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‘Game of Thrones’ Breaks Record at 2016 Emmy Awards

‘Game of Thrones’ Breaks Record at 2016 Emmy Awards
Photo Source: Shutterstock

Dragons and white Broncos reigned supreme at the 68th annual Emmy Awards. “Game of Thrones,” HBO’s medieval fantasy series, toppled the previous record for most Emmy wins ever for a scripted series, and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” all but swept the limited series category.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, “Game of Thrones” picked up the best drama victory for the second year running, in addition to wins for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in the best writing category, and director Miguel Sapochnik for the epic Season 6 episode, “The Battle of the Bastards.” The show won nine awards at the Creative Arts Emmys, bringing the series’ 2016 total to 12. The wins pushed it over the edge to dethrone “Frasier,” the previous record holder for the most Emmys ever for a scripted program, with 38.

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” dominated its category, winning outstanding limited series with recognition for writer D.V. Devincentis, and its stars Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, and Sarah Paulson. Paulson, a six-time nominee and first-time winner, brought her character’s real-life counterpart and inspiration Marcia Clark as her plus-one to the ceremony, and spoke about the pressure of portraying someone who’s still alive. “Playing a real person while they are still living is a big responsibility,” she said. “She is the mother to two children who were very young when the trial was going on, and were not really privy to a lot of what she was put through. I just kept thinking, I hope this doesn’t hurt Marcia any further. I hope the things that we are doing don’t inflict any more pain.”

READ: “Sterling K. Brown Rewrites History on ‘The People v. O.J.’ ”

The best actor winners in the drama categories were both long overdue and refreshingly ahead of the curve; Tatiana Maslany finally scooped a best actress win for her multi-faceted performances as nearly a dozen clones on Season 4 of BBC’s “Orphan Black,” while newcomer Rami Malek took home a statue for his delivery of a mentally disturbed hacker on USA’s hit “Mr. Robot.”

READ: “How Rami Malek Saved Sam Esmail and ‘Mr. Robot’ ”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus broke records, winning an award for the fifth straight year for “Veep.” In her speech she noted the disturbing parallels between the HBO show, which also went on to take best comedy series for the second year running, and this year’s presidential election.

“I think that ‘Veep’ has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels more like a sobering documentary,” she said before dryly promising to “rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it.”

“Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor also used his oustanding lead actor in a comedy series win and subsequent time on the podium to address the social climate, specifically the marginalization of trans performers in Hollywood, and urged decision-makers to give them roles. “I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a transgender character on television,” he said. Show creator and director Jill Soloway took home the win for outstanding directing for a comedy series, and shouted, “Topple the patriarchy!” during her speech.

For supporters, Louie Anderson won in the comedy category for his portrayal of Mrs. Baskets on “Baskets,” while Ben Mendelsohn won the dramatic for Netflix’s “Bloodline”; the latter’s win came on the heels of the show’s previously announced cancellation after three seasons. Kate McKinnon won best supporting actress in a comedy for her “Saturday Night Live” performances, and Maggie Smith won yet again for “Downton Abbey.” Late night’s Jimmy Kimmel joked at the start of the evening that the actor’s continuous absence from the ceremony had inspired the “Maggie Smith Rule” where winners needed to be present to accept the award or it would go to the next person on the list.

Throughout the ceremony Kimmel dropped timely jokes about the sky-high cost of EpiPens, had the kid cast members of “Stranger Things” hand out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to hungry guests, and introduced Dr. Bill Cosby before admitting he wasn’t serious. “I just wanted to see what you would do,” he said, laughing.

For the full list of winners, see below!

Outstanding Drama Series

Game Of Thrones • HBO

Television and Startling Television

Outstanding Comedy Series

Veep • HBO

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Orphan Black • BBC America 

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena, Rachel, M.K., Krystal

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Mr. Robot • USA

Rami Malek as Elliot

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Bloodline • Netflix

Ben Mendelsohn as Danny Rayburn

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Game Of Thrones • Battle Of The Bastards • HBO 

Miguel Sapochnik

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Downton Abbey • PBS 

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Game Of Thrones • Battle Of The Bastards • HBO 

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Key & Peele • Comedy Central

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special

Grease: Live • FOX • Paramount Television

Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver • HBO

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special

Patton Oswalt: Talking For Clapping • Netflix • Generate

Patton Oswalt

Outstanding Limited Series

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story • FX Networks

Outstanding Television Movie

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Masterpiece) • PBS

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series Or Movie

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story • FX Networks

Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series Or Movie

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story • FX Networks

Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series Or Movie

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story • FX Networks

Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special

The Night Manager • AMC • Ink Factory

Susanne Bier

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series Or Movie

American Crime • ABC • ABC Studios

Regina King as Terri Lacroix

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story • Marcia, Marcia, Marcia • FX Networks

D.V. DeVincentis

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Voice • NBC

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Transparent • Amazon • Amazon Studios

Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Veep • HBO

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Transparent • Man On The Land • Amazon • Amazon Studios

Jill Soloway

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Saturday Night Live • NBC

Kate McKinnon as Various characters

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Master Of None • Parents • Netflix

Productions, Fremulon Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment

Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Baskets • FX Networks • FX Productions

Louie Anderson as Christine Baskets

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