As Gold Derby predicted, “Game of Thrones” repeated as Best Drama Series at Sunday’s Emmy Awards and also won both Best Drama Writing and Directing (“Battle of the Bastards”). Combined with the nine Emmys it won at the Creative Arts Awards last weekend, the HBO fantasy series tied the record of 12 it set last year for the most wins by a series in a single year. And it set a new Emmy record for most overall wins for a primetime series, claiming 38 Emmys over six years, thereby edging out “Frasier” which took home 37 awards in 11 years.
Lead acting awards for drama went to breakout stars Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) and Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”). While Emmy emcee Jimmy Kimmel made merry with the Drama Supporting Actress victory for the perennially absent Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”) he gave Drama Supporting Actor surprise winner Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”) a pass.
“Veep” claimed Best Comedy Series for the second year running while Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home Best Comedy Actress for the fifth year in a row. However, this political satire was snubbed in other races where it had been expected to prevail. Louie Anderson took Comedy Supporting Actor for “Baskets,” Kate McKinnon won Comedy Supporting Actress for her work on “Saturday Night Live” and multi-hyphenate Aziz Ansari shared in the Comedy Writing prize for an episode of his freshman hit series “Master of None.”
“Transparent” also repeated in two categories: Best Comedy Actor (Jeffrey Tambor) and Best Comedy Directing (“Man on the Land,” helmed by series creator Jill Soloway).
The most awarded program was “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which won five of its six categories: Best Limited Series, Best Movie/Mini Actor (Courtney B. Vance), Best Movie/Mini Actress (Sarah Paulson), Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown) and Best Movie/Mini Writing (D. V. DeVincentis). However, despite three “OJ” nominees in Best Movie/Mini Directing, that award went to Oscar champ Susanne Bier (“In a Better World”) who helmed all six installments of “The Night Manager.” With four wins last weekend, the total haul for “OJ” was nine Emmys.
In other surprises in this genre, Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress was won by Regina King for the second year in a row for the anthology series “American Crime.” And “The Abominable Bride,” a one-off episode of the “Sherlock” series, was named Best TV Movie over, among others, frontrunner “All the Way.”
While “Last Week Tonight” took Variety Talk Series as expected, “Key and Peele” pulled off an upset in Variety Sketch Series. “Grease: Live,” which took home four awards last weekend including Best Special Class Program, won Variety Special Directing for co-helmers Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski. And “The Voice” repeated as Best Reality Competition Series.