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"Game of Thrones" Reigns Again At Emmys; "Veep" Repeats On Comedy Front
Miguel Sapochnik accepts the award for outstanding directing for a drama series for “Game of Thrones” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
  • LOS ANGELES (AP)
  • --

“Game of Thrones” conquered the Emmy kingdom Sunday, honored as top drama for the second consecutive year and becoming the most honored prime-time TV series ever on a night of surprises and sharp political jabs.

“Veep” repeated as best comedy series and its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, won a record-breaking sixth Emmy as best comedy actress. Jeffrey Tambor’s trophy as top comedy actor for “Transparent” also was his second.

But the top drama acting trophies were far from predictable: Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot” and Tatiana Maslany of “Orphan Black” were the winners, both overcoming heavyweight competition.

“Oh, my God. Please tell me you’re seeing this too,” said a stunned Malek, who plays an emotionally troubled engineer caught up in a dangerous hacking conspiracy.

“Games of Thrones,” the fantasy saga based on George R.R. Martin’s novels, received a total of 12 awards Sunday and at last weekend’s technical arts ceremony for a cumulative 38, besting “Frasier” by one to claim most prime-time series awards ever.

The Emmys proved more adroit than the Oscars at recognizing and honoring diversity in Hollywood’s top ranks, with trophies going to minority actors and behind-the-scenes artists including writers Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang of “Master of None.”

But Viola Davis of “How to Get Away with Murder” failed to repeat her 2015 best drama actress win, the first for a woman of color.

Tambor, who plays a transgender character on “Transparent,” called on Hollywood to make him the last non-transgender actor to get such a role.

A shaking Louis-Dreyfus ended her speech by dedicating the trophy to her father, who she said died Friday. Before that, she honed in on GOP contender Donald Trump’s campaign.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to personally apologize for the current political climate,” she said. “I think that ‘Veep’ has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels more like a sobering documentary.”

She promised to “rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it.”

Her victory gave her six best comedy wins - five for “Veep,” one for “The New Adventures of Old Christine” - and broke her tie with Candice Bergen and Mary Tyler Moore.

Maggie Smith was honored as best supporting actress in a drama series for the final season of “Downton Abbey.” It was her third win for playing the formidable dowager. As has become her custom, she didn’t attend the ceremony. After Smith’s win, Kimmel said her Emmy would not be mailed to her but would be kept in the Microsoft Theater’s Lost and Found until she shows up to claim it.

Ben Mendelsohn of “Bloodline” won as best supporting drama actor and also was a no-show.

John Oliver captured the top variety talk series award for “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” besting competitors including Jerry Seinfeld and host Jimmy Kimmel - who received barbed consolation on stage from Matt Damon, his longtime faux nemesis. The loss “makes a lot of sense,” Damon said.

“The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which earned the second-highest number of nominations, converted five to trophies Sunday.

The dramatic retelling of the football star’s murder trial was honored as best limited series and writing, and earned awards for stars Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and Sarah Paulson.

Paulson, who played prosecutor Marcia Clark, brought her as a guest and singled her out from the stage.

Clark was not the “the two-dimensional cardboard cutout that I saw on the news” but a “whip-smart” woman dedicated to justice for the case’s victims, Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman.

Regina King claimed the award for supporting actress in a limited series for “American Crime,” her second trophy for the program.

Louie Anderson was honored as best supporting actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of a loving but tough mom in “Baskets.”

“Mom, we did it!,” Anderson shouted, hoisting his trophy and dedicating the award to his late mother, Ora Zella Anderson. “I have not always been a good man but I play one hell of a woman.”

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon won the trophy for best supporting actress in a comedy for, officially, playing various characters. But she knew who to credit.

“Thank you, Ellen DeGeneres, thank you, Hillary Clinton,” she said, naming two of the famous people she’s caricatured on the show.

The Democratic presidential contender responded quickly with a tweet: “Congratulations on your Emmy, Kate! Big fan of yours, too.”

The ceremony started out with a political edge. In a video bit, Jimmy Kimmel was shown trying to get to the ceremony and encountering former GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush as a limo driver.

“Did you know you could make $12 an hour working for Uber?” a game Bush said, smiling. He advised Kimmel that “if you run a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice”- then told Kimmel curtly it was a joke.

In his opening monologue, the host said he was holding “Celebrity Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett responsible for the “Donald Trump phenomenon.”

In an attempt at comedy that fell flat, the ceremony announcer indicated that Bill Cosby would be taking the stage. After an awkward silence, Kimmel said it was a joke - the TV star embroiled in decades-old accusations of sexual assault wasn’t invited.

A pair of key changes made by the TV academy may have affected the outcomes in Sunday’s 27 categories. It revised how votes are cast and counted, switching from a ranking and points system to letting voters simply check off their top choice. That sharpened the selection process and might have affected past winners who managed to collect enough second-place votes to overcome the competition.

In another revision, this one implemented last year, voting was expanded from blue-ribbon panels to - depending on the award - giving substantially more or all of the academy’s 20,000-plus members the chance to vote for finalists.

Here’s a full rundown of the night’s winners:

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
LOUIE ANDERSON as Christine Baskets FX NETWORKS
Baskets

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
AZIZ ANSARI, Written by NETFLIX
ALAN YANG, Written by
Master Of None

Parents

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
KATE MCKINNON as Various characters NBC
Saturday Night Live

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
JILL SOLOWAY, Directed by AMAZON
Transparent
Man On The Land

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS as Selina Meyer HBO
Veep

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
JEFFREY TAMBOR as Maura Pfefferman AMAZON
Transparent 

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
THE VOICE NBC
John De Mol, Executive Producer
Mark Burnett, Executive Producer
Audrey Morrissey, Executive Producer
Jay Bienstock, Executive Producer
Lee Metzger, Executive Producer
Chad Hines, Executive Producer
Kyra Thompson, Co-Executive Producer
Amanda Zucker, Co-Executive Producer
Mike Yurchuk, Co-Executive Producer
Anthea Bhargava, Supervising Producer
Keith Dinielli, Supervising Producer
May Johnson, Supervising Producer
Clyde Lieberman, Supervising Producer
Teddy Valenti, Supervising Producer
Ashley Baumann-Sylvester, Senior Producer
Kyley Tucker, Senior Producer
Carson Daly, Producer
Barton Kimball, Producer
Michelle McNulty, Producer
Brittany Martin Porter, Producer

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
D.V. DEVINCENTIS, Written by FX NETWORKS
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
REGINA KING as Terri Lacroix ABC
American Crime

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
SUSANNE BIER, Directed by AMC
The Night Manager

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
STERLING K. BROWN as Christopher Darden FX NETWORKS
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
SARAH PAULSON as Marcia Clark FX NETWORKS
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
COURTNEY B. VANCE as Johnnie Cochran FX NETWORKS
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
SHERLOCK: THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE (MASTERPIECE) PBS
Mark Gatiss, Executive Producer
Steven Moffat, Executive Producer
Beryl Vertue, Executive Producer
Sue Vertue, Executive Producer
Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
FX Networks
Ryan Murphy, Executive Producer
Nina Jacobson, Executive Producer
Brad Simpson, Executive Producer
Brad Falchuk, Executive Producer
Scott Alexander, Executive Producer
Larry Karaszewski, Executive Producer
D.V. DeVincentis, Co-Executive Producer
Anthony Hemingway, Co-Executive Producer
Alexis Martin Woodall, Producer
John Travolta, Producer
Chip Vucelich, Produced by

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
PATTON OSWALT, Written by NETFLIX
Patton Oswalt: Talking For Clapping

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER HBO
John Oliver, Executive Producer/Host
Tim Carvell, Executive Producer
Liz Stanton, Executive Producer
Diane Fitzgerald, Producer

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
THOMAS KAIL, Directed by FOX
ALEX RUDZINSKI, Live Television Direction by
Grease: Live 

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
KEY & PEELE COMEDY CENTRAL
Keegan-Michael Key, Executive Producer
Jordan Peele, Executive Producer
Jay Martel, Executive Producer
Ian Roberts, Executive Producer
Peter Principato, Executive Producer
Paul Young, Executive Producer
Joel Zadak, Executive Producer
Peter Atencio, Co-Executive Producer
Linda Morel, Produced by

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
DAVID BENIOFF, Written by HBO
D.B. WEISS, Written by
Game Of Thrones
Battle Of The Bastards

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
MAGGIE SMITH as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham PBS
Downton Abbey

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
MIGUEL SAPOCHNIK, Directed by HBO
Game Of Thrones
Battle Of The Bastards

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
BEN MENDELSOHN as Danny Rayburn NETFLIX
Bloodline

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
RAMI MALEK as Elliot USA
Mr. Robot

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
TATIANA MASLANY as Sarah, Alison, Cosima, BBC AMERICA
Helena, Rachel, M.K., Krystal
Orphan Black

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
VEEP HBO
David Mandel, Executive Producer
Frank Rich, Executive Producer
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Executive Producer
Lew Morton, Executive Producer
Christopher Godsick, Executive Producer
Morgan Sackett, Co-Executive Producer
Sean Gray, Co-Executive Producer
Peter Huyck, Co-Executive Producer
Alex Gregory, Co-Executive Producer
Jim Margolis, Co-Executive Producer
Georgia Pritchett, Co-Executive Producer
Will Smith, Co-Executive Producer
Chris Addison, Supervising Producer
Rachel Axler, Supervising Producer
David Hyman, Produced by
Erik Kenward, Consulting Producer
Billy Kimball, Consulting Producer
Steve Koren, Consulting Producer

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
GAME OF THRONES HBO
David Benioff, Executive Producer
D.B. Weiss, Executive Producer
Carolyn Strauss, Executive Producer
Frank Doelger, Executive Producer
Bernadette Caulfield, Executive Producer
Vince Gerardis, Co-Executive Producer
Guymon Casady, Co-Executive Producer
George R.R. Martin, Co-Executive Producer
Bryan Cogman, Supervising Producer
Chris Newman, Producer
Greg Spence, Producer
Lisa McAtackney, Producer

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