In 1955 You'll Never Get Rich suffered a short, intense period of uncertainty as the series attempted to establish itself with the viewing public. Up against 'Mr Television' Milton Berle and with a number of episodes already in the can, viewers were initially reluctant to tune in. Executive Vice President at CBS, Hubbell Robinson Jnr voiced little concern and was quietly confident Bilko would indeed find the rich audience it deserved and pull in those all important viewing figures. As history has attested within a few weeks Phil and his tightly knit crew had toppled the mighty Berle and the show fast became a 'must see' weekly event ultimately attracting an astonishing, record breaking 23 million American viewers!  

 

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences established the Emmy Awards as part of an image-building and public relations opportunity in the late 1940s. The first Emmy Awards were presented on January 25, 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club. During the 1950s, the ATAS expanded the Emmys into a national event, presenting the awards to shows broadcast nationwide. In 1955, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was formed in New York as a sister organisation to serve members on the East Coast, and help to also supervise the Emmys. The NATAS also established regional chapters throughout the United States, with each one developing their own local Emmy awards show for local programming. The ATAS still however maintained its separate regional ceremony honouring local programming in the Los Angeles Area.

 

The Emmy statuette, depicting a winged woman holding an atom, was designed by television engineer Louis McManus, who used his wife as the model. The TV Academy rejected a total of forty-seven proposals before settling on McManus' design in 1948. The statuette "has since become the symbol of the TV Academy's goal of supporting and uplifting the art and science of television: The wings represent the muse of art; the atom the electron of science." Each Primetime Emmy statuette weighs six pounds, twelve-and-a-half ounces (3.08kg), and is made of copper, nickel, silver and gold. The statue stands 15.5 inches (39 cm) tall with a base diameter of 7.5 inches (19 cm) and weight of 88 oz (2.5 kg). 

 

Academy founder Syd Cassyd suggested "Ike," the nickname for the television iconoscope tube. But with a national war hero named Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower, Academy members thought they needed a less well-known name. Harry Lubcke, a pioneer television engineer and the third Academy president, suggested "Immy," a term commonly used for the early image orthicon camera. The name stuck and was later modified to Emmy, which members thought was more appropriate for a female symbol.

 

Emmy Nominations/Awards for The Phil Silvers Show: The show was Emmy Award-nominated for both Comedy Writing and Best Series in all four of its seasons, winning awards in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958. The series received nine other nominations during its run, with Silvers winning one individual Emmy for his performance, and Nat Hiken winning one for direction. As Phil Silvers later recalled, "We went out at our height."

 

1955:

 

BEST COMEDY SERIES:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Phil Silvers and crew

 

BEST DIRECTOR - FILM SERIES:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Nat Hiken, Director

 

BEST COMEDY WRITING - VARIETY OR SITUATION COMEDY:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Nat Hiken writer, Barry Blitzer writer, Arnold Auerbach writer, Harvey Orkin writer, Vincent Bogert writer, Arnie Rosen writer, Coleman Jacoby writer, Tony Webster writer, Terry Ryan writer

 

1956:

 

BEST DIRECTOR - FILM SERIES:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Nat Hiken - Director

 

BEST ACTOR - FILM SERIES:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Phil Silvers

 

BEST COMEDIAN - FILM SERIES:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Phil Silvers

 

1957:

 

BEST COMEDY WRITING - VARIETY OR SITUATION COMEDY:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Billy Friedberg, Writer; Nat Hiken, Writer; Coleman Jacoby, Writer; Arnold Rosen, Writer; Leonard Stern, Writer; Tony Webster, Writer

 

1957:

 

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR:

Nominee: The Phil Silvers Show CBS

Paul Ford - Colonel John Hall (He was robbed!)

 

1958:

 

BEST COMEDY WRTING:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Billy Friedberg, Writer; Nat Hiken, Writer; Coleman Jacoby, Writer; Arnold Rosen, Writer; A.J. Russell, Writer; Terry Ryan, Writer; Phil Sharp, Writer; Tony Webster, Writer; Sidney Zelinka, Writer

 

1958:

 

BEST COMEDY SERIES:

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Cast and crew

 

1959:

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (CONTINUING CHARACTER):

Nominee: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Phil Silvers - Master Sergeant Ernest G Bilko

 

1959:

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (CONTINUING CHARACTER):

Nominee: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Maurice Gosfield - Pfc Duane Doberman

 

1959:

 

BEST WRITING SINGLE PROGRAMME COMEDY SERIES:

Nominee: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Billy Friedberg, Writer; Coleman Jacoby, Writer; Arnie Rosen, Writer 

 

1959:

 

BEST COMEDY SERIES:

Nominee: The Phil Silvers Show CBS:

Cast and crew

 

1960:

 

BEST COMEDY SERIES

Logie Award (Australia):

Winner: The Phil Silvers Show CBS

Cast and crew 

 

The Phil Silvers Show also scooped the following accolades:

 

Sylvania Award: Best Comedy Series on TV

National Film & TV Council: Outstanding contributions to the TV Film Industry

Radio TV Daily: Phil Silvers TV Man of the Year (voted by 450 television editors)

TV Today/Motion Picture Daily: Phil Silvers: Best TV Performer (voted by over 7,000 newspaper and magaine writers)

Lindy's Long Table. Previously the sole domain of Milton Berle and his entourage, presided over by Phil, Nat and their pals!  

 

In addition, in 1962 Nat Hiken won a further Emmy for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy for his work on Car 54 Where Are You? proving his contribution and talent was instrumental in shaping the future of television comedy.

 

 

 One proud man and Emmy award!
 Hubbell Robinson Jnr

 Phil gazes lovingly at his three beauties!

 

 Close up of Phil's Emmy!

 

 

  Joe E Ross & Fred Gwynne

Top to bottom:

Phil Silvers

Hubbell Robinson Jnr

Phil with 3 Emmys

One of Phil's statuettes

Phil's acceptance speech 1956

Joe E Ross & Fred Gwynne