Emmys Adjust to Influx in Celebrated TV

Photo Courtesy of Red Carpet on Mingle Media TV, Flickr Creative Commons

The 67th Primetime Emmys reflected another busy year in high quality television series. As television programs become more diverse and competition becomes stiffer, seeing seven or eight nominees for each category will become commonplace. Andy Samberg, hosting the Emmys for the first time, made reference to the mindboggling uptick in scripted shows with a gag showing him locked in a bunker catching up on a year of television.

Not only has the amount of content to choose from expanded, but the way in which people watch TV has altered significantly. While HBO had another traditionally stellar year at the Emmys, shows that are exclusively aired on Netflix and Amazon broke through.

While there was an influx of first-time Emmy nominees, the majority of the awards went to the same few. Four of the most sought after prizes in the drama category went to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” It took home outstanding drama series, supporting actor (Peter Dinklage), directing and writing. Many of these awards came as a surprise due to universal acknowledgement that the show had a weak season. Also in drama, Jon Hamm received a long overdue win that served as a nod to his continued success in AMC’s “Mad Men.”

Viola Davis became the first African-American actress to win for lead actress in a drama series for the freshman “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Davis delivered an emotional speech saying, “the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

Uzo Aduba from “Orange is the New Black” earned the award for supporting actress in a drama series, a hotly contested category.

Shifting to comedy, HBO’s “Veep” was awarded best comedy series, lead actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), supporting actor (Tony Hale) and writing. “Arrested Development” alum Jeffrey Tambor was acknowledged for his daring role as a transgender woman in “Transparent,” while Allison Janney (“Mom”) won for supporting actress in a very crowded race.

The miniseries or movie category was dominated by “Oliver Kitteridge,” which took home nearly every category with the exception of Regina King winning supporting actress for “American Crime.” "Oliver Kitteridge" won best miniseries, writing, directing, outstanding supporting actor, lead actress and lead actor. 

Culminating Jon Stewart’s impressive career as host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, the satirical news segment won the major variety categories including directing, writing and best in its class.

Samberg didn’t shy away from controversy, delivering pointed monologues throughout the night ranging from topics of race to the nominated shows themselves. Although the powerhouse networks loomed, the contributions made to television this past year are another leap forward with next season already looking promising.