Have we been underestimating “Boardwalk Empire” which won seven Emmys at the Creative Arts compared to just one for its main rival “Mad Men”? It is now just two wins away from tying the record set by “The West Wing” in 2000 when it claimed nine Emmys for its inaugural season. “Empire” contends for four more Emmys next Sunday.
While Drama Series remains too close to call between “Empire” and “Mad Men,” Oscar champ Martin Scorsese (“The Departed”) is likely to win the directing race for helming the pilot of the freshman HBO series. Star Steve Buscemi is coming off Globe and SAG wins but Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) has sentiment (he has yet to win) and a strong submission (“The Suitcase”) on his side. Kelly Macdonald could pull off an upset in supporting, much as Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) did last year.
“Boardwalk Empire” had bids in 11 races with three separate nods in Cinematography bringing its total to 13. It won that race as well as Art Direction, Casting, Editing, Makeup, Sound Editing and Visual Effects. Mad Men” contended in nine categories with mulitiple bids bringing its total Creative Arts nominations to 12. However, it won just for hairstyling. Of the other Drama Series nominees, “Game of Thrones” won just one of its nine nominations (Main Title Design) while “Dexter” and “The Good Wife” lost their three bids each and “The Killing” went 0 for 2. “Friday Night Lights” did not contend at the Creative Arts.
Only one of next week’s Best Comedy Series contenders had any success at all on Saturday. “Glee” won for guest Gwyneth Paltrow and Casting. Frontrunner “Modern Family” lost all five of its noms while “30 Rock” went 0 for 4, “The Big Bang Theory” was bested in both its bids and “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” each lost their only race.
While “Mildred Pierce” leads all shows this year with 21 bids, it only managed three wins from its dozen races at the Creative Arts (Art Direction, Casting, and Music). However, the HBO five-parter is still overwhelmingly favored to win both Best TV Movie/Miniseries and Best Actress for Kate Winslet.
The marquee categories at the Creative Arts event are the four for guest acting. Paul McCrane (“Harry’s Law”) became the 35th person to win an acting Emmy with the writing of David E. Kelley, defeating frontrunner Michael J. Fox (“The Good Wife“) for Guest Drama Actor. After a recurring role for all seven seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Loretta Devine won her first Emmy on her first bid and beat co-leaders Joan Cusack (“Shameless“) and Julia Stiles (“Dexter“). Both McCrane and Devine were on hand to accept their awards.
However, neither of the comedy champs was at the Nokia Theater, which is disappointing given that they were the clear frontrunners. Paltrow, the 1998 winner of Best Actress at the Oscars, was a first-time Emmy nominee. However, Justin Timberlake already has won two Emmys for his work on “SNL.” He picked up two more for hosting the season finale and co-writing the song he sang as part of his monologue.
Jeff Probst (“Survivor”) was on hand to collect his fourth straight Emmy for Best Reality Host. He has never lost this category.
Sheila Nevins had already won more Emmys than any individual ever and adds to her total with her 23rd trophy (producing “A Child’s Garden of Poetry”) while Edward J. Greene is right behind her with his 21st win (sound mixing for “American Idol“).
“So You Think You Can Dance” continues its dominance in the choreography category, now winning for the fifth year running (Mia Michaels, Tabitha & Napoleon D’Umo); Harry Connick, Jr. won his second Emmy (music direction) while film composer Carter Burwell won his first for the score to “Mildred Pierce.”
Sean Hayes won his second Emmy, this time for hosting the 2010 Tony Awards (special class program) and Jay Leno won his second Emmy as well (following a variety series win for “The Tonight Show” in 1995) with his website jaylenosgarage.com.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Robert Pulcini won for editing “Cinema Verite”; veteran voiceover talent Maurice LaMarche won his first Emmy for “Futurama”; and film directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott won for producing non-fiction special champ “Gettysburg”;
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