Game of Thrones conquered the Emmy kingdom, winning top drama for the second consecutive year and becoming the most honoured prime-time TV series ever on a night of surprises and sharp political jabs.
Veep repeated as best comedy series and its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, won a record-breaking sixth Emmy as best comedy actress. Jeffrey Tambor’s trophy as top comedy actor for Transparent also was his second.
But the top drama acting trophies were far from predictable: Rami Malek of Mr Robot and Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black were the winners, both overcoming heavyweight competition.
“Oh, my God. Please tell me you’re seeing this too,” said a stunned Malek, who plays an emotionally troubled engineer caught up in a dangerous hacking conspiracy.
Games of Thrones, the fantasy saga based on George RR Martin’s novels, received a total of 12 awards on Sunday and at the previous weekend’s technical arts ceremony for a cumulative 38, besting Frasier by one to claim most prime-time series awards ever.
The Emmys proved more adroit than the Oscars at recognising and honouring diversity in Hollywood’s top ranks, with trophies going to minority actors and behind-the-scenes artists including writers Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang of Master of None.
But Viola Davis of How to Get Away with Murder failed to repeat her 2015 best drama actress win, the first for a woman of colour.
Tambor, who plays a transgender character on Transparent, called on Hollywood to make him the last non-transgender actor to get such a role.
A shaking Louis-Dreyfus ended her speech by dedicating the trophy to her father, who she said died last Friday. Before that, she honed in on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to personally apologise for the current political climate,” she said. “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.”
Her victory gave her six best comedy wins — five for Veep, one for The New Adventures of Old Christine — and broke her tie with Candice Bergen and Mary Tyler Moore.
The ceremony also started out with a political edge. In a video bit, Jimmy Kimmel was shown trying to get to the ceremony and encountering former GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush as a limo driver.
“Did you know you could make $12 an hour working for Uber?” a game Bush said, smiling. He advised Kimmel that “if you run a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice”— then told Kimmel curtly it was a joke.
Meanwhile, backstage, Transparent director Jill Soloway compared Trump’s attacks on minorities to the tactics deployed by Adolf Hitler during his rise to power.
Ghostbusters star Kate McKinnon, who won a best supporting actress award for her work on Saturday Night Live, thanked Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whom she impersonated frequently on the show.
Maggie Smith was honoured as best supporting actress in a drama series for the final season of Downton Abbey. It was her third win for playing the formidable Dowager Countess Violet Crawley.
John Oliver captured the top variety talk series award for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, besting competitors including Jerry Seinfeld and host Jimmy Kimmel — who received barbed consolation on stage from Matt Damon, his longtime faux nemesis. The loss “makes a lot of sense”, said Damon.
The People v. O.J. Simpson, which earned the second-highest number of nominations, converted five to trophies.
The dramatic retelling of the American football star’s murder trial won best limited series and writing, and earned awards for its stars, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, and Sarah Paulson.
Charmian Carr ‘will be forever missed’
Charmian Carr, the actress best known for sweetly portraying the eldest von Trapp daughter in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, has died. She was 73.
Carr died of complications from a rare form of dementia in Los Angeles, said her spokesman.
At age 21, the actress portrayed Liesl von Trapp in the 1965 film version of the musical The Sound of Music.
She famously performed the song ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen.’
After The Sound of Music, Carr’s only other major Hollywood role was starring with Anthony Perkins in the Stephen Sondheim television musical Evening Primrose.
She played a mysterious young woman who lived in a department store.
“It’s always sad when a member of the family passes away — and in the case of the ‘family’ of the movie The Sound of Music, it’s especially sad when it is the first of the group to go,” said Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein organisation.”
20th Century Foxsaid Carr “will be forever missed”, on its Twitter account.
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