HBO’s Behind The Candelabra will be the most awarded program at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. The Steven Soderbergh film starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon took an insurmountable lead at the Creative Arts Emmys tonight, winning 8 statuettes, double the haul of second-place Boardwalk Empire and the Tony Awards (4). The movie, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, won 8 of the 9 creative arts categories it was nominated in and also is a leading contender in all fields that will be awarded at the main Emmy telecast next Sunday, including best TV movie/miniseries, best lead actor and directing for TV movie/miniseries, assuring its top spot on the list of multiple Emmy winners. On the series side, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the winningest program at the 2011 Creative Emmys was back in form with most trophies, 4. Last year’s Creative Emmys leader, Game Of Thrones, had 2 statuettes vs. 6 in 2012.
For the second consecutive year, the most nominated program, American Horror Story, which led the pack with 17 noms, left the Creative Emmys with a single win. And for the second straight year, Mad Men, whose creator Matt Wiener has been attending the Creative Emmys, was left empty-handed.
Two up-and-coming original series players, Netflix and Starz, earned their first Primetime Emmy Awards. Starz landed 2 statuettes for Da Vinci’s Demons. Netflix, which made noise with 14 Emmy nominations, won two trophies for new drama House Of Cards, including best casting for a drama series. (Coincidentally, one of the categories it lost, main title music, went to Da Vinci’s Demons, along with main title design.) The streaming service and the producers of the David Fincher-Kevin Spacey drama must be encouraged by the casting win as another edgy freshman drama, Showtime’s Homeland, topped the category last year en route to a sweep at the main Primetime Emmys, including a best series win. The correlation is not as strong every year, with only two times in the last five years the winner for casting in the drama series going on to get the top drama prize. On the comedy site, three of the casting winners in the past 5 years have also won best series, twice 30 Rock and once Modern Family. In its farewell season, NBC’s 30 Rock nabbed its third best casting Emmy tonight, one of several departing series to be recognized at the Creative Emmys with a statuette, along with NBC’s The Office (editing) and Showtime’s The Borgias (costumes).
It was a big night for comedy veteran Bob Newhart who landed his first Emmy Award for his guest starring stint on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory after six previous nominations. In fact, all of today’s guest actor winners were first-timers, including Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal), Melissa Leo (Louie) and Carrie Preston (The Good Wife). CBS’ The Good Wife is becoming the new Practice, consistently producing nominees with flashy guest roles and winning the guest actress in a drama series category for a second consecutive year after Martha Plimpton took the trophy in 2012.
Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live seems to have lost its Midas touch. Ever since hosting the late-night sketch comedy show was included in the guest comedy acting categories, SNL hosts had won every year, sometimes, like in 2009, taking both guest actor and actress category. This year, SNL scored a whopping four host nominations for two-time guest actor Emmy winner Justin Timberlake, Louis C.K., Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, but failed to convert any of them. On the bright side, the long-running NBC series scored 3 wins, including its first ever Best Art Direction in a Variety Show Emmy, tied with the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics.
Encouraging news for Louis C.K. At the main Emmy telecast last year he won his first 2 Emmys, one for his FX series Louie (writing) and one for his special Live At The Beacon Theater. Heading into next Sunday, Louis C.K. is already an Emmy winner, repeating in the variety special writing category for Oh My God and his FX show earnned its first acting Emmy for Leo.
Tim Gunn proved to be Heidi Klum’s lucky charm. The long-time Project Runway host earned nominations the first three years of the reality host category’s existance but was left out the last two years until she made a return to the nomination list in July in tandem with Gunn. Now the duo landed their first Emmy, unseating last year’s winner Tom Bergeron. There was no upset in the reality series field where CBS’ Undercover Boss repeated as winner.