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Visualizing the Primetime Emmy History

Headshot of article author Miguel Martinez

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will be held tonight at the Nokia Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. Like every other TV fan around the world, I’ll be watching. That is why I decided to honor the men and women that create these amazing shows for us with a visualization of Emmy Primetime and International winners since the first ceremony in 1949 using Excel and Power BI.

In this visualization you will be able to explore the winners by show, network, actor/actress over the history of the awards. For international awards, you will be able to see a map and ranking with the total awards won by country.

How did I build this? I basically used 2 data sources to build this visualization:

  1. List of Primetime Emmy Winners from Wikipedia
  2. List of International Emmy Winners from Wikipedia
Tapping into this data sources was actually very easy using Power Query Online Search (“List of Primetime Emmy Winners” and “List International Emmy Winners”). I just typed both searches and voila! The data was already in Excel. I had to work big time with the first one since categories have changed over time and not all the fields were available (for example decade or category such as Drama and Comedy), but I was able to do it using all the shape and transform functions within Power Query.
After that it was just adding the tables to the Power Pivot data model and create the dashboards with Power View using bar charts, slicers, maps and tables.
It’s important to note that I only used the main categories for this visualization (the ones available on the data sources):
  • Best Comedy, Drama and Variety TV series (no movies for TV)
  • Lead Actor and Actress (no supporting acting, writing or directing)
  • No reality show awards (Some people might think this is a good thing…)
  • For international Emmys, the awards are not Primetime but totals on all categories within this type of award
Some interesting insights you can explore using these dashboards include:
  • All in the Family is the show with most Emmy awards in these categories since 1949 (11)
  • The Daily Show (one of my favorites) from Comedy Central is a close second with 10
  • CBS leads the scoreboard for networks with the amazing number of 146 awards
  • Before the 80s, CBS dominated the Emmys, but NBC took their lead until the 2000s. CBS re-gained the top spot starting in 2010
  • Cable networks such as HBO, AMC, Comedy Central and Showtime have become more important over the past 15 years
  • The list of shows winning awards in 2 different decades is an exclusive (and very high quality) club: show such as Cheers, Sopranos, Frasier and Taxi are members of this club
  • Only 2 actresses and 1 actor have won 5 Emmys since 1949: Candice Bergen, Carroll O’Connor and Mary Tyler (famous for 2 shows: The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Last but not least, Chile, the country where I’m from has won 1 international Emmy for Children and Young People: ¿Con Qué Sueñas? (What is your Dream?)
That’s it! Enjoy this visualization and tune in tonight to see which actors, actresses and series will take the Emmy home this year.