‘Game of Thrones’ keeps its crown
LOS ANGELES — “Game of Thrones” conquered the Emmy kingdom Sunday winning as top drama for the second consecutive year and becoming the most honored prime-time TV series ever on a night of surprises and sharp political jabs.
“Veep” repeated as best comedy series and its star, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, won a record-breaking sixth Emmy as best comedy actress. Jeffrey Tambor’s trophy as top comedy actor for “Transparent” also was his second.
But the top drama acting trophies were far from predictable: Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot” and Tatiana Maslany of “Orphan Black” were the winners, both overcoming heavyweight competition.
“Oh, my God. Please tell me you’re seeing this too,” said a stunned Malek, who plays an emotionally troubled engineer caught up in a dangerous hacking conspiracy.
“Games of Thrones,” the fantasy saga based on George R.R. Martin’s novels, received a total of 12 awards Sunday and at last weekend’s technical arts ceremony for a cumulative 38, besting “Frasier” by one to claim most prime-time series awards ever.
The Emmys proved more adroit than the Oscars at recognizing and honoring diversity in Hollywood’s top ranks, with trophies going to minority actors and behind-the-scenes artists including writers Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang of “Master of None.”
Louis-Dreyfus used her victory to take a dig at GOP contender Donald Trump in a ceremony loaded with election-year asides.
Jeffrey Tambor captured his second consecutive best comedy actor trophy for “Transparent,” in which he plays a transgender character.
He called for Hollywood to make him the last non-transgender actor to get such a role.
A shaking Louis-Dreyfus ended her speech by dedicating the trophy to her father, who she said died Friday.
Her victory gave her six best An emotional Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepts the Emmy — a record-breaking sixth win — for lead actress in a comedy series for “Veep.” comedy wins — five for “Veep,” one for “The New Adventures of Old Christine” — and broke her tie with Candice Bergen and Mary Tyler Moore.
Maggie Smith was honored as best supporting actress in a drama series for the final season of “Downton Abbey,” her third win for playing the formidable dowager. She didn’t attend the ceremony. Ben Mendelsohn of “Bloodline” won as best supporting drama actor and also was a no-show.
John Oliver captured the best variety talk series award for “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” besting competitors including Jerry Seinfeld and host Jimmy Kimmel.
“The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which earned the second-highest number of nominations, converted five to trophies Sunday. The dramatic retelling of the football star’s murder trial was honored as best limited series and writing, and earned awards for stars Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and Sarah Paulson.
“Obama out, Hillary in,” Vance said as he wrapped his victory speech.
Regina King claimed the award for supporting actress in a limited series for “American Crime,” her second trophy for the program.
Louie Anderson was honored as best supporting actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of a loving but tough mom in “Baskets.”
“Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon won the trophy for best supporting actress in a comedy for, officially, playing various characters. But she knew who to credit.
“Thank you, Ellen DeGeneres, thank you, Hillary Clinton,” she said, naming two of the famous people she’s caricatured on the show.
The Democratic presidential contender responded quickly with a tweet: “Congratulations on your Emmy, Kate! Big fan of yours, too.”
The ceremony started out with a political edge. In a video bit, Jimmy Kimmel was shown trying to get to the ceremony and encountering former GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush as a limo driver.
In his opening monologue, the host said he was holding “Celebrity Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett responsible for the “Donald Trump phenomenon.”