The Creative Arts Emmys are an opportunity for some of television’s hardest-working talents to be honored for their accomplishments — they are also largely overlooked in favor of next week’s big show. But last night, the winners were announced in 80 categories ranging from Picture Editing For Reality Programming to Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special to Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy. Which ones made us sit up, take notice, cheer or groan?
Outstanding Animated Program: “Bob’s Burgers”
That sound you just heard was a belated squeal of glee from within the Indiewire offices (there are some fans of the show on staff). This was the third year in a row that the Fox animated series was nominated in this category, but its first-ever win, proving that at least in this, the Emmys have better taste than the Teen Choice Awards.
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program: Jane Lynch for “Hollywood Game Night”
This is your semi-regularly, weirdly necessary reminder that Jane Lynch is a deeply underrated host and on-camera presence; freed from the hamfest that is “Glee,” which exploited her sharper qualities to the point of near self-destruction, Lynch is an awful lot of fun.
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series: Joe Morton for “Scandal”
Given the competition in this category, Morton winning for his work as Olivia Pope’s duplicitous father counts as a bit of an upset. Between Robert Morse’s singing and dancing farewell on “Mad Men,” Beau Bridges’ tortured work as a closeted gay man on “Masters of Sex” and Paul Giamatti being all Paul Giamatti-y on “Downton Abbey,” Morton taking home the trophy is unexpected. But it’s nice to see him recognized for making even the most soapy and melodramatic “Scandal” plot twists feel believable.
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series: Allison Janney for “Masters of Sex”
Janney racked up plenty of awards during her seven years as C.J. Cregg on “The West Wing,” but that show never pushed her the way “Masters of Sex” does, especially when it comes to the nudity and sexual content. (Deadline reports that in her acceptance speech, Janney “thanked the crew for getting her that shot of bourbon before her first sex scene.”) We’d give Janney all the money in our wallets if she asked for it, so another Emmy only feels right.
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series: Jimmy Fallon for hosting “Saturday Night Live”
Here are the people Fallon beat out for this award: Louis C.K. (also for hosting “SNL”), Nathan Lane, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, BOB FREAKING NEWHART.
No. We don’t get it either.
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series: Uzo Aduba for “Orange Is The New Black”
A quick reminder — this year’s Emmys are judging “Orange is the New Black” based on its first season, not its second. Which means Aduba won last night after voters witnessed her transform, over the course of those first 13 episodes, from an unhinged inmate with a full bladder to one of the show’s most heartbreaking characters. Congratulations, Crazy Eyes.
And congratulations to Netflix as well, which picked up seven awards last night, three of which went to “Orange.” That puts it ahead of CBS (six) and ABC (five). What a brave new world.
Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Non-Prosthetic): “The Normal Heart”
This win stands out mostly as a prognosticator for next Monday — “Normal Heart” already had strong awards chances, but a makeup win means that the Academy had their eyes fixed on Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer (especially Bomer) in HBO’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play.
Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Comedy Series Or A Variety Program: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
This is only one of two Emmys “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was nominated for this year, and Andre Braugher is going up against Fred Armisen and “Modern Family” stars Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson for Best Supporting Actor. So let’s celebrate this (minor) victory for the best freshman comedy of last season.
Side note: In the Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama, “Game of Thrones” lost, of all things, to “The Blacklist.” Seriously, “The Blacklist.” The Red Viper weeps (blood).
Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program: “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis”
Congratulations to Funny or Die for its first Emmy win. (And the same to President Obama, while we’re at it.) Did “Between Two Ferns” get the award because it actually had a positive impact on young people signing up for the Affordable Care Act? Or because the President’s deadpan is good enough to get him cast in a “Hangover” movie? The answer is probably yes.
Outstanding Interactive Program: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”
The “Tonight Show” team does a great job of engaging with web culture and packaging the show for its online audience, and also Louis C.K. and Gary Cole weren’t in direct competition for this award. So we have no problem whatsoever with Jimmy Fallon getting this win.
Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series: “The Colbert Report”
This won’t be the last year “Colbert Report” is eligible for Emmys, but undoubtedly the thing that will be on the minds of the writing staff isn’t where to stash their newest bit of bling, but what will happen when their boss abandons the Bill O’Reilly parody character he’s been playing for the last nine years and takes over CBS’s “Late Show.”
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance: Harry Shearer for “The Simpsons”
Would you believe that this is the first time Harry Shearer has ever won an Emmy? Good grief. No need to rush things, Academy. He’s only been on “The Simpsons” for 25 years, you know. But that’s the Emmys for you: Sometimes, way behind the times.