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Emmys 2015: Game of Thrones scores record win as Viola Davis makes history

Kit Harington

Story by Jack Foley

FANTASY series Game of Thrones has set an Emmy record for the most number of wins for a programme in a single year, with 12.

The show took home best drama at the 67th awards ceremony, as well as wins for drama writing (for creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) and directing (David Nutter).

Peter Dinklage also won for supporting actor in a drama series.

In his acceptance speech, Benioff noted the enormity of the effort that it takes to produce Game of Thrones and paid tribute to the fertile imagination of its original creator, author George R.R. Martin, who penned the book series on which it was based.

He also gave one of many shout-outs to HBO, “for believing in dragons”.

Indeed, it was HBO that emerged as the night’s biggest winner among the channels. In addition to its dominance with Thrones, political comedy Veep picked up several prizes among the comedy categories, Olive Kitteridge won big among the limited series hopefuls and Bessie took home a movie win.

Veep won best comedy series and saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ triumph for the fourth consecutive year for her lead role as the vice-president of the title. It also notched up wins for supporting comedy actor Tony Hale and for comedy writing.

Olive Kitteridge, meanwhile, saw wins for Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins as, respectively, lead actress and actor in a limited series or movie, as well as Bill Murray as best supporting actor and Lisa Cholodenko, as best director.

Paying tribute to HBO in her speech, McDormand said: “We’re all here because of the power of a story well told. Sometimes, that’s enough.”

While Cholodenko added: “Making this four-hour movie was a metaphysical, supernatural, transpersonal dark-night-of-the-soul kind of experience – so I’m glad it was a comedy.”

In total, HBO claimed 43 Emmy wins during this year’s race, followed by NBC with 12, Comedy Central and FX Networks with eight apiece and ABC with six. It easily swept the board.

However, there were notable wins elsewhere too.

Jon Hamm finally won best actor in the drama category for his performance in the final series of Mad Men and was suitably humble upon accepting the trophy, issuing a list of heartfelt personal thank you’s.

And How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis made Emmy history by becoming the first African-American to win a lead drama actress trophy, commenting: “The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win Emmys for roles that are simply not there.”

Regina King (of ABC’s American Crime) and Uzo Aduba (of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black) also earned supporting trophies to underline how diversity in casting can see widespread rewards.

Two wins for Transparent also put the issue of civil rights for transgender people in the spotlight thanks to emotional acceptance speeches from creator Jill Soloway, who won for comedy directing, and Jeffrey Tambor, who won for lead comedy actor.

And addiction also got a look-in when Allison Janney picked up the prize for supporting comedy actress for CBSMom, which revolves around a mother and daughter who are recovering alcoholics.

Janney’s win, her second consecutive for the role, makes her third on the list of Emmy’s most honoured actors behind Cloris Leachman, Ed Asner and Mary Tyler Moore.

The main winners at a glance

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Game of Thrones
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Homeland
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange is the New Black

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Veep
Louie
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

LIMITED SERIES
Olive Kitteridge
American Crime
American Horror Story: Freak Show
The Honorable Woman
Wolf Hall

VARIETY TALK SERIES
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Late Show With David Letterman
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
Inside Amy Schumer
Drunk History
Key & Peele
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Claire Danes, Homeland
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Robin Wright, House of Cards

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Lily Tomlin, Grace And Frankie
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Will Forte, The Last Man On Earth
Louis C.K., Louie
William H. Macy, Shameless

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game Of Thrones
Emilia Clarke, Game Of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Michael Kelly, House Of Cards

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Allison Janney, Mom Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
Tony Hale, Veep
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver, Girls
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Emma Thompson, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street

LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
Timothy Hutton, American Crime
Ricky Gervais, Derek Special
Adrien Brody, Houdini
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

UPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Regina King, American Crime
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Mo’Nique, Bessie
Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge

SUPPORTING ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Richard Cabral, American Crime
Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Michael Kenneth Williams, Bessie
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Rachel Brosnahan, House Of Cards
Cicely Tyson, How To Get Away With Murder
Allison Janney, Masters Of Sex
Khandi Alexander, Scandal

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards Alan Alda, The Blacklist
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
F. Murray Abraham, Homeland”
Beau Bridges, Masters Of Sex
Pablo Schreiber, Orange Is The New Black

GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY
Bradley Whitford, Transparent
Mel Brooks, The Comedians
Paul Giamatti, Inside Amy Schumer
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
Jon Hamm, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Gaby Hoffmann, Girls
Pamela Adlon, Louie
Elizabeth Banks, Modern Family
Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

REALITY-COMPETITION SERIES
The Voice
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report
Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver