The 67th Emmy Awards threw a few surprises, more than a few spoilers, and quite a few firsts! Here’s what you need to know about this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards- honouring the best in primetime US television.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, Viola Davis became the first African-American actress to win the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy for playing a manipulative criminal lawyer in How To Get Away With Murder. Last year, Kerry Washington had become the first African-American woman to be nominated in this category for playing Olivia Pope in the political drama Scandal.
Second, the rules were changed this year. One-hour shows could now only submit nominations in the Outstanding Drama Series category and half-an-hour shows were only eligible for the Outstanding Comedy Series category. Provisions were put in place so that shows could appeal against the category they were nominated in. Glee, Jane The Virgin and Shameless were the only one-hour shows that were granted permission to compete in the Outstanding Comedy Series category.
Thirdly, after an excruciatingly long wait of eight years and sixteen overall Emmy nominations, Irish-American actor Jon Hamm finally won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for playing the suave and elegant advertising executive Donald Draper on the 1960s period drama Mad Men– which bid adieu this year. “This is obviously a mistake” said a relieved Hamm after he prostrated on the stage in jest before receiving the trophy.
Fourth, Olive Kitteridge, swept all but one of the seven awards in the Mini Series Category. The four-episode mini-series about the life of a elementary school mathematics teacher and her family is based on the Pulitzer-winning novel of the same name by American author Elizabeth Strout.
Fifthly, Modern Family, the super hit comedy series about three different but related families, shot in its famous “mockumentary style”, missed out on becoming the first ever comedy series to win the Outstanding Comedy Emmy for the sixth time in a row. It had won the Emmy in this category for its first five seasons but lost out to the political satire Veep this time around.
Lastly, this Emmy ceremony will remain infamous in history for the several spoilers (revealing plot lines) that it showed during an audio-visual presentation that was meant to highlight the shows that ended this year. Social media was furious as several crucial plot-lines were revealed of shows such as Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy and Nurse Jackie among others.
So, if you’re planning to watch the Emmy ceremony repeat telecast this weekend and are yet to see the finale of any of these shows, I suggest you close your eyes and mute your TV sets when the host announces the list of shows that bid adieu this year (I was following Mad Men and the live Emmy telecast spoiled the last episode of this great show for me!).
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Shashi Shekhar Misra
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