Emmy Awards 2016
On 18th September 2016, the two major categories of the Emmy Awards, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” are the winners again for best drama and comedy. But for a ceremony that can be predictable, the Emmys boosted up by a slew of first-time winners in the categories of acting. A great performance in the limited series category by FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
The success of the O.J. series set the theme as Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, and Sterling K. Brown scored their first Emmy victories. Rami Malek won his first Emmy as well, for best actor in a drama. He won the award for his role, “Mr. Robot”, the tortured hacker in the USA. And in a big upset, Tatiana Maslany won the best actress in a drama for her great performances in BBC America’s “Orphan Black,” beating out the likes of Robin Wright, Claire Danes, and Viola Davis. Whereas, Viola Davis was one among last year’s winner.
Kate McKinnon provided a change of pace, too, upsetting Allison Janney as best supporting actress for comedy. She’s a seven-time Emmy winner and it’s eighth time now. Likewise, Louie Anderson won his first Emmy for the best supporting comedy category for his role as a suburban mother in FX’s “Baskets.”
There was a changing of the guard in a variety category, as John Oliver’s show, “Last Week Tonight,” ended the 13-year run of Comedy Central victories.
There were familiar winners too. In the comedy category, Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her fifth consecutive best actress award for her role on “Veep”. Jeffrey Tambor, for the second year in a row, won for his role as a transgender woman in “Transparent.”
This was the second consecutive year that “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” took top honors, which helped HBO to win 22 Emmys overall, the biggest haul of any programmer. FX was right behind with 18 awards.
“Thrones” once again led all shows with 12 wins, but there is some good news for HBO’s rivals in the drama category. Next year “Game of Thrones,” one of the TV’s most widely praised dramas, will not be eligible for the Emmys. The network elected to start the show’s seventh season in summer 2017, outside of the Emmy-eligibility window.
In a sign of the expected Emmys dominance for “Game of Thrones” and “O.J,” Jimmy Kimmel, said in his opening monolog, “If your show doesn’t have a dragon or a white Bronco in it, go home.”
Below are some of the themes and highlights of the evening:
New King of Late Night :
Comedy Central had a chokehold on a variety talk show category for years. A Comedy Central alumnus took the award: Mr. Oliver, for his HBO show, “Last Week Tonight.”
The show is now in its third season, and the win represents a breakthrough of sorts. The Emmy in this category has been handed out to daily talk shows for years. It hasn’t given a weekly show since Tracey Ullman won for her sketch series, “Tracey Takes On” nearly 20 years ago.
Mr. Oliver’s triumph is a blast for Comedy Central. This had won this award for 13 consecutive years between “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” This year, Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart’s replacement, was shut out of the race. He wasn’t nominated in his first year as host of “The Daily Show.”
But there was some comfort in Comedy Central’s night when “Key & Peele” won the best variety sketch series award. And now is off the air.
The Election Is an Emmys Hit :
Not surprisingly, this year’s divisive election played a significant role in this year’s ceremony.
Deploring the possibility of a Donald J. Trump presidency, Mr. Kimmel lit into the reality show producer Mark Burnett, who was one of the creators of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” This was the show that made Mr. Trump a nationwide television star. NBC won two awards this year. With ABC’s camera firmly squared on Mr. Burnett. Mr. Kimmel said that if Mr. Trump is elected president, Mr. Burnett is the man to blame.
“If he’s elected and he builds that wall, the first person we’re throwing over it is Mark Burnett,” said Mr. Kimmel.
After “The Voice” won the best reality show, Mr. Burnett, a producer for that show as well, shot back at Mr. Kimmel saying that the host gave “another five minutes of free publicity” for Mr. Trump.
Mr. Kimmel took the stage afterward and had his own quip : “Isn’t that Emmy going on the hood of Trump’s limousine?” And Ms. Louis-Dreyfus said this upon winning her Emmy. She plays the vice president turned president Selina Meyer. For every year she’s been nominated for the role: “Our show started out as a political satire, but it now feels more like a sobering documentary.”
The Year of O.J. (and FX) :
FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” was a rating hit and a favorite of critics, and it’s now become a big-time Emmy winner.
Besides winning the limited series Emmy, Ms. Paulson, Mr. Vance and Mr. Brown all won acting awards. Mr. Vance and Mr. Brown both beat co-stars to win. Nearly every feature player on the show was nominated for an award.
After Ms. Paulson was named best actress, she got up from her seat and gave a big hug to Marcia Clark, the prosecutor she played in the 10-episode drama. She brought Ms. Cark as her guest to the ceremony. Her performance was a sympathetic one, and it’s been a year of redemption for Ms. Clark.
“I, along with the rest of the world, had been superficial and careless in my judgment,” Ms. Paulson said, choking up as she directed her comments to Ms. Clark. “And I am glad to be able to stand here today in front of everyone and tell you I’m sorry.’’
For FX, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” was the leader for what was turning out to be its best year at the Emmys ever. “Fargo” was also nominated in the limited-series category and, after years of being shut out, FX’s critically praised “The Americans” finally broke through with three major nominations — best drama, best actor (Matthew Rhys) and best actress (Keri Russell) — though it didn’t win.
No Big Leap for Streaming Services :
Since last three years, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have become a larger presence at the Emmys. This year, Netflix had 54 nominations, its highest ever. For the first time, it did better than any of the broadcast networks.
But despite the upheaval Netflix has caused in the industry, the streaming service has yet to have a big Emmys night. Though it collected nine Emmys overall, Netflix continues to strike out in the best drama, best comedy and best actor and actress categories.
Ben Mendelsohn did win the Emmy for best supporting actor for his role in “Bloodline.” But this year, even with the lavish attention on the presidential election, neither Kevin Spacey nor Robin Wright won for their roles in the political drama “House of Cards.” Neither actor has won Primetime Emmy Awards.