‘Game Of Thrones’ Wins Top Emmy For Best Drama Series

The cast of “Game of Thrones” speaks onstage during the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019.
Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

 

“Game of Thrones” took the top Emmy for best drama on Sunday but dark British comedy “Fleabag” was the surprise big winner of television’s glitziest night, dominating the comedy prizes at a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.

“Thrones” — the most decorated fictional show in the history of the Emmys, television’s Oscars — finished with 12 awards overall for its final season.

“Thank you to the hardest working crews in show business — the dragons who shot for 70 nights straight in freezing Belfast rain, the wolves who shot all around the world — you are amazing, all of you,” said showrunner Dan Weiss.

Peter Dinklage won his fourth-best supporting actor statuette for his portrayal of sharp-tongued dwarf Tyrion Lannister.

But the blood-soaked fantasy epic’s hopes of going out with a new record number of Emmys for a single season were dashed after it failed to convert nominations in directing, writing and the other acting categories.

The divisive final run of “Thrones” enraged many fans — more than a million signed a petition for HBO to redo its conclusion.

But the 10 nominated cast members of “Thrones” received a standing ovation as they gathered on stage.

“I think all of us agree how amazing the entire last season was for us,” said Sophie Turner, who played Sansa Stark.

“Thrones” had already bagged 10 Emmys in lesser categories at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys, including for the show’s special effects and elaborate costumes.

It ends its eight-season run with 59 Emmys, a record for a drama or comedy. Only variety sketch show “Saturday Night Live” has more.

In the night’s biggest shock, “Fleabag” star Phoebe Waller-Bridge bested eight-time acting winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) before the show itself won for best comedy series.

The BBC show — which has grown into a phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic after being acquired by Amazon — also scooped awards for best comedy writing and directing on Sunday, and six overall.

“It’s just really wonderful to know and reassuring that a dirty, pervy, angry, messed-up woman can make it to the Emmys,” said Waller-Bridge.

“This is just getting ridiculous,” she said upon winning the best comedy prize. “The journey has been absolutely mental.”

“Fleabag” was totally shunned by Emmy voters during its first run, failing to bag a single nomination. But the Television Academy’s 24,000-plus voters changed their tune for its second season.

Waller-Bridge has ruled out a third season, saying the irreverent series about a self-absorbed young Londoner has come “to a natural end.”

‘We all have the right’

Billy Porter made history as the first openly gay black man to win the best drama actor prize for FX show “Pose,” which explores New York’s underground ballroom culture in the 1980s.

“I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” said Porter, who turned 50 on Saturday, in his acceptance speech.

“I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right,” he added.

Jason Bateman was the surprise winner for directing Netflix’s dark crime thriller “Ozark.” Co-star Julia Garner won best supporting actress.

Sandra Oh failed in her bid to become the first woman of Asian descent to win the leading actress in a drama category, beaten by her co-star Jodie Comer in BBC spy thriller “Killing Eve.”

The pair embraced before British star Comer, who plays an assassin, collected her prize and told the audiences she hadn’t invited her parents to the ceremony “because I didn’t think this was going to be my time.”

“Chernobyl” — HBO’s drama about the 1986 nuclear catastrophe — won the Emmy for best-limited series.

It faced off against “When They See Us,” the searing true story of five New York teenagers wrongly accused of raping a Central Park jogger.

One of the Netflix show’s young stars, Jharrel Jerome, won the prize for best actor in a limited series, and paid tribute to the five men, who attended the ceremony.

Program creator Ava DuVernay tweeted: “I hope this night makes you feel celebrated + seen.”

Bill Hader won for best actor for HBO’s hitman comedy “Barry.” The network pulled off another victory for “Succession,” with Jesse Armstrong — one of the many British winners on the night — taking the prize for drama writing.

 ‘Damn good’

The glitzy 71st Emmys began at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles with a comedy skit: a cartoon Homer Simpson was introduced as “host” — and quickly crushed by a falling piano.

“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston then appeared on stage to “rescue” the Emmys, delivering a tribute to television’s so-called golden era.

“Television has never been bigger. Television has never mattered more. And television has never been this damn good,” said Cranston.

In the battle of traditional networks vs new platforms, HBO reaffirmed its supremacy over Netflix, finishing with 34 wins to the streaming giant’s 27.

But Louis-Dreyfus missed out on a ninth acting statuette — which would have been her seventh, and a clean sweep for every season, as foul-mouthed vice-president-turned-president Selina Meyer in HBO’s “Veep.”

“I’m sorry, I was told I would be up here alone,” she joked as she later appeared on stage with her co-stars — to a standing ovation — to present an award.

AFP

‘Game Of Thrones’ And Netflix Tipped To Sweep Emmy Nominations

 

 

“Game of Thrones” and Netflix are tipped by TV industry watchers to dominate Tuesday’s Emmy nominations as Hollywood gears up for awards season.

The Television Academy’s 24,000 members sifted through a record number of entries for this year’s Emmys, the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars.

After nominations are announced final-round voting will begin to pick winners who will be revealed at a glitzy Los Angeles show on September 22.

Here are five things to look out for:

‘Game of Thrones’

“Game of Thrones” enraged fans with its final season, but experts still expect the HBO fantasy epic to reign over Emmy nominations one last time.

“Thrones” is the most decorated fictional show in the awards’ seven-decade history, with 128 nominations and 47 wins.

The last six episodes dominated water-cooler chat and settled the question of who would sit on the Iron Throne — sort of — but the flood of social media anguish over its unsatisfying conclusion almost broke the internet.

Still, voters could pick the show out of “nostalgia” and because “they want to pay respect for the impact it’s had on TV overall,” said Indiewire TV critic Ben Travers.

“But it also could be a lack of options,” he added.

Major absentees

The Emmys only recognize shows that were on in the 12 months to May 31.

That means several big hitters are absent from main categories this year, including Hulu’s former drama series winner “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“Big Little Lies” and “Stranger Things” also just missed the cut-off — something which may not be accidental.

“Some of the more prominent shows got out of the way fearing ‘Game of Thrones’ just dominating everything, and not wanting to go head to head with it,” said Travers.

Comedy reigns

Pundits say the comedy and limited series categories are vastly stronger this year.

In comedy, White House satire “Veep” — another departing HBO awards juggernaut — faces stiff competition from last year’s winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amazon’s story of a 1950s housewife-turned-stand up comic.

Dark hitman comedy “Barry” is also expected to challenge its HBO stablemate.

In limited series, Showtime has vigorously promoted Ben Stiller’s “Escape at Dannemora,” in which two real-life convicts escape a New York prison by seducing a female employee.

“When They See Us,” Netflix’s true story of five men wrongly accused of raping a Central Park jogger, is also likely to line up, alongside acclaimed HBO drama “Chernobyl.”

Netflix v HBO

The two giants are set to renew their battle for overall Emmy supremacy, after Netflix overtook HBO last year in the nomination count to end its rival’s 17-year reign.

Web streamer Netflix secured a whopping 112 nods last time around, edging out HBO’s 108.

“The sheer amount of programming that Netflix submits at the Emmys is daunting,” said Travers. “They have so much more than anybody else to put on the ballot.”

While Netflix also benefits from the exposure that comes with its huge subscriber base, HBO has vast experience mounting campaigns for its prestige offerings — and could ultimately garner more wins.

Star quality

As movie stars continue to switch to TV, A-listers will be plentiful.

Amazon is eyeing a strong year with its Julia Roberts-powered thriller “Homecoming,” in addition to “Maisel” and irreverent British comedy “Fleabag.”

“Catch-22” leads Hulu’s charge thanks to George Clooney, while in comedy Jim Carrey (“Kidding”) and Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) are tipped for acting nods.

AFP 

Game Of Thrones’ Takes Top Prize At Emmys

The cast of “Game of Thrones” celebrates the award Outstanding Drama series onstage during the 70th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California on September 17, 2018.
PHOTO: Robyn Beck / AFP

 

HBO’s record-breaking fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” stormed back onto the Emmys stage on Monday, winning the coveted best drama series prize on a night full of surprises, including an on-air marriage proposal that stunned the audience.

The other big story of the Hollywood gala, television’s answer to the Oscars, was the huge success of “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel,” Amazon’s story of a 1950s housewife-turned-stand-up comic, which took home eight Emmys overall, including the best comedy award.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” — last year’s best drama and an early favourite for more hardware in 2018 — went home empty-handed from the star-studded event at the Microsoft Theater, after winning three minor awards handed out a week ago.

The ceremony hosted by “Saturday Night Live” regulars Colin Jost and Michael Che took on a decidedly political hue at the start, with a barrage of edgy jokes on hot-button issues from diversity in Hollywood to #MeToo and Donald Trump.

The gala also saw several sentimental favourites take home their first Emmys.

Matthew Rhys won for best drama actor for spy thriller “The Americans,” Claire Foy was named best drama actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown” and Henry Winkler triumphed for supporting comedy acting on “Barry.”

But the coveted drama prize went to “Game of Thrones,” which was ineligible for last year’s Emmys, and series star Peter Dinklage took home the best supporting actor prize for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.

“Writing for these actors behind us is the honour of a lifetime,” said the show’s co-creator David Benioff.

“But we didn’t invent these characters. That was George R.R. Martin. The show could not be without the mad genius of George.”

“GoT” won nine Emmys this year, meaning the blood-spattered cinematic tale of noble families vying for the Iron Throne — which returns in 2019 for an abbreviated eighth and final season — now has 47 awards overall.

That breaks the program’s own record as the most decorated fictional show since the Television Academy first handed out prizes in 1949.

‘Mrs Maisel’ breaks through

In the comedy categories, “Mrs Maisel” bested all comers in its first year of eligibility, sweeping the female acting prizes (star Rachel Brosnahan and co-star Alex Borstein) and best series honours.

Earlier this year, “Maisel” won two Golden Globes.

“One of the things I love the most about this show… it’s about a woman who is finding her voice anew,” Brosnahan said.

“It’s something that’s happening all over the country right now. One of the most important ways that we can find and use our voices is to vote. So if you haven’t already registered, do it on your cell phone right now.”

HBO dark comedy “Barry” notched two acting wins — for Winkler and series star Bill Hader.

 Politics and #MeToo

The Emmys opened with a daring song-and-dance number poking fun at myriad controversies including the problem of ensuring diversity in Hollywood productions.

“We solved it!” crooned “SNL” nominees Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson, with back-up from pop stars John Legend and Ricky Martin — and even RuPaul.

They then yielded the stage to Jost and Che — who let the zingers fly.

“This year, the audience is allowed to drink in their seats. Hope you’re excited about that — because the one thing Hollywood needs right now is a bunch of people losing their inhibitions at a work function,” Jost said, in a reference to #MeToo.

An Emmy-winning proposal

Looking to boost audience ratings, Emmys organizers said they were hoping to shake up the broadcast — and indeed they did, intentionally and unintentionally.

A surprise marriage proposal from Emmy-winning director Glenn Weiss won over the audience — and the internet.

As Weiss accepted his award for directing the Oscars, he asked Jan Svendsen, who was sitting in the audience, to marry him.

“You wonder why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife,” he added to cheers, applause and a few teary-eyed actors in the audience.

Svendsen then joined Weiss on stage as the director got on one knee and formally proposed.

The moment was especially poignant as Weiss revealed his mother had recently passed away — and offered Svendsen the ring his father had given his mom.

 Drama showdown

Other big winners included FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” which won Emmys for best-limited series and an acting prize for Darren Criss, who earned rave reviews for his dark turn as the designer’s killer Andrew Cunanan.

Thandie Newton won the best-supporting-actress in a drama statuette for her work on HBO’s futuristic western “Westworld.”

“I don’t even believe in God but I’m going to thank her tonight,” Newton quipped.

“Saturday Night Live” won the award for best variety sketch series.

In the emerging battle of traditional networks vs new platforms, streaming giant Netflix and HBO ended in a dead heat at the top — at 23 Emmys each.

Stay tuned for the next episode in that duel… at next year’s Emmys.

AFP

Politics Take Centre Stage As ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Sweeps Emmys

L-R): Ann Dowd, Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel pose with the award for Outstanding Drama Series for “The Handmaid’s Tale” during the 69th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.Mark RALSTON / AFP

 

Television’s glittering Emmys placed politics front and center on Sunday, lavishing “The Handmaid’s Tale” with awards for its bleak portrait of an authoritarian America.

The glitzy ceremony in downtown Los Angeles — the first under the administration of President Donald Trump was widely expected to have a strongly political flavor, and host Stephen Colbert set the tone in his opening monologue.

“However, you feel about the president, and you do feel about the president, you can’t deny that every show was influenced by Donald Trump in some way,” he said.

“All the late-night shows, obviously, ‘House of Cards,’ the new season of ‘American Horror Story.'”

Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and HBO miniseries “Big Little Lies” were the big winners, with five statuettes each.

“Big Little Lies” cast members Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard all took home Emmys, along with director Jean-Marc Vallee. It also won outstanding limited series.

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu’s acclaimed series based on the 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, won awards for writing and directing as well as the biggest prize of the night — outstanding drama series.

Ann Dowd, picking up her first Emmy at age 61 for her portrayal of brutal instructor Aunt Lydia, spoke of how her award was “a dream” while outstanding lead actress Elisabeth Moss turned the air blue with an expletive-strewn acceptance speech.

“That was the clean version,” Moss joked backstage after the show, describing the opportunity
“I was just trying to remember everybody, and you do have a weird out of body experience.”

Atwood, 77, said “One takeaway would be ‘never believe it can never happen here’ which was one of the premises that I used for the book. And, as I’ve often said, nothing went into the book that people hadn’t done.”

Hulu will have the most to celebrate as the post-show parties get started, stealing a march on rival streaming platform Netflix, which won just four statuettes all evening.

On a night that rewarded ethnic diversity, Sterling K. Brown picked up lead actor in a drama for “This is Us” while Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Riz Ahmed and Donald Glover also made it to the podium.

But politics was always going to be the story of the awards from the moment John Lithgow picked up the first one: best supporting actor in a drama for his acclaimed turn as Winston Churchill in Netflix’s British royal drama “The Crown.”

“In these crazy times, his life even as an old man reminds us what leadership and courage in government really looks like,” the US actor said.

NBC’s long-running comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” went into Emmys week with 22 nominations the joint-highest total alongside “Westworld” — after a year of mercilessly spoofing the new commander-in-chief.

Its haul of five Creative Arts statuettes included outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for Melissa McCarthy, whose “Unhinged Spicey” take on Sean Spicer came to embody early criticism of the administration.

The former White House press secretary, whose full-throated defense of Trump earned him derision on television, delighted his former tormentors in a surprise appearance at the opening of the show.

‘Greatest honor’
SNL took four statuettes, with Kate McKinnon tearfully accepting the award for best supporting actress in a comedy series for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton.

She told reporters backstage that the role had been “the greatest honor of my life” and talked of the “special kind of electricity” on set every week.

Alec Baldwin took home best supporting actor in a comedy for his Trump impersonation.

“I suppose I should say at long last, Mr President, here is your Emmy,” he joked, in a dig at Trump’s oft-stated annoyance at never having won a statuette for NBC reality show “The Apprentice” or its celebrity spin-off.

The show also picked up the award for best variety sketch show and outstanding directing.

Elsewhere in the comedy stakes, the 33-year-old Glover took home a brace of statuettes for directing and starring in the FX comedy series “Atlanta.”

The award caps a huge year for Glover, who already has two Golden Globes for the show, focused on the Georgia capital’s rap scene.

Glover got a loud cheer when he took to the stage and thanked Trump for “making black people number one on the most oppressed list.”

British funnyman Charlie Brooker also picked up two Emmys for writing and producing “San Junipero,” a feature-length episode of the dark comedy series “Black Mirror.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in one of the least surprising announcements of the night, won her sixth consecutive Emmy for playing hapless ex-president Selena Meyer in HBO’s “Veep,” which also won best comedy series.

Wide open field
The network’s fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” has a record 38 awards, but was ineligible for the 69th Primetime Emmys, having started its seventh season too late.

That left the field open for several much talked-about first-timers, including HBO sci-fi Western show “Westworld,” and Netflix’s 1980s-set horror series “Stranger Things.”

Neither was able to add to their five Creative Arts Emmys, however.

Perennial favorite HBO led the networks with 10 Emmys. Next were NBC (six), Hulu (five), Netflix (four) and FX (two).

AFP