Each year the Emmy Awards are presented to “recognize excellence within various areas of television and emerging media,” according to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. This is largely a formal type of recognition, however, as most of the programs nominated for awards are already hugely popular and loved by fans.
One way that this popularity can be measured is by reviewing the online ratings given to Emmy-nominated programs by viewers. There are 227 programs nominated for an Emmy this year, including documentaries, short films, TV series, TV episodes, and commercials. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed TV shows with 10,000 or more reviews on popular online movie and television database IMDb. And 27 of these have average ratings of 8.5 or higher.
In many cases, shows with higher IMDb ratings also have more award nominations. The 27 shows with the highest ratings have 203 combined Emmy nominations this year. While some of these popular programs do not have many Emmys from past years, this is generally due to the shows not having been on air for very long. It appears that viewers and the Academy of Television Arts & Science are in agreement: The shows that get the highest ratings from fans are also those that receive the most recognition from the Emmys.
This trend is consistent on a historical scale, as well. For instance, “Saturday Night Live” has had 231 Emmy nominations since its conception – the most for any program ever. The show also has an online rating of 8.1 out of 10, which is a relatively high score. Even HBO’s smash hit “Game of Thrones” – which was neglected by the Emmys this year – scored 12 wins at the 2016 awards. This was more than any other program that year. GoT is currently rated 9.5 out of 10.