Netflix’s Stranger Things and HBO’s Westworld gained momentum in the Emmy Award race as both shows racked up five wins at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
NBC’s This Is Us pulled out a big win with the last award of the night – the guest drama actor win for Gerald McRaney. The same was true for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale as Alexis Bledel prevailed for guest drama actress.
Saturday Night Live, the venerable NBC sketch comedy, also took five wins, including comedy guest actor and actress awards for Dave Chappelle, as host, and Melissa McCarthy, for her guest appearances as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Stranger Things took the drama series casting kudo – a category that is often a bellwether for programme wins at the televised Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, which is set for Sept 17. HBO’s Big Little Lies won for casting for a limited series.
Two other wins for Big Little Lies – the first-ever music supervision award and contemporary costumes – indicate Emmy voters’ affection for the limited series. HBO’s The Night Of collected four wins that recognised the craftsmanship of the show, taking the trophies for cinematography, editing, sound mixing and sound editing.
HBO’s Westworld established its momentum early in the night. The epic fantasy drama won for visual effects, sound mixing, interactive programming, hairstyling and makeup.
Netflix’s The Crown collected two prizes, for production design and period-drama costumes. Stranger Things also took the main title theme music win, for TV newbies Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon. Jeff Russo won for music composition for a limited series for FX’s Fargo. Jeff Beal won music composition for a series for Netflix’s House Of Cards.
Jane Lynch added another Emmy to her trophy with the win for short-form actress for her online series Dropping The Soap.
Kim Estes won short-form actor for Dicks.
Both McRaney and Bledel were unexpected winners against tough competition. McRaney has been a staple of TV since the 1970s but This Is Us marked his first-ever Emmy nomination. McRaney told reporters backstage that he’s happy for the breakthrough at long last because “what it means to a working actor is that he can keep working.” But McRaney also emphasised that he never chased awards stardust.
The work is the major reward, he said.“If I worked in a bank, I’d also be working at a little theatre doing a play,” he said. “To me the process of doing this is more important than just about anything else... This is the icing on a very delicious cake.”
Bledel said she was gratified to have been part of a series that has touched a nerve in the culture with its look at a dystopian America where women are subjugated for breeding purposes.“It’s really an incredible thing when creating art inspires conversation and it’s thought-provoking enough to stand out in this way,” she said.
Here are some of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards winners:
Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Gerald McRaney (This Is Us, The Big Day)
Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale, Late)
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Dave Chappelle (Saturday Night Live, Host: Dave Chappelle)
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Melissa McCarthy (Saturday Night Live, Host: Melissa McCarthy)
Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series: Kim Estes (Dicks)
Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series: Jane Lynch (Dropping The Soap)
Casting for a Drama Series: Carmen Cuba, Tara Feldstein Bennett & Chase Paris (Stranger Things)
Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or Special: David Rubin (Big Little Lies)
Casting for a Comedy Series: Dorian Frankel and Sibby Kirchgessner (Veep)
Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour): David Miller (Veep)
Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour): Colin Watkinson (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series: Donald A. Morgan (The Ranch)
Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie: Fred Elmes (The Night Of)
Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score): Jeff Beal (House Of Cards, Chapter 63)
Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special (Original Dramatic Score): Jeff Russo (Fargo, Aporia)
Original Main Title Theme Music: Michael Stein, Kyle Dixon (Stranger Things)
Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series: Jennifer Lilly (Master Of None)
Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series: Peter Chakos (The Big Bang Theory)
Stunt Coordination For a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie: James Lew (Marvel’s Luke Cage)
Period/ Fantasy Costumes for a Series, Limited Series or Movie: Michele Clapton, Alex Fordham, Emma O’Loughlin and Kate O’Farrell (The Crown)
Production Design for a Narrative Period Program (One Hour or More): Martin Childs, Mark Raggett and Celia Bobak (The Crown) – Reuters/Cynthia Littleton