This image released by HBO shows Emilia Clarke, left, and Kit Harington in a scene from the final episode of “Game of Thrones.” (HBO via AP)

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Veep’ make last Emmy Awards stand

‘Game of Thrones’ has most Emmys of any drama or comedy series in history

“Game of Thrones” has dominated the Emmy Awards with the formidable power of, say, your average fearsome, flame-belching dragon. Same goes for “Veep,” but picture a cutthroat politician instead.

The drama and comedy series are among the front-runners for Sunday’s ceremony (8 p.m. EDT, Fox) for their concluding seasons, a last chance to rule. But will they? There’s suspense as well over the never-crowned women of “Game of Thrones,” whether Sandra Oh and Billy Porter will make Emmy history, and how much streaming services such as Netflix can chip away at old-guard cable and older-guard broadcasting.

Cue HBO’s blockbuster drama and critically adored political satire.

“It’s the big farewell to the Emmy giants ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Veep,’” said Tom O’Neil, author of “The Emmys” and editor of the Gold Derby awards website. “The question is, how big will their sweeps be?”

“Game of Thrones” has the most Emmys of any drama or comedy series in history, 57, and it’s been undefeated each time it was nominated in recent years. It holds the record for most Emmys won by a series in a single season, 12, set in 2015 and matched the following year.

If the fantasy saga that brought cinematic sweep to TV successfully defends its best drama series title to net a fourth trophy, it will join a select club that can boast the same: “Hill Street Blues,” ”L.A. Law,” ”The West Wing” and “Mad Men.”

TV academy members brushed aside the anti-finale fan chorus in bestowing a single-year record 32 nominations on “Game of Thrones,” but it remains to be seen if they’re as generous Sunday. There’s worthy competition, including BBC America’s “Killing Eve”; AMC’s “Better Call Saul”; FX’s “Pose,” Netflix’s “Bodyguard” and “Ozark”; HBO’s “Succession,” and NBC’s “This Is Us.”

The actresses of “Game of Thrones” have a last shot at recognition for the series. They’ve failed to earn a single award despite receiving a combined 18 nominations over the drama’s eight-season run that, starting in 2011, brought George R.R. Martin’s novels alive with ample gore as well as strong female characters.

Emilia Clarke is aiming for a best actress win after previously vying for supporting actress honours. She’s facing Oh, the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star who would be the first actress of Asian descent to claim the top acting award, and Viola Davis of ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” who in 2015 became the first African American winner in the category.

The men of “Game of Thrones” also have something to prove, with the exception of three-time winner Peter Dinklage, up for this fourth. Alfie Allen and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, his castmates, also are in the running.

Kit Harington is getting his first shot at lead actor honours for the saga. Other nominees include “Pose” star Porter, who would be the first openly gay man to triumph in the category, and Sterling K. Brown of “This Is Us,” who in 2017 became the fourth African American actor to win the honour.

On the comedy side, “Veep” ruled as best series the past three times it was nominated, but was sidelined last year when star Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ breast cancer treatment delayed production. Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won and will defend the title against “Veep”; “Fleabag,” also on Amazon; HBO’s “Barry”; Netflix’s “Russian Doll”; NBC’s “The Good Place,” and Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek.”

READ MORE: Comox jewelry-maker off to Emmys

Louis-Dreyfus could become a seven-time winner for the political satire and, with the two Emmys she holds for “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” break her tie with Cloris Leachman as the most-honoured performer in Emmy history. Rachel Brosnahan of “Mrs. Maisel” won last year and is nominated again.

There will be stars aplenty but no ringmaster for the three-hour show. It could go as smoothly as February’s no-host Oscars but, fingers crossed, there might be an outbreak of the spontaneity that a live telecast should have if presenters and winners co-operate. (Please don’t thank your agent, dog walker, et al.)

Nominees would do well to recall the splash that Glenn Weiss made last year, proposing to his fiancee from the stage as he accepted a directing Emmy, and prepare accordingly.

The lack of an emcee makes extended political comedy riffs less likely, but there’s always room for a skit poking fun at Washington or a soapbox acceptance speech, as Bradley Whitford offered at last weekend’s creative arts ceremony when he won a guest acting trophy for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

If a winner uses part of the allotted 45 seconds to criticize President Donald Trump it won’t be the first time, and the former host of “The Apprentice” in turn has no love for the Emmys, said Gold Derby’s O’Neil. The reality series earned scant nominations and no trophies during its run, and Trump has bashed the awards show as “terrible,” a ratings loser and, for good measure, “sooooo boring!”

The ceremony has dropped in viewership, the case for most awards shows fighting for attention amid other distractions. Last year’s Emmys had a record-low audience of slightly more than 10.2 million, down 11 per cent from the past two years.

Lynn Elber, The Associated Press

READ MORE: HBO looks beyond ‘Game of Thrones,’ maybe back to a prequel

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction begins on 180-unit rental complex in Penticton

Rental community with 138 two-bedroom units and 42 one-bedroom units to be built on old trailer park

Professional misconduct lands Penticton lawyer $15k fine

Daniel Kay Lo fined $15,000 by B.C. Law Society after admitting to five counts of misconduct.

Highway 97 petition founder encouraged by public’s reaction

Printed out, the list of 26,000 names creates a stack of paper four inches thick.

RDOS hears concerns about 5G wireless technology

Potential safety concerns raised as communications technology expands

Mental health disorders, suicide on the rise among Okanagan students

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Federal minister to speak in North Okanagan

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

Most Read