Ex­plo­sive growth

Satur­day Night Live and West­world top Emmy nom­i­na­tions.

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HBO’s sci-fi west­ern West­world and NBC’s com­edy sketch show Satur­day Night Live (SNL) led the field for tele­vi­sion’s pres­ti­gious Prime­time Emmy awards Thurs­day, with 22 nom­i­na­tions.

Stranger Things, Net­flix’s award-win­ning sci-fi-hor­ror drama set in the 1980s, and FX’s Feud: Bette And Joan, about the fa­mous ri­valry be­tween Joan Craw­ford and Bette Davis, scored the next high­est tal­lies with 18 nods.

HBO’s po­lit­i­cal com­edy Veep, star­ring Ju­lia Louis-Drey­fus as hap­less for­mer pres­i­dent Selina Meyer – scored 17 nom­i­na­tions for tele­vi­sion’s equiv­a­lent of the Os­cars, to be handed out on Sept 17 in Los Angeles.

Veep ac­tress Anna Ch­lum­sky – who earned a fifth con­sec­u­tive nom­i­na­tion for Sup­port­ing Ac­tress In A Com­edy Se­ries – and Crim­i­nal Minds star She­mar Moore pre­sented the nom­i­na­tions from the Tele­vi­sion Academy in LA.

Lead­ing the nom­i­na­tions in to­tals by plat­form were pre­mium ca­ble net­work HBO (110), stream­ing pow­er­house Net­flix (91) and tra­di­tional net­work NBC (60).

“It’s been a record-break­ing year for tele­vi­sion, con­tin­u­ing its ex­plo­sive growth,” said Tele­vi­sion Academy Chair­man and CEO Hayma Wash­ing­ton.

“The Emmy Awards com­pe­ti­tion ex­pe­ri­enced a 15% in­crease in sub­mis­sions for this year’s ini­tial nom­i­na­tion round of on­line vot­ing.

“The cre­ativ­ity and ex­cel­lence in pre­sent­ing great sto­ry­telling and char­ac­ters across a mul­ti­tude of ever-ex­pand­ing en­ter­tain­ment plat­forms is stag­ger­ing.”

In­dus­try watch­ers had pre­dicted a wide open race, with awards jug­ger­naut Game Of Thrones out of the run­ning – and that prediction was borne out.

HBO’s fan­tasy epic about noble fam­i­lies vy­ing for con­trol of the Iron Throne raked in a record­break­ing 12 awards last year, but was in­el­i­gi­ble this time around since the new sea­son doesn’t start un­til to­mor­row.

The Out­stand­ing Drama cat­e­gory in­cluded five first-timers – West­world, Hulu’s dystopian sci-fi se­ries The Hand­maid’s Tale, NBC’s fam­ily drama This Is Us, and two Net­flix shows – The Crown and Stranger Things.

The Crown – a Golden Globe win­ning se­ries about Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth II – is gen­er­ally thought to be the favourite for the Emmy, but will face stiff com­pe­ti­tion from re­turnees Bet­ter Call Saul and House Of Cards.

Some hotly-tipped shows missed out on widely-ex­pected nods, how­ever, in­clud­ing The Amer­i­cans, Home­land and Mr. Robot, which were shut out of the Best Drama cat­e­gory.

The Tele­vi­sion Academy’s 21,000 mem­bers were given two weeks in June to sift through a crowded field of some 8,000 en­tries from shows aired dur­ing the pre­vi­ous 12 months across 113 cat­e­gories.

The most star-stud­ded cat­e­gory was Best Ac­tor In A Lim­ited Se­ries Or TV Movie with the nom­i­na­tions led by Robert De Niro, who an­chored HBO’s The Wizard Of Lies as Ponzi scheme fraud­ster Bernie Madoff.

Riz Ahmed, Ewan McGre­gor, Ge­of­frey Rush and John Tur­turro were also nom­i­nated, along­side Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch.

House Of Cards star Kevin Spacey, a dou­ble Os­car win­ner who has never won an Emmy, picked up a nom­i­na­tion in the Best Drama Ac­tor cat­e­gory – his 11th nod over­all.

He faces com­pe­ti­tion for the elu­sive stat­uette from Ster­ling K. Brown( This Is Us), Bob Odenkirk (Bet­ter Call Saul), Liev Schreiber (Ray Dono­van), Matthew Rhys (The Amer­i­cans), Anthony Hop­kins (West­world) and first-time nom­i­nee Milo Ven­timiglia (This is Us).

In the Best Ac­tress In A Com­edy cat­e­gory, Louis-Drey­fus will be hotly-tipped for a sixth con­sec­u­tive Emmy for her role on Veep af­ter pick­ing up an­other nom­i­na­tion.

Melissa McCarthy, who made head­lines with her ap­pear­ances as em­bat­tled White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer on SNL, got the nod for Best Com­edy Guest Ac­tress.

McCarthy, who has one Emmy win in seven pre­vi­ous nom­i­na­tions, faces com­pe­ti­tion in the cat­e­gory from fel­low SNL alum Kris­ten Wiig.

It was a big day for SNL, which broke its own record to set a new high of 231 to­tal nom­i­na­tions since vot­ing be­gan.

Mul­ti­ple nom­i­nee Alec Bald­win was nom­i­nated for his im­per­son­ation of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on the show and Kate McKin­non recog­nised for her pop­u­lar turn as Trump’s elec­tion ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Game Of Thrones made tele­vi­sion his­tory last year, be­com­ing the most dec­o­rated fic­tional show since the awards be­gan nearly seven decades ago with nine awards in tech­ni­cal cat­e­gories and three top prizes.

Sec­ond round vot­ing for this year’s prizes will take place in Au­gust while the cer­e­mony it­self will be beamed live from the Mi­crosoft Theater in LA, with late night funnyman Stephen Col­bert host­ing. – AFP

The Hand­maid’s Tale is nom­i­nated for an Emmy Award for Out­stand­ing Drama Se­ries.

Jes­sica Lange is nom­i­nated in the Out­stand­ing Lead Ac­tress In A Lim­ited Se­ries Or Movie for her role as Joan Craw­ford in Feud: Bette And Joan. — Pho­tos: Hand­outs

Aziz An­sari scores a nom­i­na­tion for Out­stand­ing Lead Ac­tor In A Com­edy se­ries for his ef­fort on Mas­ter Of

None.

Bald­win has been lauded for his im­per­son­ation of Pres­i­dent Trump in the com­edy sketch se­ries Satur­day Night Live.

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