Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 17th 2015 Contents B12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, September 17, 2015
If we look to television for more
than entertainment---and let s face
it, we do---then Sunday s Emmy
Awards ceremony will have some-
thing for everyone.
The masterful storytelling of tele-
vision s second golden age rightfully
will be center stage, with leading
contenders including Game of
Thrones, Orange is the New Black
and the final season of Mad Men.
But growing pressure on media
to reflect American diversity, and
Emmy voters response, will be a
crucial part of the ceremony as well.
The transgender comedy Trans-
parent is up for top honors, and
two black actresses are hoping they
can break the white-only hold on
a major category.
The digital-revolution vanguard
will be out in force, as Amazon s
Transparent and Netflix series
including House of Cards and
Orange is the New Black gnaw away
at the prestige awards that for
decades were the exclusive domain
of broadcast networks and cable
That was until just two years ago,
when Netflix muscled its way in
with House of Cards and Arrested
Record-keepers may find much
to occupy themselves with the
three-hour ceremony airing 8 pm
EDT on Sunday on Fox. Andy Sam-
berg (currently of Brooklyn Nine-
Nine, formerly of Saturday Night
Live) is the host.
Game of Thrones, or GOT, the
shorthand used by devotees of the
HBO hit, could become the rare
fantasy series to capture the top
drama award in its fifth nomination.
Eight-time nominee Jon Hamm
of AMC s Mad Men gets a last shot
at a trophy for his portrayal of a
midcentury man in crisis.
The tea leaves and odds are in
their favor, said Tom O Neil, whose
Gold Derby website handicaps Hol-
lywood awards and other events.
"The theme of this year s Emmys
is that, finally, Game of Thrones
Finally, Jon Hamm will win. This
could be one of the most popular
Emmys ever because of fan favorites
prevailing," O Neil said.
A Game of Thrones victory, a
follow-up to the 2005 best-drama
win by another genre series, the
sci-fi saga Lost, would keep Mad
Men from earning its fifth trophy
and setting a record as most hon-
ored drama ever.
But other award breakthroughs
would carry far greater weight.
Viola Davis, who stars as a cut-
throat attorney in ABC s How to
Get Away With Murder, and Tariji
P Henson, unyielding matriarch
Cookie in Fox s hip-hop family
drama Empire, are vying to be the
first black woman to claim top
drama acting honors.
"I gotta win! I gotta win for his-
tory!" an exuberant Henson said when
asked about the prospect during an
Empire panel last May.
That an African-American actress
has yet to receive the award is offensive,
said Gabourey Sidibe, who plays Becky
But "no matter what happens Emmy
night, no matter what happens for
another 100 Emmy nights, the work
that both Taraji and Viola do is unde-
niable," Sidibe said Tuesday. "They are
powerhouses and they are amazing
people, and they will forever win,
whether they win that night."
It s been a far longer wait for women
then it was for men. Bill Cosby s legacy
is under siege now for alleged sexual
assaults (largely denied by him), but in
1966 he was the first African-American
to be honored as best actor in a drama
series, I Spy.
Cosby won again, in 1967 and 68,
with two other black actors following
him after a barren stretch of more than
two decades: James Earl Jones for
Gabriel s Fire in 1991 and Andre
Braugher for Homicide: Life on the
Street in 1996.
Gender-identity issues, brought
increasingly to the fore by Caitlyn Jen-
ner and others, will be part of the night
courtesy of freshman Transparent,
which stars Jeffrey Tambor and is up
for best comedy, lead actor, writing
and other trophies.
At last Saturday s creative arts Emmy
Awards for technical achievements and
guest actor turns, Bradley Whitford
was honored for his Transparent role
as a cross-dresser.
of understanding, compassion and rad-
ical inclusion. We re not there yet, but
non-judgment day is coming!" Whit-
ford said in accepting his award.
Changes in TV academy voting rules
could alter the two top award outcomes.
Previously, a small number of the acad-
emy s 18,000 members watched DVDs
of the nominated best comedy and
drama series and voted by paper ballot,
said O Neil, author of The Emmys ref-
This time around, all academy mem-
bers are eligible to vote and will do so
online, a change that could encourage
more young members to participate
and potentially boosts the chances for
less traditional series like Game of
The Emmys would like to see the
devotion being accorded TV---converted
into ratings. Last year s audience of
15.6 million was the second-biggest
for the awards in eight years, exceeded
only by the 17.8 million who watched
CBS telecast of the 2013 ceremony,
the beneficiary of the NFL game that
Football, in fact, will be yet another
crowd-pleasing element in the Emmy
mix: Fox NFL Sunday will broadcast
from the red carpet, with the Philadel-
phia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game air-
ing right before the awards. (AP)
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