Winners of the Emmys are decided by panels that view sample episodes in each category. Some categories requre that these episodes be listed on the nominating ballot while others only require submissions after nominations are announced. Last year, the most nominated drama episode was the pilot episode (“Chapter 1”) of “House of Cards,” which reaped seven bids.
This year, the Christmas special season finale of “Downton Abbey” (“The London Season”) did it one better, being submitted in eight categories: Drama Series, Drama Supporting Actress (Maggie Smith), Drama Guest Actor (Paul Giamatti), Art Direction, Costumes, Hairstyling, Music Composition and Sound Mixing.
The “Breaking Bad” series finale (“Felina”) racked up a lucky seven nominations: Drama Series, Directing, Writing, Editing, Prosthetic Makeup, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. “Ozymandias” has five nominations: Drama Series, Writing, Actor (Bryan Cranston), Drama Supporting Actress (Anna Gunn) and Makeup.
“House of Cards” may not be at the top this year, but it boasts the only episode — the season premiere “Chapter 14” — nominated for Best Drama Series, Writing, Directing and acting (Kate Mara – Drama Guest Actress). Nominations in Picture Editing and Sound Mixing bring its total haul to six.
Also at six is “The Lion and the Rose” from “Game of Thrones,” setting a series record (the only show to do so this year) with Drama Series, Drama Supporting Actress (Lena Headey), Drama Guest Actress (Diana Rigg), Cinematography, Costumes and Hairstyling.
Last year, the series finale of “30 Rock,” (“Hogcock!”/”Last Lunch”) led laffers with seven nominations. This year, “Las Vegas” from “Modern Family” leads with just four nominations: Comedy Series, Directing, Art Direction and Picture Editing.
However, scoring multiple nominations may not guarantee much (if any) Emmy gold. Last year, that “House of Cards” pilot won just two of its eight bids — Best Directing and Cinematography — while the “30 Rock” finale won just one (Writing) of its seven.
Two years ago, the nomination leaders were shut out: “Face Off” from “Breaking Bad” and “Christmas at Downton Abbey” from “Downton Abbey” each went 0 for 8.
While no comedy or drama episode took more than two trophies last year, the all-time champ is the “Boardwalk Empire” pilot with six wins from eleven nominations back in 2011.
At Saturday’s Creative Arts, two drama episodes won two apiece: the “Game of Thrones” season finale “The Children” won Best Prosthetic Makeup and Best Special and Visual Effects while the “Black Sails” pilot took Sound Editing and Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.
Gold Derby odds predict a good night for “Ozymandias” as “Breaking Bad” is favored to win Best Drama Series, Supporting Actress and Writing. It lost the Makeup race to “True Detective” whose star Matthew McConaughey is favored to trump Cranston.
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