Another year goes by and another Emmy Awards has come and gone. Our predictions were hit and miss but it’s hard to argue the power of television and the populist approach the Emmys typically take. This year featured its share of pleasant surprises, critical darlings, and everything in between. The big story emerging from the ceremony is that Game of Thrones is now the winningest show in Emmy history — it’s earned 38 awards, one better than Frasier‘s previous record. Let’s have a look:
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series
- Louie Anderson, Baskets
- Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
- Ty Burrell, Modern Family
- Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Tony Hale, Veep
- Matt Walsh, Veep
The Verdict: Not a lot of people are privy to the majesty that is Baskets. A glimpse into the mind of Zach Galifianakis (and produced by Louis C.K.), the show is often hilarious. It’s also sometimes just a tone poem that still sings. Louie Anderson as the mother of Zach Galifianakis’ twin roles is so much more than a gimmick. It’s a surprise he won considering that it’s not as showy a role as it would have been on a network sitcom.
Outstanding Writing, Comedy Series
- Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe: “Episode 1”
- Aziz Ansari, Master of None: “Parents”
- Dan O’Keefe, Silicon Valley: “Founder Friendly”
- Alec Berg, Silicon Valley: “The Uptick”
- David Mandel, Veep: “Morning After”
- Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, Veep: “Mother”
The Verdict: Silicon Valley will have its day, but Aziz knocked this out of the park and it’s easy to see why he pulled off the win.
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series
- Niecy Nash, Getting On
- Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
- Judith Light, Transparent
- Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
- Anna Chlumsky, Veep
The Verdict: A no-brainer. McKinnon’s star is shining bright and perhaps this award will remind her that the grass isn’t always greener post-SNL. The show needs her and here’s hoping this keeps her in the fold.
Outstanding Direction, Comedy Series
- Aziz Ansari, Master of None: “Parents”
- Mike Judge, Silicon Valley: “Founder Friendly”
- Alec Berg, Silicon Valley: “Daily Active Users”
- Jill Soloway, Transparent:”Man on the Land”
- Chris Addison, Veep: “Morning After”
- David Mandel, Veep: “Kissing Your Sister”
- Dale Stern, Veep: “Mother”
The Verdict: Veep and Silicon Valley probably lost a lot of votes due to duplication but Transparent is an awards juggernaut. Already renewed for two more seasons, the Amazon show has a lot more in the tank.
Lead Actress, Comedy
- Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
- Laurie Metcalf, Getting On
- Lily Tomlin, Frankie and Grace
- Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
- Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
The Verdict: There’s no one better. There’s no one even close.
Lead Actor, Comedy
- Anthony Anderson, black-ish
- Aziz Ansari, Master of None
- Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
- William H. Macy, Shameless
- Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
- Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
The Verdict: It’s hard to deny Tambor’s amazing growth and versatility. There are a lot of worthy candidates here but as long as Transparent is considered a comedy it’s in a class all its own.
- The Amazing Race
- American Ninja Warrior
- Dancing with the Stars
- Project Runway
- Top Chef
- The Voice
The Verdict: The Voice won this category. Not much more to say.
Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special
- Noah Hawley, Fargo: “Palindrome”
- Bob DeLaurentis, Fargo:”Loplop”
- David Farr, The Night Manager
- Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – “From The Ashes Of Tragedy”
- Joe Robert Cole, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – “The Race Card”
- D.V. DeVincentis, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”
The Verdict: This is unfortunate. The Night Manager is a classic, intelligent, and rewarding grown-up piece of narrative. Fargo somehow outdid its amazing first season. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story captured the zeitgeist and delivered a campy look at that very famous moment in American history.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
- Melissa Leo, All the Way
- Regina King, American Crime
- Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
- Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
- Jean Smart, Fargo
- Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
The Verdict: This is a surprise though not in a bad way.
Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special
- Jay Roach, All the Way
- Noah Hawley, Fargo: “Before the Law”
- Susanne Bier, The Night Manager
- Ryan Murphy, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – “From The Ashes Of Tragedy”
- John Singleton, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – “The Race Card”
- Anthony Hemingway, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – “Manna From Heaven”
The Verdict: This is nice to see. The Night Manager is a beautiful, evocative series and Bier deserves the credit.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
- Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
- Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
- Jesse Plemons, Fargo
- David Schwimmer, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
- John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
- Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo
The Verdict: Bokeem Woodbine redefined his status with his work in Fargo. Schwimmer and Travolta were highly suspect in their roles. Brown’s work as Chris Darden was measured and did a lot of heavy lifting. It’s not a sexy role, so it’s nice to see him get rewarded.
Lead Actress, Limited Series or Movie
- Felicity Huffman, American Crime
- Lili Taylor, American Crime
- Kerry Washington, Confirmation
- Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
- Audra McDonald, Lady Dat at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
- Sarah Paulson, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
The Verdict: This one was a lock. Paulson was in a class of her own on this show.
Lead Actor, Limited Series or Movie
- Bryan Cranston, All the Way
- Idris Elba, Luther
- Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
- Courtney B. Vance, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
- Cuba Gooding, Jr., The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
- Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
The Verdict: First of all, Vance wasn’t a lead actor on The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Secondly, Elba, Cranston, Hiddleston, and Cumberbatch were on fire. It’s a weird choice. Even weirder is Cuba Gooding, Jr. getting nominated for his almost laughable O.J. Simpson performance.
- All the Way
- Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
- A Very Murray Christmas
The Verdict: There is a little justice in the world.
- American Crime
- The Night Manager
- The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
The Verdict: It was apparent early on that this show was on the fast track to the top, but it sure leapt over some really special material.
Writing for a Variety Special
- Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo
- John Mulaney, John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
- Patton Oswalt, Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping
- Tig Notaro, Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted
- Real Time with Bill Maher
- Robert Smigel, David Feldman, RJ Fried, Michael Koman, Brian Reich, Andy Breckman, Josh Comers, Raj Desai, Jarrett Grode, Ben Joseph, Matthew Kirsch, Michael Lawrence, Craig Rowin, Zach Smilovitz, David Taylor, Andy Weinberg, Triumph’s Election Special 2016
The Verdict: Not a bad choice though Tig Notaro really is the one people will be remembering in twenty years.
Variety Talk Series
- Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
- Jimmy Kimmel Live
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- The Late Late Show with James Corden
- Real Time with Bill Maher
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
The Verdict: It’s hard to deny the brilliant and brutally honest work John Oliver and gang are delivering.
Directing for a Variety Special
- Beth McCarthy-Miller, Adele Live in New York City
- Chris Rock, Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo
- Louis J. Horvitz, 58th Grammy Awards
- Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski, Grease: Live
- Glenn Weiss, The Kennedy Center Honors
- Kahlil Joseph and Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Lemonade
The Verdict: This seems like one of the categories they could omit on the main broadcast.
Variety Sketch Series
- Documentary Now!
- Drunk History
- Inside Amy Schumer
- Key & Peele
- Saturday Night Live
The Verdict: Key & Peele are hard to deny.
Outstanding Writing, Drama Series
- The Americans: “Persona Non Grata”
- Downton Abbey: “Episode 8”
- Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”
- The Good Wife: “End”
- Mr. Robot: “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov”
- UnReal: “Return”
The Verdict: A great crop of shows but Game of Thrones really brought it this season.
Supporting Actress, Drama Series
- Maura Tierney, The Affair
- Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
- Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
- Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
- Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
- Constance Zimmer, UnReal
The Verdict: Perennial “no show” Maggie Smith won. She wasn’t around to accept her award.
Directing for a Drama Series
- Michael Engler, Downton Abbey: “Episode Nine”
- Miguel Sapochnik, Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”
- Jack Bender, Game of Thrones: “The Door”
- Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland: “The Tradition of Hospitality”
- Steven Soderbergh, The Knick: “This Is All We Are”
- David Hollander, Ray Donovan: “Exsuscito”
The Verdict: No one can deny this one.
Supporting Actor, Drama Series
- Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
- Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
- Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
- Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
- Michael Kelly, House of Cards
- Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
The Verdict: As great as everyone on this list is, Mendelsohn is why we’re still talking about the underrated Bloodline.
Lead Actor, Drama
- Matthew Rhys, The Americans
- Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
- Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
- Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
- Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
- Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
The Verdict: A surprise. For Malek too, as his speech was one made in awe. As if those eyes could get any bigger.
Lead Actress, Drama
- Keri Russell, The Americans
- Taraji P. Henson, Empire
- Claire Danes, Homeland
- Robin Wright, House of Cards
- Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
- Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
The Verdict: Who saw this coming?
- Master Of None
- Modern Family
- Silicon Valley
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Verdict: A wonderful win for a show that people who don’t watch the show must be tired of seeing. But Veep may have delivered its best season, and without its creator.
- The Americans
- Better Call Saul
- Downton Abbey
- Game Of Thrones
- House Of Cards
- Mr. Robot
The Verdict: Winter is here. They gave the fans what they wanted. It’s a shame we only have two short seasons left.