LOS ANGELES – Fantasy drama series Game of Thrones and comedy Veep won the top Emmys for a second straight year on Sunday, fending off challenges from newcomers.
On a night when politics played large in the midst of an extraordinary 2016 US election campaign, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus also won her fifth straight Emmy for her role in the satirical White House comedy.
Egyptian-American Rami Malek took home his first Emmy for best drama actor for playing a socially inept computer hacker in Mr Robot, while Canadian Tatiana Maslany was a surprise winner for playing a woman with multiple cloned personalities in Orphan Black.
Game of Thrones, which went into Sunday’s show with a leading 23 nominations, won a total of 12 Emmys, including for directing and writing.
True crime also made its mark.
The People vs OJ Simpson, FX’s 10-hour dramatisation of the former football player’s 1995 double murder trial and sensational acquittal won nine Emmys, including for best limited series, writing, for lead actors Sarah Paulson and Courtney B. Vance and supporting actor Sterling K. Brown.
Louis-Dreyfus, who plays the vainglorious US president Selina Meyer on HBO’s Veep, apologised for what she called “the current political climate”.
“I think that Veep has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels like a sobering documentary,” she said while accepting the award.
Elsewhere, Jeffrey Tambor won best comedy actor for a second time for his role as a father who transitions to a woman in Amazon’s ground-breaking Transparent.
Winner in key categories…
BEST DRAMA SERIES
Game of Thrones
BEST COMEDY SERIES
ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Rami Malek, Mr Robot
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
BEST LIMITED SERIES
The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Courtney B. Vance, The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE
Sarah Paulson, The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
VARIETY TALK SERIES
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAMME