Emmy Awards 2016: Who will rule on TV?

Game of Thrones leads the Emmys race with 23 nominations – but faces tough competition. We preview the event and predict the likely big winners.
The controversial Jimmy Kimmel will host the Emmy Awards for the second time in four years. Phil McCarten / AP Images
The controversial Jimmy Kimmel will host the Emmy Awards for the second time in four years. Phil McCarten / AP Images

Talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel is an acquired taste. He is a brilliant wit, without question, but it is dipped in a crusty snide coating that can leave some viewers emotionally cold.

However, it is this same edge that makes him the perfect choice to host a star-studded awards ceremony – and it is sure to be at its sharpest when he takes to the stage at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, which you can catch live on OSN First on Sunday.

Sarcasm and sneers at the podium sells, as controversial British comedian Ricky Gervais showed during the four times he hosted the Golden Globes. Kimmel’s gift is the ability to deliver his zingers in a generous, gentler, less abrasive manner – like a knockout punch wrapped in candy floss.

Indeed, the 48-year-old Brooklyn native made his living with his mouth on small-market radio stations long before his face became familiar 13 years ago with the launch of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a show that celebrates nastiness aimed at stars with its signature Mean Tweets, in which celebrities read aloud the horrible things people say about them on the internet.

This year’s event, at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, is Kimmel’s second kick at the Emmy cat, having hosted in 2012 when he earned kudos from most critics for his saucy swagger, and keeping his comments brief and relatively bloat-free as he poked fun at the industry and himself.

Although he won a Daytime Emmy for his stint as co-host of the game show Win Ben Stein’s Money for Comedy Central in the late 1990s, he has yet to win an Emmy for his own show. This year marks his fifth-consecutive nomination in the variety talk-show category – but he says doesn’t expect to win. However, with neither Jon Stewart nor Stephen Colbert in the running for the first time in years, his luck could change.

Westeros leads the pack

Game of Thrones is once again the most-nominated show, with 23, with limited series The People v O J Simpson: American Crime Story and season two of Fargo close behind with 22 and 18 nominations, respectively. Perennial favourite Veep leads the comedy field with 17.

If momentum leading up to the ceremony is any indication, GoT will be on (dragon) fire, after winning nine Emmys already at last weekend’s creative arts ceremony, which celebrates technical and other achievements. The People v OJ scooped four awards.

Diversity showcase

In contrast to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, 25 per cent of the major acting nominees at the Emmys aren’t white, in part thanks to good showings from The People v OJ and black-ish. Other ethnicities reflected in the nominees include an Indian (first-timer Aziz Ansari for Master of None) and an Egyptian (Rami Malek, another first-time nominee, for Mr Robot).

Full stream ahead

Online streaming platforms continue to collect more nominations with each passing year, largely at the expense of traditional broadcast television.

Netflix scored 54 nominations this year, which is up from 34 a year ago and more than any of the broadcast networks. Amazon, meanwhile, has 16 nominations, compared with 12 last year.

Among the cable channels, HBO saw its tally fall to 94 from 126, and Comedy Central to 17 from 25. Bucking this trend, FX, the channel behind Fargo and The Americans, increased its nominations tally to 56 from 38.

Broadcast network NBC matched last year’s total of 41 nominations, while ABC fell to 35 from 42, CBS to 35 from 41 and Fox to 29 from 35.

* Watch the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards live at 4am tomorrow, with a repeat at 8pm, on OSN First HD. For the full list of nominees, visit www.emmys.com

Surprising snubs for some viewers’ favourites

Emmy thumbed her nose at some of our favourite shows and performers this year. Orange Is the New Black barely registered, managing only a nod for Outstanding Casting in a Drama Series, while all its cast, including last year’s supporting dramatic actress winner Uzo Aduba (“Crazy Eyes”), were ignored.

Similarly snubbed were talk-show talents Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee for The Late Show and Full Frontal respectively.

Other deserving actors given Emmy’s cold shoulder include: Christian Slater (Mr Robot), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey). Even the remarkable mini-series 11.22.63, based on the Stephen King novel about a man who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of JFK, was left out in the cold, despite having big names including producer JJ Abrams and actor James Franco on board.

Hiddleston tops star-studded list of first-time nominees

Despite Emmy’s capricious nature, it’s been a fine year for first-time nominees. Tom Hiddleston’s enigmatic, sensual dabbling in espionage in The Night Manager – playing off of Hugh Laurie’s turn as a soulless arms dealer – garnered a totally deserved nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. It generated so much buzz that fans are touting Hiddleston, previously best known for his turn as Supervillain Loki in the Marvel movies, as the next James Bond.

Much of the cast of The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story are also first-time nominees, including: John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr, Courtney B Vance and Sterling K Brown.

Other first-timers of note include: Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo), Constance Zimmer (UnReal), Kirsten Dunst (Fargo), Beyoncé (Lemonade), Olivia Coleman (The Night Manager), Melora Hardin (Transparent), Martin Mull (Veep) and Molly Parker and Paul Sparks (House of Cards).

One of the most astonishing Emmy nods, though supercool in hindsight, goes to the droll Louie Anderson for his portrayal of Zach Galifianakis’s mother on FX’s strange comedy, Baskets.

Game of Thrones stars get moment in spotlight at last

Belated recognition is better than none at all, and this year Emmy seems to have found her heart and is doing the right thing by some notable shows and actors who were previously overlooked.

The cast of Game of Thrones finally got some respect in a big way. While there isn’t really anyone eligible for the lead actor and actress categories due to the ensemble nature of its cast, there was a genuine breakthrough this year in the supporting categories.

Previous winner Peter Dinklage is joined this time by very deserving first-time nominees Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams. Acting legend Max von Sydow also landed a guest-actor nomination for his role in the episode The Three-Eyed Raven.

Meanwhile, after being ignored for three seasons, 1980s cold-war spy drama The Americans, finally broke into the big categories with nominations for stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, and guest actor Margo Martindale. It is also up for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing.

And after being overlooked last year, Ellie Kemper emerges from the Emmy wilderness with a nod for lead comic actress in her Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Published: September 17, 2016 04:00 AM

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