"Sweeney Todd: Live from Lincoln Center" ranked third in our Emmy predictions for Best Special Class Program with 8/1 odds, but it defied those odds and won. The staging of the classic Stephen Sondheim musical also picked up noms for Best Music Direction — which it lost to "Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life – An All-Star Grammy Salute" — and Best Movie/Mini Actress for Emma Thompson's performance as Mrs. Lovett, which will be decided at the primetime telecast on Sunday, Sept. 20.
Audra McDonald shared the Emmy victory as the host of the show, which means the frequently honored actress is now just an Oscar away from completing her EGOT grand slam. The stage veteran has been awarded six Tonys, more than any other actor in history, and also has a pair of Grammys for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording for "Weill: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" in 2008.
"Sweeney Todd" defeated the "68th Annual Tony Awards," which aired in June 2014 on CBS. Honoring the best of Broadway theater, the Tonys telecast had prevailed at the Emmys for the last five years in a row, so it was the heavy favorite to win again, getting 4/9 odds from our predictors.
The Tonys were hosted by Hugh Jackman, who previously won the now-defunct individual variety performance prize for hosting the Tonys in 2005 and was nominated again for hosting the Tonys in 2006. He contended in this new category with the 2009 Oscars.
Also nominated was the "72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards," which aired in January. The yearly fest honoring TV and film has never won this category before; it was hosted for the third and final time by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who were also nominated for cowriting the event. Fey and Poehler both have additional nominations this year: Fey as a producer and guest actor in "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and Poehler for producing and starring in "Parks and Recreation."
The "87th Annual Academy Awards" had eight total nominations, but won just once: Best Technical Direction (Special). This year's Oscar telecast received mixed reviews, but host Neil Patrick Harris had won this category four times before for hosting the Tonys in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Harris is also a past Emmy champ for Best Comedy Guest Actor for "Glee" in 2010.
"Beyonce and Jay-Z: On The Run" rounded out the category. Beyonce previously earned a nomination in 2013 for Best Short-Format Entertainment Program for headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, while this was the first Emmy nom for her husband and frequent collaborator Jay-Z.
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Photo: "Sweeney Todd." Credit: Alastair Muir/REX
Photo: Audra McDronald. Credit: BEI/REX