Creative Arts Emmys 2016: ‘Game of Thrones’ sets new record with nine wins & lots of guest acting shockers

The big winner at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday night, September 10, was “Game of Thrones.” It won a whopping nine awards, beating its own record for the most Creative Arts victories in a single night — last year it won eight. Those wins brought the show’s lifetime haul to 35 victories, more than any other drama in Emmy history. Before tonight it was tied with “Hill Street Blues” and “The West Wing” at 26 awards. Click here for the complete list of winners.

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“Thrones” won awards for its casting, non-prosthetic makeup, prosthetic makeup, costumes, production design, stunt coordination, visual effects, picture editing and sound mixing. It’s nominated in five more categories at the primetime telecast on Sunday, September 18. If it wins three of those it will have 12 total for the year, tying the record it set last year for most wins for a series in a single year. If it wins four it will tie “John Adams” for the most victories for any program in a single year at 13. And if it wins all of them it will set a new record with 14 .

The People v. O.J. Simpson” was the next most awarded program, taking four of its categories. It was awarded for its casting, hairstyling, picture editing and sound mixing. It came into this year’s awards with 22 total nominations, but the lion’s share of those will be at the primetime telecast on September 18, where it has 13 bids, including multiple citations for writing, directing and acting.

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Apart from those programs, no other shows won more than two awards: “American Horror Story: Hotel,” “Downton Abbey,” “Fargo” and “The Man in the High Castle” were all double-winners.

Other notable champs include major surprises in the guest acting categories. Margo Martindale won Best Drama Guest Actress for the second year in a row for another brief appearance in “The Americans,” bringing her career Emmy total to three. Peter Scolari shocked predictors by taking Best Comedy Actor for “Girls;” it’s the first ever victory for the veteran actor, who had three bids for Best Comedy Supporting Actor for “Newhart” from 1987-1989. Scolari wasn’t even among the original six contenders when nominations were announced; he was added as a substitution when Peter MacNicol was disqualified for appearing in too many episodes of “Veep.”

Hank Azaria (“Ray Donovan”) upset frontrunner Max Von Sydow (“Game of Thrones”) to win Best Drama Guest Actor, but maybe that shouldn’t have been a surprise since Azaria is beloved at the Emmys. This was his sixth award: he won four times for voice-acting on “The Simpsons” and once for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Tuesdays with Morrie” (2000).

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Best Comedy Guest Actress was the only acting race that went to the frontrunner: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for jointly co-hosting “Saturday Night Live.” Fey is a long-time Emmy darling, but this was the first ever win for Poehler after many previous bids for “SNL,” “Parks and Recreation” and hosting the Golden Globes.

Diane Warren won Best Music and Lyrics for “‘Til It Happens to You” from the documentary “The Hunting Ground.” This was Warren’s first Emmy nomination and win, following a nom at the Oscars this past February for the same song. She was nominated alongside Lady Gaga at the Oscars, but the TV academy’s different rules disqualified Gaga from consideration as a co-writer.

Keith David won Best Narrator for the documentary “Jackie Robinson.” It’s his third Emmy win for voice-over work. He previously won for “Unforgivable Blackness” (2005) and “The War” (2008).

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