Though D.C. rarely returns the favor, Hollywood continued to fawn over Washington at the Emmys. Neither Netflix’s political thriller House Of Cards nor Showtime’s domestic terrorism drama Homeland took home The Big One — best drama series — but plenty of trophies were handed out to Washington-centric shows.
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HBO’s Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus gave the night’s best acceptance speech, when she repeated her win for best comedy actress with her made-for-TV assistant Tony Hale standing behind her, holding her evening bag, and tactfully cueing her when she forgot to thank her family. Hale had, moments earlier, been named best supporting actor in a comedy. In what was maybe the night’s biggest surprise, Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for best lead actor in a drama series for his starring role in HBO’s political/media fantasy The Newsroom — his first win, he said, since winning a Golden Barcalounger from the AARP as Best Actor over 50 for The Squid And The Whale. Backstage, Daniels insisted he’d tweeted correctly when he said The Newsroom has been renewed for a third season, but they’re still trying to work out the schedule.
House Of Cards — the first online show to be nominated in Emmy glam categories — took home one statuette, for best drama director. Sadly, David Fincher was not there to pick up his trophy. House Of Cards had won two Emmys the previous Sunday during the Creative Arts portion of the two-night Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, for best drama-series casting and best single-cam cinematography.
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Homeland‘s win for best drama writing produced one of the night’s most poignant moments. The widow of Henry Bromell picked up his Emmy for writing the “Q&A” episode of the series — an episode that also landed star Claire Danes her second consecutive Emmy for best drama actress. “I accept this award on behalf of Henry with deep appreciation to the Academy. Thank you so much,” Sarah Bromell said; her husband died suddenly in March at age 66 of a heart attack.
Ellen Burstyn, meanwhile, was named best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for her work on USA’s Political Animals — which some politicos have insisted is actually the first miniseries about Hillary Clinton. Burstyn said she was happy her performance was long enough to qualify for consideration — a reference to back in 2002 when she was controversially Emmy nommed for her 14-second, 38-word performance in the TV movie Mrs. Harris.
In another of the night’s surprises, Comedy Central’s faux political commentary series The Colbert Report ended Comedy Central’s faux newscast The Daily Show’s decade-long domination of the variety series derby. “I personally have to thank my friend and my brother, Jon Stewart, who said ‘We should do a show together where you’re a professional idiot,’ ” Colbert gushed as he picked up his trophy.
And, as happens every year at Emmy time, it was The Colbert Report’s turn to win for best variety series writing — a derby it trades off with The Daily Show.
Last week, HBO’s Manhunt: The Inside Story Of The Hunt For Bin Laden was named best documentary.