Smack in the middle of the two-week voting window for the Primetime Emmy nominations, HBO held a sold-out FYC screening of the penultimate episode of its flagship drama series, reigning Emmy champ Game of Thrones, for TV Academy members with intro by co-creator D.B. Weiss and director Miguel Sapochnik.
GOT, fellow HBO best series Emmy winner, comedy Veep, and Silicon Valley, all started their seasons a little later this year, so instead of ending their runs just as Emmy voting starts, they aired the season finales, (Season 6 for Game of Thrones, Season 5 for Veep and Season 3 for Silicon Valley) on June 26, the day before the Emmy voting period ended. Propelled by GOT, the shows generated buzz as their seasons headed to their conclusion, keeping them firmly on TV Academy members’ radars.
Did the opportune scheduling help?
GOT once again leads the Emmy field with 23 nominations, just one shy of last year’s haul, and the episode screened for voters just as they were making their final decisions, Battle of the Bastards, earned five noms, including for Weiss and fellow co-creator David Benioff’s script and Sapochnik’s direction.
Veep‘s tally skyrocketed, from 9 nominations last year, to 17, second only to GOT among regular series. The comedy’s 17 noms include best comedy series, a lead actress in a comedy nomination for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and supporting actor noms for Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Anna Chumsky. Seven-time Emmy winner Dreyfus has won the lead actress Emmy the past four years . This is Hale’s fourth Emmy nomination for Veep, with wins in 2015 and 2013. Additionally, Veep‘s new showrunner, Dave Mandel, landed both a writing a directing nomination.
Silicon Valley also went up for a new record, from 7 to 11 nominations, including best comedy series and first nom for star Thomas Middledich.
Game of Thrones‘s haul includes best drama series and supporting actor noms for two-time Emmy winner Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey. This is Dinklage’s fourth nomination for his role as Tyrion Lannister, having won in 2015, and 2011. This is Clarke and Headey’s third nomination and the first for Harington.
Next year, GOT‘s season will start airing even later than this year, the creators recently said. But since it will be shorter, around 7 episodes, its final installments could potentially fall during the Emmy voting period again.