Sundance TV’s State of the Union swept the short-form series Emmy categories Sunday, winning for Short From Comedy or Drama Series in the first award given this evening on the second night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, followed by Actress and Actor in Short Form Comedy or Drama Awards for its stars Rosamund Pike and Chris O’ Dowd.
This was a big come-from-behind victory for State of the Union, which started the race in fifth place among the five nominees in the short-form series category, We know that because the series, about a couple portrayed by Pike and O’Dowd in marriage counseling, was not even on the list in the category when Emmy nominations were announced July 16.
It wasn’t until a couple of days later that AMC’s short-form series Better Call Saul Employee Training: Madrigal Electromotive Security was ruled ineligible for competition because the series didn’t meet the minimum required runtime of two minutes for at least six episodes. That opened slots for the next highest-vote getters in two-short-form series categories and made room for State of the Union to be nominated.
O’Dowd accepted the award Sunday. “I’m so pleased we won. It’s better than the alternative,” he joked onstage.
Backstage, he quipped about the qualification quirk that resulted in State of the Union‘s short-form series Emmy win.
“Seems dodgy, the whole thing seems suspect,” he joked. “I kind of missed what happened at the start of all of that, but I’m delighted that it did, it’s a really strong show, I hope people get a chance to see it on Sundance.”
O’Dowd also addressed the difference in tackling traditional-length and short-form series.
“More than anything it feels the same, you are not changing your process as an actor, it takes the same preparation as anything else, for us we were doing an episode a day, 12 pages of dialogue a day — it was as much a trial of memory as anything else,” he said.