Celebrating Day Time Television
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Daytime Emmy Awards, and on
April 29, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) celebrated the occasion with a two-and-a-half-hour extravaganza streamed live on every viewing platform available—and well it should! After all, daytime TV, known for much-loved soap operas, such as General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, All My Children, and The Young and the Restless, has expanded into every genre imaginable.
David Michaels, senior vice president and executive producer of the awards, said in a recent interview that he intends this to be a true nostalgic edition of the ceremony. It’s a chance to both look back and enjoy 45 years of fantastic daytime programming—defined as any shows broadcast between 2 a.m. and 6 p.m.—and also pay tribute to some of the industry’s greats.
Mario Lopez of Extra and The Talk’s Sheryl Underwood was on hand to host as well as an array of well-known presenters. One was Peter Marshall, who hosted the first Daytime Emmy Awards show along with none other than Barbara Walters. The show also looked back at vintage clips of iconic moments from past shows. Who can forget All My Children’s Susan Lucci’s 1999 acceptance of her Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role after 18 failed nominations?
As for recognition of the industry’s greats, legendary Days of Our Lives actors Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. This dynamic duo met and married on the set of the show and, after nearly 50 years, is starring in one of the longest-running and most popular soap operas on television.
The other Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Sid and Marty Krofft, two of the industry’s most distinguished producers of iconic children’s shows, who are still very hard at work. Their groundbreaking, live-action fantasy shows, including H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, and Land of the Lost, became mainstays of Saturday morning viewing fare at a time when cartoons dominated.
And other anniversaries were celebrated within the larger show as well, executive producer Michaels emphasized. Wheel of Fortune and The Young and the Restless have been on the air for 35 years, General Hospital for 55 years and Michaels said, “Would you believe that it’s Mister Rogers’ fiftieth?”
Far more than an awards show, this anniversary broadcast was a time to toast artistry and creativity that prove, whether daytime or primetime, ours really is the golden age of television.
The first daytime-themed Emmy Awards were given out at the primetime ceremony in 1972. Mary Fickett won the first Daytime Emmy Award given to a performer (for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in a Daytime Drama) for her role as Ruth Martin on ABC Daytime’s All My Children.
Peter Marshall won four Day Emmy’s in the Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Game or Audience Participation Show category for Hollywood Squares.
Producer Merv Griffin shows the result of dieting as he appeared on stage with Wheel of Fortune star Vanna White during the 22nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 1995.
Bill Hayes, left, and Susan Seaforth Hayes accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 45th annual Daytime Emmy Awards April 29, 2018.
Susan Lucci holds her Emmy award in 1999. Lucci was nominated 18 times before winning for the first time for her performance as Erica Kane on All My Children.
Puppeteering brothers Marty and Sid Krofft created some of the most imaginative live-action kids series including H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost, The Bugaloos, Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. The Krofft Brothers were honored with this year’s Lifetime Achievement.
Oprah Winfrey at NewYork City’s Radio City Music Hall for the 23rd annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 1996.
Phil Donahue, host of the syndicated Donahue talk show, after taking both awards for best host and the best show in 1985.
Senior Vice President and Executive Producer David Michaels
Lori Harvey, on behalf of her father Steve Harvey, accepts the award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host for Steve at the 45th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.