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‘Game of Thrones’ Takes Early Emmy Lead with Ten Awards
September 17, 2019  | By Alex Strachan

First blood has been drawn, and Game of Thrones has emerged as the early frontrunner in the race for the big prize.

The Emmys for the major categories are this coming weekend when the top awards will be handed out at The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles in a televised ceremony, but awards for artistic and technical achievement were handed out this past weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. Game of Thrones, now retired, scored a near clean sweep in technical categories.

The early awards, in so many categories they had to be handed out over two nights, acknowledge the behind-the-scenes artists you rarely hear about: the casting directors, cinematographers, sound engineers, set designers, stunt coordinators and, for those in front of the camera, the guest actors and actresses who can make a good episode great.

In the final tally so far, Netflix leads HBO overall with 38 Emmys — yes, you read that right — to HBO’s 29.

National Geographic Channel earned a moment in the Emmy spotlight as well, with 16 awards, largely on the strength of its documentary Free Solo (right). The top broadcast network, once the dominant force in television, was NBC, with a paltry 10 Emmys, largely on the strength of Saturday Night Live, about to enter its 45th season, on Sept. 28.

Netflix’s early haul came, for the most part, thanks to Our PlanetQueer EyePatriot Act with Hasan Minhaj and three individual achievement awards for animation. 

HBO found joy with Game of Thrones and Chernobyl, with seven awards overall, the controversial Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver with a pair of awards.
That paves the way for another solid night for HBO this weekend when Game of ThronesChernobylBarry and Last Week Tonight will all compete for the major, high-profile awards.
HBO is just nine Emmys behind Netflix in the overall numbers and could make up that ground in what has always been HBO’s most productive evening of the three.
With eyes on soon-to-launch streaming services from Apple and Disney, Apple Music scored an early win for outstanding short-form variety series, with Carpool Karaoke: The Series.

In a welcome, perhaps surprise touch, Anthony Bourdain (right) was honored with a pair of posthumous Emmys, for nonfiction writing and for outstanding informational series, for his CNN program Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Game of Thrones, the early leader in this weekend’s Emmy headlines, won Emmys for its music, casting, makeup, cinematography, costumes, picture editing, sound mixing, visual effects, stunt coordination, and main title design.


Guest performers in other series acknowledged this past weekend included Luke Kirby, for his performance as Lenny Bruce in an episode of Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Jane Lynch, for her performance as Sophie Lennon, also in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Handmaid’s Tale won a pair of guest acting awards for drama: Bradley Whitford (below), for his turn as Commander Joseph Lawrence in Hulu’s widely praised adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s modern classic novel, and Cherry Jones, for her performance as staunch feminist and women’s rights activist Holly Maddox.
Game of Thrones is poised to do well at this weekend’s televised ceremony in the acting categories with no fewer than nine actors up for Emmys: Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie, Sophie Turner, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, and past winner Peter Dinklage.
The awards in high-profile drama, comedy and late-night categories will be handed out Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and televised live on Fox.

It will be only the fourth time in Emmy history that the ceremony will be staged without a host. The last time that happened was in 2003 when the awards show also aired on Fox. 

Make of that what you will.
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