2015 Emmy Awards: 5 Things to Know About Tonight’s Big Show

20 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Emmy Awards 2015 FAQ: Where to watch the show, red carpet, the pre-shows.

The 67th prime time Emmy Awards will take place Sunday night in Los Angeles, bringing television’s top performers, technicians and creators together for a night of self-congratulation and ceremony, and perhaps the occasional funny song from the host, Andy Samberg. True to Emmy form, viewers can expect many of the same nominees as last year (see the full list), though rule changes have reconfigured the nomination pool somewhat. Expect some sort of monologue or performance with his comedy troupe The Lonely Island. (Steel yourself for “I just watched Netflix / and it felt so good.”) Unfortunately, there’s no sanctioned way to livestream the show if you don’t have cable: neither Fox nor the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are hosting a stream. Hosted by former “Saturday Night Live” comedian Andy Samberg and shown live on Fox television, more than 20 awards will be handed out with all eyes on the top prizes — best drama and best comedy series. Apart from plugs for his comedy, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and other offerings from Fox’s fall lineup (hello, “Empire”), little else is guaranteed about an awards ceremony that will be shaped by some changes behind the scenes.

The changes were designed to more clearly define categories, and keep producers from gaming the system by putting their shows and stars in less competitive ones. You’ll be able to watch footage from the red carpet and backstage on the Emmys website starting at 6:00PM ET, but it won’t give you a real glimpse at the show itself.

No one has ever won an acting Emmy for the influential AMC show in its eight years on the air but Jon Hamm is expected finally to change all that for his role as conflicted ad executive, Don Draper. “I think that this is going to be the year of ‘Mad Men’ because it’s finished. The annual television showcase will honor the best in comedy and drama, from “House of Cards” and “Mad Men” to “Modern Family” and “Veep.” This year’s show will air at 8 p.m. For example, anthology shows like “American Horror Story” and mini-series will be considered in the limited series category, and the guest acting nominations are limited to performers who made brief appearances in shows. I think it’s a fabulous show, I absolutely love it,” Julian Fellowes, the creator of PBS British show “Downton Abbey,” told Reuters on the eve of the awards. The TV Academy also raised the number of nominations in the top series awards from six to seven, and split the variety category into separate ones for talk and sketch series.

However with seven drama series nominated this year — none of them from the big five U.S. broadcasters — the competition is fierce, especially from HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” which had a leading 24 nominations. The list of presenters is stacked with appearances by Lady Gaga, Tina Fey, Terrence Howard, John Oliver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, Adrien Brody and many more (Full list HERE).

Among other shifts, the Television Academy created a new category for sketch comedy shows, giving “Key & Peele,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and other nominees their own playing field apart from talk shows such as “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The biggest rule change could result in winners that more closely correspond to real-world popularity on television. This is a transitional year for TV’s biggest awards show, one defined by the last breaths of several iconic shows and the tripartite battle for prestige between networks, cable channels, and streaming services. Amazon Studios could be in for a big night with transgender comedy “Transparent,” whose star Jeffrey Tambor plays a divorced dad who decides to transition as a woman. With gay and transgender themes enjoying a boom in Hollywood, “Transparent” is seen as a threat to ABC’s “Modern Family,” which has won the comedy series Emmy for each of the past five years. With 14 previous nods and zero wins, the “Mad Men” star has been compared Susan Lucci, the veteran soap opera actress once known for her streak of unconsummated Emmy nominations.

HBO’s Washington political comedy “Veep,” and its tech series “Silicon Valley,” FX’s “Louie,”, NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, and Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” are also in the running. In the race for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, it’s Hamm’s last opportunity to collect a trophy for playing Don Draper, the turbulent heart and soul of one of the most influential (and Emmy-decorated) series of the last decade.

Not surprisingly, “Game of Thrones” leads with a billion (okay, 24) nominations, but “Mad Men” and its 11 nods could get all the glory with its final season. Mad Men’s candidacy this year is particularly interesting: it’s still never earned a major acting award despite feted performances from Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, and the rest of the show’s cast. Other nomination front-runners include “American Horror Story: Freak Show” with 19; HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge” and “Bessie” with 13 and 12, respectively; and “House of Cards” and “Transparent” with 11. They include Tatiana Maslany for her multiple clone characters in BBC America’s “Orphan Black,” Anthony Anderson in ABC’s African-American family comedy “black-ish,” and comedian Amy Schumer for her Comedy Central sketch show “Inside Amy Schumer.” Oscar-nominated Viola Davis (ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”) and Taraji P.

And with the final votes being cast by a broader pool of Academy members this year, the odds favor the most widely watched nominee, “Game of Thrones. For years he had the misfortune of sharing a category with Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad,” who was named best actor four times, including last year. HBO’s fantasy juggernaut has been nominated in the category annually since its 2011 debut, and has 24 total nominations this year, more than any other series. There’s no Fox pre-show since the network will be showing football, but if you’re a West Coast viewer, you can also tune in to KTLA’s “Live from the Emmy Awards” starting at 3 p.m. Last year, series creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd almost looked sheepish about accepting their fifth straight award for Outstanding Comedy Series—one for every season “Modern Family” has been on their air.

The ABC hit could extend its streak, but a changing of the guard could work in the favor of “Veep” (starring Emmy darling Julia Louis-Dreyfus) or “Transparent” (which broke ground with its subject matter and by allowing Amazon to join the awards race for the first time). As an award-worthy presence on the category of Outstanding Variety Talk Series, they don’t get any bigger than David Letterman, who retired after 22 years on CBS (and 11 years before that on NBC). Her nomination is the only one “Empire” received in a major category, even though the soapy drama was arguably the year’s breakout hit, in terms of both ratings and buzz.

But if the Academy is handing out farewell trophies, what about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, influential hosts in their own right who both left their respective shows this year? Still, don’t count out a spoiler in the form of a “Daily Show” alumnus who seized a platform of his own on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” But this year it faces serious competition from the acclaimed “Transparent,” the 2014 Amazon series about a gender-transitioning patriarch and his family.

While final seasons can turn outgoing shows into sentimental favorites, how will voters respond when half of the nominated variety shows — “The Colbert Report,” “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “Late Show With David Letterman” — no longer exist?

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