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The History Making & Record Breaking 67th Primetime Emmy Awards: A Focus On Writing & Directing

Last night’s 67th Primetime Emmy Awards was much talked about due to it’s history making (the stunning Viola Davis as the first African American to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series) and record breaking wins (Game Of Thrones with a record 12 wins). However there wasn’t much focus on some other interesting wins and nominations, such as those for Best Writing and Best Directing.


To start, HBO dominated both the Primetime Emmys and the Creative Arts Emmys (post coming soon). Out of the four Directing and four Writing categories HBO had nominations in seven categories, winning five of those noms. Game of Thrones was of course a big winner across the board, with the episode “Mother’s Mercy” winning both Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for David Nutter as well as Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for both David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It should also be noted that Director Jeremy Podeswa was also nominated for the episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” as well, marking a trend we’ll also see in the Creative Arts Emmy’s of Game Of Throne’s getting multiple nominations in the same category.

HBO’s Veep was also a big winner, winning Oustanding Writing for a comedy series for it’s season 4 finale “Election Night”, written by Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche. Of course, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale also took home best acting wins for their respective roles. Finally, HBO won big with their limited series Olive Kitteridge in numerous categories as well, taking Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special for Lisa Cholodenko and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special for Jane Anderson. This is of course in addition to Frances McDormand’s win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Jill Soloway, Transparent

Despite its overwhelming presence, HBO did lose out on several Directing and Writing awards, with Amazon’s critical darling Transparent winning Jill Soloway the award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, for which both HBO’s Veep and Silicon Valley were also nominated. Comedy Central rounds out the remaining Directing and Writing wins, taking awards for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

So what do take away from all of this? Well, for many Game of Thrones has finally gotten recognition for major categories such as acting, directing and writing, despite yearly wins for other categories such as costumes, sound and production design. Also, HBO has perhaps solidified it’s ruler of all television, with it’s record breaking 12 wins and massive amounts of nominations. Not just for Game of Thrones or even Veep, but pulling noms and wins for numerous other shows, such as The Jinx, Citizenfour and more.

Perhaps most disappointing is the lack of much recognition for AMC this year, despite Jon Hamm’s win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Mad Men. While the amazing Better Call Saul recieved four nominations and no wins, I’m particularly surprised to see The Walking Dead again snubbed. It continues to not be nominated or win anything beyond sound, visual and special effects. While all completely deserved nominations (and wins in the case of 2011 and 2012), it’s beyond time it’s nominated (and win) for directing, acting, writing and more. The argument that it’s a horror genre piece should now be irrelevant with the fantasy that is Game of Thrones pulling so much weight.

So, what do you think? Were there any snubbs that drove you crazy? Do you think HBO is deserving of it’s tidal wave of success? Let us know in the comments below!


Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Transparent (Episode: “Best New Girl”), Directed by Jill Soloway (Amazon)

  • The Last Man on Earth (Episode: “Alive in Tucson”), Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Fox)
  • Louie (Episode: “Sleepover”), Directed by Louis C.K. (FX)
  • Silicon Valley (Episode: “Sand Hill Shuffle”), Directed by Mike Judge (HBO)
  • Veep (Episode: “Testimony”), Directed by Armando Iannucci (HBO)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Game of Thrones (Episode: “Mother’s Mercy”), Directed by David Nutter (HBO)

  • Boardwalk Empire (Episode: “Eldorado”), Directed by Tim Van Patten (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones (Episode: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”), Directed by Jeremy Podeswa (HBO)
  • Homeland (Episode: “From A to B and Back Again”), Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Showtime)
  • The Knick (Episode: “Method and Madness”), Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Cinemax)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Episode: “Episode 20103”), Directed by Chuck O’Neil (Comedy Central)

  • The Colbert Report (Episode: “Episode 11040”), Directed by James Hoskinson (Comedy Central)
  • Inside Amy Schumer (Episode: “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer”), Directed by Amy Schumer and Ryan McFaul (Comedy Central)
  • Late Show with David Letterman (Episode: “Show 4214”), Directed by Jerry Foley (CBS)
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Episode: “Show 203”), Directed by Dave Diomedi (NBC)

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Olive Kitteridge, Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (HBO)

  • American Horror Story: Freak Show (Episode: “Monsters Among Us”), Directed by Ryan Murphy (FX)
  • Bessie, Directed by Dee Rees (HBO)
  • The Honorable Woman, Directed by Hugo Blick (SundanceTV)
  • Houdini, Directed by Uli Edel (History)
  • The Missing, Directed by Tom Shankland (Starz)
  • Wolf Hall, Directed by Peter Kosminsky (PBS)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Veep (Episode: “Election Night”), Written by Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche (HBO)

  • Episodes (Episode: “Episode Nine”), Written by David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik (Showtime)
  • The Last Man on Earth (Episode: “Alive in Tucson”), Written by Will Forte (Fox)
  • Louie (Episode: “Bobby’s House”), Written by Louis C.K. (FX)
  • Silicon Valley (Episode: “Two Days of the Condor”), Written by Alec Berg (HBO)
  • Transparent (Episode: “Pilot”), Written by Jill Soloway (Amazon)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Game of Thrones (Episode: “Mother’s Mercy”), Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss (HBO)

  • The Americans (Episode: “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”), Written by Joshua Brand (FX)
  • Better Call Saul (Episode: “Five-O”), Written by Gordon Smith (AMC)
  • Mad Men (Episode: “Lost Horizon”), Written by Matthew Weiner & Semi Chellas (AMC)
  • Mad Men (Episode: “Person to Person”), Written by Matthew Weiner (AMC)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)

  • The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
  • Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
  • Key & Peele (Comedy Central)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Olive Kitteridge, Written by Jane Anderson (HBO)

  • American Crime (Episode: “Episode One”), Written by John Ridley (ABC)
  • Bessie, Written by Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois, and Horton Foote (HBO)
  • Hello Ladies: The Movie, Written by Stephen Merchant, Gene Stupnitsky, and Lee Eisenberg (HBO)
  • The Honorable Woman, Written by Hugo Blick (SundanceTV)
  • Wolf Hall, Written by Peter Straughan (PBS)

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