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Awards News
September 12, 2015

HBO Leads 2015 Creative Arts Emmys with 29 Honors, NBC Follows with 11, FX Takes 8

Reg E. Cathey, Margo Martindale, Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford named outstanding guest performers, Jane Lynch wins her second Emmy for outstanding reality host.

HBO prevailed at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards with 29 awards, including eight for the drama series Game of Thrones. NBC was second with 11 honors, four of them for the special celebrating the 40th anniversary of its iconic sketch-comedy series Saturday Night Live.

The ceremony was held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. FXX will air an edited version of the show on Saturday, September 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, encoring at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Photo galleries from the Red Carpet, Backstage and the Creative Arts Awards Show and Ball. Watch winners at the Thank You Cam.

Game of Thrones, the sprawling fantasy based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R Martin, won for non-prosthetic makeup, production design, picture editing, sound editing, casting, sound mixing, special visual effects and stunt coordination.

Several other HBO productions won multiple Emmys as well. Bessie, the telefilm about legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, won four (cinematography, music composition, outstanding television movie, sound mixing), and the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief won three (outstanding documentary or nonfiction special, nonfiction writing, nonfiction directing).

Four other HBO programs won two Emmys: Boardwalk Empire (cinematography, production design), Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (sound editing, sound mixing), The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (picture editing, outstanding documentary or nonfiction series), Olive Kitteridge (picture editing, casting) and Silicon Valley (production design, picture editing).

NBC’s SNL special won for non-prosthetic makeup, directing, outstanding variety special and sound mixing.

FX was third among all winners with eight Emmys. Five of them went to American Horror Story: Freak Show, the most recent installment of its popular limited-series franchise. The program won for non-prosthetic makeup, prosthetic makeup, costumes, hairstyling and special visual effects in a supporting role.

In addition to HBO's Going Clear, two other programs took home three Emmys.

The Discovery program Deadliest Catch, which chronicles the often harrowing work of Alaskan crab fishermen, won for outstanding unstructured reality program, cinematography and picture editing. And the Amazon comedy Transparent, about a family adapting to the revelation that its patriarch is transgender, won for main title theme music, costumes and outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for Bradley Whitford.

In addition to Whitford, three other performers were recognized for their work. Reg E. Cathey was named outstanding guest actor in a drama series for Netflix’s House of Cards, Margo Martindale took the statuette for outstanding guest actress in a drama for FX’s The Americans and Joan Cusack was named outstanding guest performer in a comedy for Showtime’s Shameless.

Also, for the second consecutive year, Jane Lynch won the Emmy for outstanding reality host for NBC’s Hollywood Game Night.

Other winners who repeated their victories of last year included Discovery's Deadliest Catch for unstructured reality program, ABC's Shark Tank for structured reality program and Anthony Bourdain for CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

The night also included significant first-time network wins. in the first award of the night, WGN America won its first-ever Emmy in the category of main title design, which went to Manhattan, its WWII-era drama about the development of the atomic bomb. And Amazon broke through with its first three Emmys, all for Transparent, with Whitford's win for guest actor and for main title theme music and costumes.

Awards were given in some 80 categories. Presenters included stars from some of television’s top comedies, dramas and competition programs. They included:

Pamela Adlon (Louie), Sasha Alexander (Rizzoli & Isles), Shiri Appleby (UnReal), Scott Aukerman (Comedy Bang! Bang!), Beau Bridges (Masters of Sex), Mel Brooks (The Comedians), Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards), Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance), Seth Greene (Robot Chicken), Allison Janney (Mom), Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken), Heidi Klum (Project Runway), Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory), Aasif Mandvi (The Brink), Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Katharine McPhee (Scorpion), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Kristen Schaal (The Last Man on Earth), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Bradley Whitford (Transparent), Mae Whitman (Parenthood), Fred Willard (Modern Family) and Constance Zimmer (UnReal).

The night’s awards included two special honors: the Governors Award and the Syd Cassyd Founders Award.

The Governors Award, which is bestowed annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to television, or organizations committed to important social causes, was given to A+E Networks for its more than 30 years of exemplary corporate citizenship. The company’s efforts have included initiatives across its cable channels A&E, Lifetime and History, ranging from support for military veterans to breast cancer awareness to the treatment of drug addiction.

Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks, accepted the award, noting, "It's really so important for all of us to use the platform that we have, whether it be editing, make-up, sound design, storytelling — use your voice and make a stand for what needs to change."

Named for Syd Cassyd, who founded the Television Academy in 1946, the Founders Award recognizes Academy members who have made a significant, positive impact on the organization over many years of involvement and service. This year the award was given to Spike Jones, Jr., whose decades of service to the Academy include having produced the Creative Arts Emmys for 20 years. Chuck Lorre, the prolific producer of such hits series as The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and Mom, presented the award to Jones, a close friend for more than 30 years.

Accepting the award, Jones quipped, "As a producer, I've handed out about 1,600 of these. This is better."

The executive producers of this year’s Creative Arts Emmys were Kevin Hamburger and Mark Watters — co-chairs of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Committee — and, for the first time, Bob Bain. The director was Michael Dempsey.

This year’s remaining Emmys will be announced at the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on Sunday, September 20. Hosted by Andy Samberg, the show will air live coast-to-coast on Fox from the Microsoft Theater. The executive producer is Don Mischer.

In addition to the FXX telecast of an edited version of the Creative Arts Emmys, the show will be streamed in its entirety as part of the Backstage LIVE! programming on, and Streaming will begin at 12:00 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 20, prior to Yahoo’s Emmy preshow and the subsequent “second screen” Backstage LIVE!, produced in tandem with the Emmy telecast.

A complete list of the 2015 Creative Arts winners is available here, and a list of all of this year's Emmy Awards nominees and winners is available here.

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