‘Game of Thrones’ has won more Emmys than any other drama in the history of television. Did anyone think it would go out quietly for its final turn?
The HBO fantasy epic captured 10 Creative Arts Emmy Awards over the weekend, the most of any series in the kick-off to this year’s Primetime Emmys.
HBO’s limited series, ‘Chernobyl,’ about the 1986 nuclear reactor disaster, also had a strong night Sunday, earning seven Creative Arts Emmys. And Amazon’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ which won best comedy last year, took home six awards, including best guest acting honours for Jane Lynch and Luke Kirby. (The drama guest acting awards went to Cherry Jones and Bradley Whitford, both for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ on Hulu.)
Nearly 100 categories were presented over two ceremonies Saturday and Sunday, most of them for technical achievement, as well as guest acting honours and others not considered viewer friendly enough for the live telecast of the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22. (For example: best music composition for a documentary series or special.)
But all of these awards count toward overall Emmy totals for series and networks, so the scoreboard is officially lit up and running.
On Sunday, ‘Thrones,’ in its last go-round here, won awards in categories like best sound editing, casting and visual effects.
The show came in with a hot hand: It demolished an Emmys record this year with 32 nominations, the most for one show in a single year. (The previous record had been held by ‘NYPD Blue,’ which had 26 nominations in 1994.)
Likewise, HBO overall came in with a huge Emmy nomination haul. The network earned 137 nominations this year, well ahead of Netflix’s 117, and the most ever by a single network in a year. (The previous record was set by HBO in 2015, when it had 126 nominations).
But HBO and Netflix are, once again, locked in a tough battle. HBO notched 25 Creative Arts wins over the weekend compared with Netflix’s 23. HBO has had the most or tied for the most Emmys of any outlet for 17 consecutive years. If Netflix can make up the difference next Sunday, one of television’s most formidable streaks could be broken.
The awards can also serve as an occasionally reliable bellwether for what will happen at next week’s Primetime Emmy Awards. The last four winners for the best comedy award has also taken home the outstanding casting category. On Sunday, best cast in a comedy was awarded to Amazon’s ‘Fleabag,’ which appears to be in a dead heat in the best programme comedy category against three-time winner ‘Veep’ and last year’s winner, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.’
But overall, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ with its total of six Creative Arts Emmys, easily outpaced both ‘Fleabag’ (two) and ‘Veep’ (zero).
On Saturday, Norman Lear, 97, became the oldest person ever to win an Emmy. He received the award as an executive producer of ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” which won the best live variety special award. It was Lear’s first Emmy win in 46 years, when ‘All in the Family’ won best comedy in 1973.
The distinction previously belonged to Phil Hymes, the longtime ‘Saturday Night Live’ lighting director, who won in the lighting design category in 2018 at age 95. (Hymes died in July.)
Actress Sandra Oh remains on the hunt for her elusive first Emmy win. She was nominated twice over the weekend, for her work guest hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ and in best variety live special for her co-hosting duties at this year’s Golden Globes. She lost out on both.
Oh, who is now 0-for-8 at the Emmys, will get another crack at it next week — she is once again nominated for best actress in a drama for ‘Killing Eve,’ and many prognosticators believe she is the favourite to grab that first award.
HBO’s Michael Jackson expose, ‘Leaving Neverland,’ won for best documentary, beating out competitors like Netflix’s documentary on the Fyre festival and HBO’s documentary on Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
RuPaul Charles won for best host of a reality show for the fourth consecutive year, tying ‘Survivor’ host Jeff Probst for most wins in the category.
Anthony Bourdain won another Emmy posthumously, with his CNN series taking the best informational series over competitors like A & E’s Leah Remini’s Scientology show, David Letterman’s Netflix talk show and Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’
Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye’ was also a big winner, taking home four Emmys, including best structured reality show, over another Netflix series, ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.’
And National Geographic’s ‘Free Solo,’ which already won the Oscar for best documentary earlier this year, dominated technical documentary categories at the Creative Arts Emmys, winning all seven categories that it was nominated in.
There will be 27 Emmy categories presented on September 22, including all the major acting categories and the top show categories like best limited series, talk show, drama, comedy and reality show.
The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards like the Oscars earlier this year, will not have a host.