New blood at the Emmys

NEW YORK • It will feel like a familiar affair at the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards, after Game Of Thrones, Modern Family and Julia Louis-Dreyfus once again landed Emmy nominations on Thursday.

But the occasionally stodgy Emmys was also infused with new blood. Popular shows such as FX's The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Roots and Fargo drew attention to the Limited Series category, and there was recognition in the Best Drama category for the widely praised but previously overlooked espionage drama The Americans.

For the third straight year, Game Of Thrones again led in nominations, earning nods in 23 categories, including for outstanding drama series Emmy for the fifth year in a row.

The show, which took a record 12 awards last year, faces competition from House Of Cards, Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, Homeland, Mr Robot and The Americans.

The People V. O.J. Simpson scored the second highest tally with 22 nods, followed by Fargo with 18. HBO had 94 nominations, the highest of any network for the 16th consecutive year.

Streaming services Netflix and Amazon continued to make inroads, each scoring its highest Emmy nomination totals (54 for Netflix and 16 for Amazon).

HBO's political comedy Veep, starring Louis-Dreyfus, once again landed nominations, scoring 17. It will vie for best comedy with Modern Family, Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Amazon's Transparent, Silicon Valley, Black-ish and Netflix's Master Of None.

However, The Good Wife was shut out of Best Show Honours and Netflix's prison comedy drama Orange Is The New Black failed to pick up any nomination.

Empire, Fox's debut melodrama about family feuds in a musical empire, took just one nomination despite its popularity. That went to Taraji P. Henson for Best Actress in a drama category.

A surprise in that category was Keri Russell who finally took her first Emmy nomination with her role in The Americans.

Beating frequent former nominees Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), she is up against Henson, Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Claire Danes (Homeland).

Her husband and co-star Matthew Rhys was named in the Best Actor category for drama, along with Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Kevin Spacey (House Of Cards), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) and Rami Malek (Mr Robot).

The most star-studded category was perhaps lead actor in a limited series or TV movie which included Bryan Cranston, who has received rave reviews for anchoring HBO's Lyndon B. Johnson biopic All The Way.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Cuba Gooding Jr, Tom Hiddleston and Courtney B. Vance were also nominated, while other big name contenders in the category including Bill Murray and Johnny Depp missed out.

The topic of race figured heavily in the limited series category - formerly known as "outstanding miniseries" - with The People V. O.J. Simpson matched up with historical saga Roots and American Crime. Downton Abbey marks its final season with 10 nods.

Jimmy Kimmel will host the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept 18 in Los Angeles.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'New blood at the Emmys'. Print Edition | Subscribe