Season’s big shows vie for Emmy glory Racial tension vs medieval fantasy
LOS ANGELES: The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, a TV mini-series exploring racial tension that strained the criminal justice system 20 years before Black Lives Matter, dominated the Primetime Emmy nominations along with medieval fantasy Game of Thrones.
The 10-part drama chronicling the sensational, polarising murder trial of OJ Simpson in 1995 earned 22 nominations in all, including best limited series and best actor for Cuba Gooding Jr’s title role as the disgraced former football star.
The People v OJ viewed Simpson’s trial through the prism of racial politics gripping the nation in the aftermath of the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King by white policemen in Los Angeles.
The show aired against a contemporary backdrop of rising tensions between minority communities and law enforcement over a series of killings of unarmed black men at the hands of police in cities across the country, giving rise to the BlackLivesMatter protest movement.
Game of Thrones led Emmy contenders with 23 nominations overall, including nods for best drama series, two for best supporting actor and three for best supporting actress.
The hit show, based on George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, was named outstanding drama series at last year’s Emmy Awards.
Rounding out the best drama race are CIA thriller Homeland, Cold War espionage saga The Americans, quirky legal story Better Call Saul, political mystery House of Cards, the final season of period melodrama Downton Abbey and cyberhacking drama Mr Robot.
Thursday’s Emmy nominees showcased a more diverse crop of talent in television than in Hollywood’s film industry, which drew sharp criticism this year when all 20 performers nominated for Oscars were white for a second consecutive year.
African- American actor Anthony Anderson, who co-hosted the Emmy nomination announcements, shouted with joy as he was named a contender for best comedy actor in the sitcom Black-ish.
Premium cable outlet HBO, a perennial powerhouse of Emmy-lauded programming, again led all networks in nominations with 94 mentions in total.
FX Networks was number two with 56 nods, including 18 for crime drama Fargo in the mini-series category.
HBO’s political satire Veep led the comedy race with 17 nominations, including a nod for best actress for Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Its competition, in addition to Black-ish, Master of None and Transparent, includes HBO’s Silicon Valley, ABC’s Modern Family and Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Winners of the Emmy Awards will be presented on September 18 at a ceremony in Los Angeles. – Reuters