The Board of Governors of the TV Academy has the option to hand out one Governors Award annually, or skip it. But since establishing the award in 1978 (the first one went to CBS founder William S. Paley), the board has given it out every year except two: 1993 and 1994.
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Last year, the Governors Award went to the “Star Trek” franchise, while in 2017 it was given to the Independent Television Service (ITVS), which funds and distributes documentaries for public broadcasters.
The org’s Emmy rules that that entries for the award are “made by the Board of Governors, the Governors Awards nominating committee or individuals, who may suggest recipients in a letter to the Television Academy chairperson.”
According to the TV Academy, the award won’t be handed out this year because the nominating committee opted not to recommend a recipient to the Board of Governors this year. It’s unclear, however, why no candidate reached the level of recommendation this year.
Academy rules stipulate that the award should be given to “an individual, company, organization or project for outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences or management of television which is either of an accumulative nature or so extraordinary and universal in nature as to go beyond the scope of the Emmy Awards presented in the categories and areas of achievement.”
Of course, the Governors Award isn’t the only thing the TV Academy may go without this year. As previously reported by Variety, there’s a likely chance that this year’s Emmy Awards will go without a host for the first time since 2003.
The Governors Award is the most frequently given among the TV Academy’s special juried awards. Other occasional honors include the Syd Cassyd Founders Award, handed to Academy members “who have made a significant positive impact on the Television Academy through their efforts and service over many years of involvement.” That award has only been given 12 times since its establishment in 1991, the last time to producer Spike Jones Jr. in 2015.
Then there’s the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, given to industry figures whose “philanthropic efforts exemplify Bob Hope’s own decades long altruism and positive impact on society.” Only four of those awards have been given since 2002, the last one to George Clooney in 2010.
[Pictured: William Shatner accepts the Governors award on behalf of the cast and crew of “Star Trek” during night one of the Television Academy’s 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater.]