Expect “Game of Thrones” to be a major Emmy contender this year. TV Guide‘s Matt Roush calls it “a fabulous dark fable” and it just received a nomination as Best Drama Series from the new Critics Choice Television Awards. It also earned four award bids from the rival Television Critics Assn. for Best Drama Series, Best New Program, Program of the Year and Best Achievement in Drama (Peter Dinklage).
“Game of Thrones” is on HBO — the smartest Emmys player on the planet — and it’s debuting with great fanfare smack dab at the peak of Emmy voting. Last year HBO proved it can jam a fantasy-based TV series into the lineup for Best Drama Series with a bid by “True Blood.” “Game of Thrones” could be next, especially as slots have opened up with the absence of “Lost” and “Breaking Bad.”
“Game of Thrones” was renewed by HBO just days after the pilot aired and ratings are increasing week to week. As Emmy voters love to back a winner right out of the gate, a nomination for Best Drama Series may be a good bet.
It should also fare quite well in technical categories. Voters in each peer group tend to gravitate toward lush, epic period pieces like previous creative arts Emmy champs “The Tudors,” “Deadwood” and “Rome.” Expect “Game of Thrones” to reign in categories such as costumes, art direction, sound editing and sound mixing, film editing, visual effects, stunts and cinematography. And its extraordinary main title design and main title theme music are likely to be in the running.
HBO has submitted three episodes for directing (Daniel Minahan for “A Golden Crown,” Alan Taylor for the highly-regarded “Baelor” and likely contender Tim Van Patten for the pilot “Winter is Coming”). In the writing race, HBO has smartly submitted just one episode for all “Game of Thrones” devotees in the academy to throw their weight behind — “Baelor,” written by series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.