Back to IndieWire

Emmys Winners and Losers: ‘Game of Thrones’ Broke Records & Amazon is On Fire, But What About ‘Fargo’?

HBO took home the top two trophies at the 2016 Emmys and "Game of Thrones" shattered records. So how did the network lose?

THE 68TH EMMY(r) AWARDS - “The 68th Emmy Awards” broadcasts live from The Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Sunday, September 18 (7:00-11:00 p.m. EDT/4:00-8:00 p.m. PDT), on ABC and is hosted by Jimmy Kimmel

ABC/Image Group LA


“FX” – Winner

Not only did “The People v. O.J. Simpson” wrack up the second most wins of any program, but the network more than doubled its total Emmys from last year — moving from eight to 18. That was almost enough to topple HBO (undoubtedly FX Networks President John Landgraf’s goal) and a number made all the sweeter by Louie Anderson’s win for Supporting Actor in “Baskets” to kick off Sunday’s ceremony. But still…

Fargo” and “The Americans” – Losers

Not everything went the way of FX. With “Fargo” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson” almost always competing against each other, the network was bound to lose with one of them (and we knew all along “Fargo” was going to draw the short straw). But Noah Hawley’s acclaimed limited series couldn’t even win when “American Crime Story” was out of the picture. That other “American Crime” show beat “Fargo” when Regina King topped Jean Smart in the Supporting Actress race. As for “The Americans,” well, we want to believe it’s really a winner, even if it came home Sunday night empty-handed.

“Bloodline” – Winner

It’s doubtful too many viewers at home leapt from their seats when Ben Mendelsohn shocked the world in the Supporting Actor race. Many didn’t even expect the truly outstanding “Bloodline” actor to land a nomination after seeing his role diminished in Season 2. That being said, what’s on screen clearly resonated with voters — as it should have — and the win was a well-timed boost after Netflix announced the next season will be “Bloodline’s” last. Oh, and even though Kyle Chandler didn’t win, he was quite the presence during Sunday’s telecast.

Kyle Chandler Emmys 2016 gif

“All the Way” – Loser

Much like HBO’s original film “The Normal Heart” in 2014, “All the Way” was expected to be a big winner going into the Emmys. And much like “The Normal Heart,” this Broadway adaptation also struggled to take home the gold. The one difference: “The Normal Heart” still won Outstanding TV Movie. “All the Way” lost to “Sherlock.” Ouch.

“Orphan Black” – Winner

Let’s hear it for The Clone Club! Tatiana Maslany’s win for Lead Actress in a Drama Series marked quite the pleasant surprise for a fan base who seemed just happy she was nominated (again). That’s not to say they didn’t want a win, but Keri Russell was the favorite upset bid among TV junkies. Congratulations to “Orphan Black,” a show more people will be watching now that its star got her much-deserved time in the sun.

“AMC” – Loser

Other than Susanne Bier walking away with a directing trophy, the former Emmys giant did pretty poorly in 2016. In its first year without “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad” in the race, AMC couldn’t get voters to check the box for “The Night Manager” or “Better Call Saul.”

Abigail Spencer Emmys 2016 gif

The Audience – Winner

If you would’ve told me going into the 2016 Emmys that “Veep” would walk away with Outstanding Comedy Series, more than half the speeches would have your heart racing and the show would end on time, I likely would’ve a) called you a liar, and b) taken that deal in a heartbeat. It was a great night for TV fans, and a great night for non-fans. Why the latter? Because with so many different shows winning, everyone should have a full list of great binges lined up.

“Black-ish” – Loser

Some thought the ABC comedy would become the new “Modern Family” in 2016, usurping last year’s champ (“Veep”) in the Comedy Series category or at least scoring a win for leads Anthony Anderson or Tracee Ellis Ross. None of those victories came to bear, and ABC had to take Regina King’s “American Crime” win as a consolation prize (which we all know “The Leftovers” deserves at least half the credit for).

Kate McKinnon – Winner

Are you kidding me? Kate McKinnon?! Wow! With an incredibly moving speech and already a flood of goodwill from years of excellent work, her win couldn’t have come at a better time. Though it’s a shame Anna Chlumsky remains Emmy-less, we can’t gripe about that when McKinnon was so deserving.

“Silicon Valley” – Loser

As long as “Veep” maintains its untouchable level of greatness, this HBO comedy will remain an also-ran. Love continues to build for Mike Judge’s series, so if it can just keep pumping out seasons, eventually “Veep” has to end, and then HBO can back this sure-fire favorite.

Amazon – Winner

“Transparent” took home two more trophies Sunday night, making it six total wins for Amazon Studios at the 2016 Emmys. That’s quite a haul for a young streaming service, but just as important is the timing. Not only does “Transparent” return for Season 3 this Friday, but Amazon has already released two series this month that deserve to be competing at next year’s awards. Plus, they’ve got a show from some guy named Woody Allen set to debut at the end of the month. Suddenly, Amazon seems like a must-own streaming option. Get to bingeing.

Patton Oswalt – Winner

A big win at a crucial time, our heart goes out to the talented comedian (with a top-tier Twitter feed). No one saw this one coming, but we sure are glad it did.

Courtney B Vance Emmys 2016 gif

Laurie Metcalf – Loser

How can an actor nominated three times in one year not win at least one trophy? That’s the question sure to pester Metcalf, who couldn’t snag an Emmy despite being nominated for “Getting On,” “Horace and Pete” and “The Big Bang Theory.” (Good thing she’s already got three trophies at home to keep her happy.)

James Corden – Winner

No, the “Late Late Show” host didn’t win in the Variety Talk category, but he was all over the Emmys telecast from the opening video onward. He’s a clear favorite in the industry. well-liked by fans and a force to be reckoned with — especially when his direct competitor (Jimmy Kimmel) highlights one of Corden’s favorite gags (Carpool Karaoke) on his own network!

Matt Damon Jimmy Kimmel Emmys 2016 gif

“House of Cards” – Loser

Kevin Spacey still hasn’t won an Emmy, and neither has Robin Wright. No one expected the Netflix drama to top “Thrones” in the series race, but executives have to be wondering if their stars time on stage will ever come. It’s certainly long overdue.

Game of Thrones” – Winner

Clearly, “Game of Thrones” was a big winner Sunday night. The series win solidified it, but even before the final trophy was handed out, the HBO drama had become the most decorated scripted series in Emmys history. It’s won 38 total Emmys in its six seasons, and the fantasy series is showing no signs of slowing down. It even tied its own record, set just last year, for most wins by a series in one year (12). Though it won’t be released in time to be eligible next year, the future remains bright for HBO’s monster hit.

HBO – ?

But can the same be said for HBO itself? Yes, the network won the night’s two big prizes — comedy and drama series — but it saw its overall win total dip from 43 in 2015 to 22 in 2016. Next year, it won’t have “Game of Thrones” and its 12 wins. So if other shows don’t make up the difference, 2017 could mark the first year in a long, long time that HBO doesn’t leave the Emmys with the most trophies.

Stay on top of the latest TV news! Sign up for our TV email newsletter here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Awards and tagged , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox