Everybody has an opinion about which show can call itself the best on television – millions of fans are loyal to “Game of Thrones,” while others swear by “Orange is the New Black” – but whose opinion matters when it comes to the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards? Well, just as movie stars thank “the Academy” (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) when they take home a trophy at the Oscars, TV actors have an academy to thank as well – the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
The Television Academy, as it is more commonly called, is a body of industry professionals that seeks to promote the television industry and has been overseeing the Emmys since 1946. To become a member an artist or industry professional must apply and prove a requisite amount of active experience in the industry. Between the Primetime Emmys, which air Sunday, Sep. 20 on Fox, and the Creative Arts Emmys, which handles the more technical awards and took place Saturday, Sep. 12, there will be dozens of awards handed out by Television Academy this year. The Academy's thousands-strong membership votes for the awards in 29 groups, divided by areas of industry expertise. Therefore, only actors vote for acting categories, while only TV hair stylists vote for the hair stylist categories. This makes the Emmys analogous to the Academy Awards (The Oscars) in film, whereas the Golden Globes honors critics' choices in film and TV.
The Television Academy's website provides Academy members with online access to all of the nominated shows so that they can watch before voting. In 2015 members could watch and vote at their own pace, but needed to submit their ballots before Aug. 28. When voting, members rank the nominated artists in order of their preference.
The process lends itself to campaigning within the industry. Former "Two and a Half Men" star Jon Cryer made headlines last month after starting a Twitter campaign to convince Academy members to vote for Jon Hamm in the outstanding actor in a drama series category this year for Hamm's work in the final season of AMC's "Mad Men."
— Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer) August 25, 2015
Will Cryer's campaign be successful? Who has the Television Academy chosen to take home the night's biggest awards? Fans will have to wait to find out. The 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday, Sep. 20 at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox.