou Grant."

8. In 2009 "30 Rock" received a record 22 nominations for a single series in a single year.

9. "Mad Men" will make Emmy history this year if it wins in the drama series category. The show has won four consecutive years and is now tied with "L.A. Law," "Hill Street Blues" and "The West Wing" for most wins in that category.

10. The country's most popular non-football TV program, "American Idol," was shut out of the best realtiy competition category for the first time in 2012.

11. In 1987 "The Facts of Life" was nomiated for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series. It lost to "Moonlighting."

12. Bill Maher now holds the dubious distinction of having received more Primetime nominations without earning a single win than anyone else in the industry. The late night host has been given the nod 29 times since 1995 for his work in front of and behind the camera on various programs. This year "Real Time with Bill Maher" is up for best variety show. Of his dearth of wins, Maher told Deadline: "At this point, winning would only f--- things up. I'd lose my street cred."

13. Edie Falco and Carroll O'Connor are the only actors to have won both the lead Emmys in the comedy and drama categories. O'Connor for "All in the Family" and "In the Heat of the Night," and Falco for "Nurse Jackie" and "The Sopranos."

14. Alan Alda is the only person to have won for acting, directing and writing in the comedy category for the same series, "M*A*S*H." Lena Dunham could pull off the same feat in 2012: She is nominated in the comedy acting, writing and directing categories for "Girls."

15. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards both won for their roles in "Seinfeld." Jason Alexander was nominated seven times without a win for his supporting role as George Costanza. Jerry Seinfeld went five for naught in the lead actor category for his titular fan-fave.

This year’s Primetime Emmy Awards Show will air Sunday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. on ABC.

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