The ITV soap scooped the coveted gong 44 years after the award show first hit TV screens.
It beat their rivals Coronation Street, Eastenders and Hollyoaks to win the acclaimed award after a year of terrific storylines.
Danny Miller (plays Aaron Dingle) punched the air as he heard the announcement then threw his arm up in a dab dance move whilst the shell-shocked cast and crew took to the stage.
Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle) spoke on behalf of Emmerdale He said: “Thank you so much. This is a first for us. This is a first and we are so, so grateful and thank you to everyone who voted – it means a lot.”
Emmerdale were shocked to win Best Serial Drama at the National Televison Awards 2017
Danny Miller done a dab dance move as he heard the news
After a year filled off tragic disasters, dramatic storylines and a shock turn of events in the Yorkshire Dales, fans were thrilled that the soap had finally earned some recognition.
Last year saw the soap embark in it’s more daring stunt ever as it featured a horrific car pile up that left fans fearing their favourite characters had died.
Viewers praised the soap for the way it has portrayed Ashley Thomas’ (played by John Middleton) moving storyline of his battle with dementia and even went a step further by dedicating a whole episode to the character to see what life is like from his perspective.
And in another memorable episode, the soap opera pulled off its most shocking move as Holly Barton (Sophie Powles) was killed off and found lifeless by her mother Moria Barton (Natalie J Robb) in a devastating and completely unexpected twist.
Fans took to social media to share their delight at Emmerdale winning the gong with many people saying they were “well deserved".
Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle, spoke on behalf of the cast and crew
National Television Awards 2016: Winners
Wed, January 20, 2016
All the winners from the 21st National Television Awards
1 of 20
Ant and Dec win the NTA for TV Presenter of the Year 2016
The cast and crew of Emmerdale took to the stage to accept their National Television Award
One enthused viewer wrote on Twitter: “I’M SCREAMING I’M SO PROUD OF EMMERDALE.’”
“@emmerdale Very Well Deserved! It's about time this soap got recognised for it's fabulous actors & storylines!” another fan said.
A third agreed: “I honestly can not describe how pleased and happy I am for Emmerdale, they deserve this award more than anything.”
“Absolutely buzzing for @emmerdale winning best soap at the #NTAs So deserved!!” Added another.
Meanwhile at the awards ceremony, Piers Morgan was “finally gagged” by Good Morning Britain co-host Susanna Reid after a controversial week on the morning show and Mary Berry beat off stiff competition to named best TV Judge.
Emmerdale continues on ITV at 7pm tonight.