one of the awards given every year in the US for achievement in the making of television programmes Culture Emmys are in the form of a small statue about the size of an Oscar. Emmys are given each year by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to the best shows and actors. This began in 1949 and so many are now presented that there are two separate ceremonies. The word Emmy comes from 'immy', an informal name for 'image orthicon tube', a kind of television camera tube. compare Academy Award Word Origin 1940s: said to be from Immy, short for image orthicon tube (a kind of television camera tube).