"Boardwalk Empire" ruled the Creative Arts Emmys by winning seven prizes. If it picks up two more next weekend at the main Primetime Emmys telecast, it will tie the record held by "The West Wing" for most series victories in a single year.
The HBO series won best art direction, casting, cinematography, editing, makeup and sound editing. It even claimed the prize for best visual effects, beating several heavily favored rivals that feature the kind of fantasy elements that usually pay off: "Game of Thrones," "Stargate Universe" and "The Walking Dead." Next week it has a strong chance of winning several lead trophies, including best drama series, lead actor (Steve Buscemi) and director (Martin Scorsese). If it takes all three, it will set a new Emmy record with 10. "Boardwalk" is also up for best supporting actress, but most pundits don't believe Kelly Macdonald can win.
Paul McCrane ("Harry's Law") and Loretta Devine ("Grey's Anatomy") won the awards for guest acting in a drama series, while the equivalent prizes in the comedy category went to Justin Timberlake ("Saturday Night Live") and Gwyneth Paltrow ("Glee"). Timberlake also shared in the victory for his "Saturday Night Live" monologue tune in the race for best song.
Devine's victory was a major upset over front-runners Julia Stiles ("Dexter") and Joan Cusack ("Shameless"). McCrane's win also was a surprise considering most pundits were betting on an easy win for five-time past champ Michael J. Fox ("The Good Wife").
In past years, "Deadliest Catch" lost best nonfiction series five times, but it switched to the reality program contest this year where it staged a win over "Hoarders," "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," "MythBusters" and "Antiques Roadshow." It also prevailed in three other tech races, tying "Gettysburg" for second biggest champ at the Creative Arts Emmys. "Gettysburg" won best nonfiction special plus three tech slots.
"The Kennedys" continued its redemption at the Emmys after being dumped by the History Channel and being telecast on the rebound by Reelz. It tied "Mildred Pierce" for three wins. "The Kennedys" won for makeup, hairstyling and soundmixing. "Mildred Pierce" won for casting, music and art direction.
"Futurama" also reaped network revenge by winning best animated program after a previous victory in 2002. The program was dropped by Fox a few years ago, but later picked up by Comedy Central. "The Simpsons" had been heavily favored to win the race this year. "Futurama" also won the voiceover prize for Maurice LaMarche.
Jeff Probst continued his romp through the race for best reality host, winning it every year of the category's existence (four).
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO