On Saturday night, September 8, the Creative Arts Emmys awarded the best achievements in scripted programs, including prizes for guest acting, crafts, animation and more. So what happened when past juggernaut “Game of Thrones” returned to compete for the first time against 2017’s top dramas “Stranger Things,” “Westworld” and “The Handmaid’s Tale“? And did “Atlanta,” “Barry” or “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” establish itself as the show to beat for Best Comedy Series next week? Find out below in our live blog with the minute-by-minute developments as they happen. And watch our live webcast right here for instant reactions and analysis. See the complete list of winners here.
In 2015 and 2016 “Game of Thrones” dominated the Creative Arts Awards on its way to record win totals: it claimed 12 overall trophies each year, which is more than any other continuing series has ever won in a single year (the miniseries “John Adams” holds the overall single-year record with 13). At Creative Arts alone in 2016 “Thrones” was awarded nine times: for its casting, non-prosthetic makeup, prosthetic makeup, costumes, production design, visual effects, sound mixing, stunt coordination and picture editing.
But in 2017, when “Thrones” missed the Emmy eligibility window due to its prolonged hiatus, Emmy voters were divided. They gave five Creative Arts Awards to “Stranger Things,” four to “Westworld” and three to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and it was “Handmaid’s” that ended up dominating the main Emmys telecast with five more victories including Best Drama Series.
Creative Arts are less clear as a barometer of top comedy races. “Veep” won Best Comedy Series three years in a row from 2015-2017, but in 2015 and 2016 the only Creative Arts prize it won was for its casting. In 2017 it did better, taking prizes for casting, cinematography and production design, but it still didn’t dominate nearly as much as the top dramas tend to do.
This year could be another story, though. Sophomore series “Atlanta” and freshman contenders “Barry” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are all aiming for their first Best Comedy Series victories, and they’re all nominated multiple times at Creative Arts, so this could be the start of a gold rush for one of those shows. Follow along below starting at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT to find out who won, who lost, and what it all means (all times listed below are Eastern).
8:15pm — “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” strikes first blood! It wins Best Comedy Casting, which might be crucially significant. For the last few years almost every comedy or drama winner for Best Casting has won its respective award for Best Program. Does this give the show a crucial leg-up on “Atlanta” in the race for Best Comedy Series?
8:16pm — “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” claims Best Movie/Mini Casting, which could solidify its position as the front-runner for Best Limited Series. The last six winners for Best Movie/Mini Casting have won their top category.
8:19pm — The first big upset of the night? “The Crown” wins Best Drama Casting over presumed Best Drama Series front-runners “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Game of Thrones.” As mentioned above, Best Casting often foretells the top categories, but last year “Stranger Things” won Best Drama Casting only for “Handmaid’s” to swoop in and take Best Drama Series.
8:23pm — Another potentially telling victory: Alex Borstein wins Best Character Voice-Over Performance for “Family Guy”! It’s the first Emmy of her career, and she’s got another chance next week: Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Mrs. Maisel.” So while this isn’t technically a victory for “Maisel,” it might be another good sign for that show overall.
8:25pm — Dan Harmon fans rejoice! “Rick and Morty” won Best Animated Program on its first ever nomination for its meme-worthy episode “Pickle Rick,” which means a second career victory for the “Community” mastermind.
8:28pm — “Robot Chicken” upsets our odds-on favorite “Adventure Time” to win its third prize for Best Short Form Animated Program. “Adventure Time” had won in 2015 and 2017, while “Robot Chicken” prevailed in 2010 and 2016.
8:35pm — “Genius: Picasso” wins Best Sound Mixing (Movie/Mini). It’s the first Emmy win in any category for the NatGeo anthology. Meanwhile, “Versace” claims Best Makeup (Non-Prosthetic, Movie/Mini) and Best Hairstyling (Movie/Mini), which makes it the first show to win multiple awards tonight. It’s up to three.
8:40pm — “Genius: Picasso” surprises yet again by winning Best Cinematography (Movie/Mini), defeating the high-profile Netflix western “Godless,” which has yet to get on the board tonight. We weren’t thinking of “Picasso” as a top contender for Best Limited Series, so this early momentum makes things interesting, though it didn’t have to face “Versace” in the Cinemtography contest.
8:46pm — “James Corden’s Next James Corden” wins Best Short Form Comedy/Drama and Best Short Form Actor for — who else — James Corden. Interestingly, while Corden has yet to win Best Variety Talk Series for “The Late Late Show,” he is now a six-time winner in short form, interactive, and variety special categories.
8:52pm — Kudos to Christina Pickles, winner for Best Short Form Actress for “Break a Hip.” This was the seventh career nomination for the “St. Elsewhere” alum, but it’s her very first victory.
8:54pm — Tiffany Haddish wins Best Comedy Guest Actress for “Saturday Night Live.” It’s her first victory and first nomination, but “SNL” has had a great track record in this race, previously winning for Tina Fey, Betty White, Amy Poehler and Melissa McCarthy.
8:57pm — Another big win for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It took Best Picture editing for its pilot, beating two episodes of “Atlanta” and two episodes of “Barry.” Could it have been a case of vote-splitting? Regardless, “Maisel” has racked up two wins while “Atlanta” and “Barry” have yet to prevail. And “Maisel” has won both awards head-to-head against its key Best Comedy Series rivals.
9:02pm — “Will and Grace” has gone two-for two in multi-camera categories, claiming Best Cinematography for the episode “A Gaye Olde Christmas” and Best Picture Editing for the episode “Grandpa Jack.”
9:18pm — “The Crown” is the latest multiple Emmy winner of the night, taking Best Period Costumes in addition to its victory earlier tonight for Best Drama Casting. It was up against the costumes from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Genius: Picasso,” “Outlander” and “The Alienist.” Drama Series front-runners “Game of Thrones” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” are in the fantasy/sci-fi costumes.
9:20pm — “Game of Thrones” gets on the board, winning its first prize of the night: Best Prosthetic Makeup. It’s surprisingly late in the night for “Game of Thrones” to only have one win so far, but it hasn’t been in contention in most of the other categories we’ve seen so far, so this could be the tip of the iceberg for the HBO epic fantasy.
9:22pm — And “Game of Thrones” grabs its second victory right after its first, winning Best Special Visual Effects for the episode “Beyond the Wall.” This is the sixth victory for “Game of Thrones” in this category.
9:25pm — “The Alienist” wins Best Supporting Visual Effects! That was an impressive feat given that it was up against Best Drama Series contenders “The Crown” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
9:32pm — “Godless” wins Best Main Title Theme Music for composer Carlos Rafael Rivera. That’s the first victory so far for the Netflix western. In this category it was up against “The Defenders,” “The Last Tycoon,” “The Putin Interviews,” “Somebody Feed Phil” and “The Tick.”
9:33pm — Starz drama “Counterpoint” has taken Best Main Title Design, defeating Best Limited Series nominee “The Alienist,” Best Drama Series nominee “Westworld” and Best Comedy Series contender “GLOW,” which makes this an impressive victory for the premium network series.
9:35pm — “Game of Thrones” is up to three victories with its win for Best Music Composition for “The Dragon and the Wolf” by Ramin Djawadi. Would you believe this is the show’s first victory for its music, and the first victory for Djawadi — ever? Given how dominant “Thrones” has been at the Emmys, this has been a curious blind spot for the TV academy when it comes to the HBO blockbuster. Not anymore.
9:40pm — Ron Cephas Jones pull off a bit of an upset, winning Best Drama Guest Actor for “This is Us.” He was up against last year’s winner, Gerald McRaney (also for “This is Us”), and our odds-on favorite in the category, Cameron Britton (“Mindhunter”). Cephas Jones was also nominated for his role on “This is Us” last year, but he was in the supporting category then.
9:44pm — “Game of Thrones” is still romping through the night, claiming Best Stunt Coordination (Drama/Movie/Mini), its fourth victory thus far. And “GLOW” claims its first award of the night: Best Stunt Coordination (Comedy/Variety). No White Walkers or professional wrestlers were harmed in the announcement of these winners. and there was history made as Shauna Duggins is the first woman ever to win an Emmy for stunts.
9:47pm — “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” now has three Emmys, as it just prevailed for Best Music Supervision. Series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and fellow executive producer Daniel Palladino are music supervisors for the show in addition to be writers and directors, so this means they are now both first-time Emmy winners. And it’s about time — I’ll consider this justice for the egregious snubs of “Gilmore Girls” over the years.
9:50pm — And the “Game of Thrones” steamroller continues unabated: it has now won six prizes thanks to its additional victories for Best Costumes for the episode “Beyond the Wall” and Best Production Design for “Dragonstone.” Could “Game of Thrones” exceed the nine Creative Arts Awards it won in 2016?
9:54pm — “The Handmaid’s Tale” camp breathes a sign of relief as the show wins its first prize of the night: Best Production Design (Contemporary) for the season premiere episode “June.”
9:56pm — This could be considered a bit of an upset: “GLOW” wins Best Production Design (Half Hour) for the episode “The Dusty Spur.” It defeated “Atlanta,” which was up for its unsettling episode “Teddy Perkins,” set in an atmospheric mansion. “Atlanta” has yet to win an award tonight.
10:00pm — Now the “Stranger Things” camp can celebrate their first win of the night: Best Sound Editing (One Hour Series) for the “Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer,” beating “Game of Thrones.” But “Game of Thrones” got its revenge by claiming its seventh prize of the night, Best Sound Mixing (One Hour Series) for “Beyond the Wall.”
10:05pm — “Barry” pulls off its first victory of the night: Best Sound Mixing (Half Hour Series) for the episode “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going.” Let that be a lesson to you: if you want to win a sound award, put “Loud” in the title.
10:09pm — “Atlanta” at last! It’s been a slow night for the FX series, but it finally claims its first prize of the night with its victory for Best Sound Editing (Half Hour Series) for the episode “Teddy Perkins.” But “Atlanta” didn’t actually win any Creative Arts prizes last year, so this is still an improvement despite losses earlier in the night.
10:14pm — Samira Wiley takes Best Drama Guest Actress for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Just like Ron Cephas Jones, she wins in the guest category the year after being nominated in the supporting category last year. And this could be a strong indicator of how much the actors branch of the TV academy loves “Handmaid’s”: it has yet to lose an acting award it has been nominated for.
10:18pm — “USS Callister (Black Mirror)” wins its first awards of the night: Best Sound Editing (Movie/Mini) and Best Picture Editing (Movie/Mini). It’s the front-runner for Best TV Movie later tonight, so we’ll see if it carries that momentum through to the end.
10:21pm — Don’t call it a comeback! After its slow start “The Handmaid’s Tale” has won its third award: Best Picture Editing (Single Camera Drama). It defeated three episodes of “Game of Thrones” and one episode of “Stranger Things.”
10:26pm — “Westworld” wins its first award of the night: Best Creative Achievement in Interactive Media for “Chaos Takes Control Interactive Experience.” It’s been a slow night for the HBO sci-fi show now that “Game of Thrones” is back in the running this year.
10:29pm — “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” still in good shape as it takes its fourth award of the night: Best Contemporary Costumes. No surprise that a show about a fashion designer would win for its fashion design.
10:31pm — When it doubt, bet on “Sesame Street” at the Emmys. It won Best Children’s Program for “The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special.” The venerable series also won last year for “Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas.”
10:34pm — “Westworld” is up to two victories with its win for Best Makeup (Non-Prosthetic, Single Camera Series) for the episode “Akane No Mai,” holding “Game of Thrones” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” at bay. There aren’t many categories left, so it doesn’t look like “Game of Thrones” will break its record of nine Creative Arts wins. It’s currently at seven.
10:38pm — Just like “Handmaid’s Tale,” which took a while to get off the ground, “Westworld” has staged a late comeback. It has now won three times thanks to its victory for Best Hairstyling (Single Camera Series) for “Akane No Mai,” overtaking “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones” and “Mrs. Maisel.” That’s still far from the seven victories for “Game of Thrones” thus far, but “Thrones” hasn’t managed to steamroll over everybody like it potentially could have.
10:41pm — More good news for “Atlanta” fans. That show has also had mixed results tonight, but it was just awarded for its cinematography for the episode “Teddy Perkins.”
10:43pm — And that’s three for “The Crown,” taking Best Cinematography (Single Camera One Hour Series) for the episode “Beryl.” “Westworld” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” also have three apiece.
10:44pm — With no more dramas or limited series in contention in tonight’s last two categories, “Game of Thrones” secures its place as the night’s biggest winner, followed by “Assassination of Gianni Versace” with four. The above mentioned series, along with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” have three.
10:46pm — Katt Williams pulls off the biggest acting upset of the night by winning Best Comedy Guest Actor for “Atlanta.” So it’s a clean sweep for black actors in the Emmy guest acting races.
10:50pm — No surprise here: “USS Callister” takes Best TV Movie to close out night one of the Creative Arts Emmys. It ends the night with three, as do “Atlanta,” “Westworld,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Crown” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” ends with four. “Game of Thrones” leads with seven — dominant, but not overwhelming. The doors are still open for Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series on September 17. Anyone hoping for an open-and-shut race in the top categories is going to be disappointed, but I always prefer a night that spreads the wealth.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.