Last year, HBO’s Behind The Candelabra took an insurmountable lead after the Creative Arts Emmys tonight, winning 8 statuettes, double the haul of second-place Boardwalk Empire and the Tony Awards. There was no dominating performance this year, with Saturday Night Live landing the most wins, 5, followed closely by four programs with 4 trophies each — True Detective, Game of Thrones, Sherlock: His Last Vow and Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey — and five three-time winners, including Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black.

Game of Thrones, which led the Emmy nominations pack with 19 noms, and True Detective,  Sherlock and OITNB, each with 12 noms coming in, all have a chance to raise their tally at the main telecast, with True Detective probably holding a slight edge as it seems to have a lock on at least one category, lead actor in a drama series for Matthew McConaughey. True Detective‘s main drama series rival, AMC’s Breaking Bad, which had 16 overall nominations, walked away with one win tonight, picture editing for the series finale.

True Detective‘s four statuettes included one fully expected, main title design, for the visually arresting opening sequence of the dark drama, and one that seems a little puzzling at first glance, casting for a drama series. While OITNB, winner on the comedy side, is an ensemble series with a number of memorable performances by actresses cast on the show, True Detective was virtually all about the two lead characters, played by McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Both attached themselves at the script stage, and the show was sold to HBO with them already on board as stars and executive producers. However, while only appearing briefly (except for Michelle Monaghan), the supporting True Detective cast did contribute to the show’s authentic feel.

mortonscandalABC’s Scandal is becoming the new Practice, a formidable force in the guest starring races with showy parts. Last year, the guest star in a drama series went to Scandal‘s Dan Bucatinsky, this year it went to his co-star Joe Morton, both first-time winners. Ditto for Uzo Aduba, unknown with no TV or film credits until she was cast in OITNB and now a guest starring Emmy winner. An awards pro, Allison Janney took the best actress in a drama series category for her meaty role on Showtime’s Masters of Sex as a 1950s housewife struggling with her husband’s homosexuality. (Beau Bridges, who played the husband, also was nominated but lost out to Morton.) This is Janney’s fifth Emmy, all on the drama side, and she is eying another trophy, her first for comedy, for CBS’ Mom.

fallonsnlNBC’s Saturday Night Live restored its winning ways in the guest acting comedy categories. After failing to win an Emmy for a host last year for the fist time since emceeing the late-night sketch comedy show became eligible in the guest comedy acting categories in 2009, SNL was victorious again with former cast member Jimmy Fallon, who also won the guest actor in a comedy series trophy in 2012 for hosting SNL. Additionally, Fallon’s Tonight Show won for interactive program, and the Fallon-hosted SNL episode, which posted ratings records last season, secured four of variety series’ Emmy statuettes tonight.

Image (2) sharktank-nov-15__131116180559.jpg for post 637005TV Academy’s decision to split several more categories created new fields, producing first-time winners and helping a former victor to return to the winner circle. After losing to Undercover Boss in the best reality program category for the past two years, ABC’s MVP Shark Tank landed its first Emmy tonight in the new structured reality program category. Meanwhile, Discovery’s The Deadliest Catch, which won the reality program trophy in 2012 before being overshadowed by Undercover Boss, was back on top now that unstructured (aka docu) reality series have their own category. Also getting a little help by the separations was The Simpsons‘ Harry Shearer, winning his first Emmy after 25 years on the show in the newly created character voice-over category. His counterpart in the narrator voice-over field was Jeremy Irons, who added a third Emmy to his Oscar. The TV Academy has to do a better job getting some of the top winners to show up at the Creative Emmys as Irons, Shearer and Fallon all were no-show today.

Despite losing to first-time winner Bob’s Burgers for best animated program, veteran The Simpsons won its most Emmy awards in a single year, 3, in 21 years. That should work well for FX, whose FXM network is carrying the Creative Emmys this year, airing an edited version of the ceremony on Aug. 24, in the midst of the massive launch of The Simpsons in cable syndication on sibling FXX.

Reality series host is becoming one of the most unpredictable categories with a different winner for a third consecutive year. This time, it was Hollywood Game Night‘s Jane Lynch, who has previous credentials as a host, doing the honors at the Emmys, and as Emmy victor for Glee.

There was no suspense in the writing for variety series category, won by The Colbert Report for second consecutive year. The Comedy Central late-night program is eying another sweep, after taking both writing and best variety series last year, ending The Daily Show‘s 10-year streak in the latter category.

For a third straight year, Mad Men, whose creator Matt Wiener has been attending the Creative Emmys, was left empty-handed.The last two years, that was followed by a complete Emmy shutout for the AMC period drama, which is still seeing its first acting win.

President Barack Obama helped FunnyOrDie’s Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis win an Emmy for the episode featuring the President as part of his campaign to get young Americans to sign up for government-sanctioned health care.