‘Game of Thrones’ keeps its crown

Baltimore Sun - - 68TH EMMY AWARDS - By Lynn El­ber

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.”

KEVIN WIN­TER/GETTY

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