Ned Martel, from left, RuPaul Charles, and Ryan Murphy at the 2016 Creative Arts Ball.
Fox, HBO and Netflix led the way at the Sunday-night installment of the 2016 Creative Arts Emmys with five awards each. A&E and Adult Swim followed with four each. Cartoon Network and NBC grabbed three each, and ABC, Comedy Central, FX and National Geographic Channel took two each.
The Sunday-night show was the second of two Creative Arts Emmys shows this year, after the Television Academy’s Board of Governors voted to expand the Creative Arts from a single show, as in the past, to two separate ceremonies. Both were held at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles.
Saturday night, the focus was on scripted programming; Sunday night was devoted primarily to unscripted, variety and documentary programming.
More than 40 awards were given in a range of disciplines on Sunday night. They included choreography, cinematography, costumes, hairstyling, lighting design, makeup, picture editing, production design, sound mixing and technical direction, as well as writing and directing awards for various genres.
Other categories included awards for animation, documentary/nonfiction, informational, structured and unstructured reality, short-form and special class programs. Individual honors included outstanding host for a reality-competition program, character voice-over performance and acting in short-form programming
The ceremony included one special honor, the Television Academy’s Governors Award, which is bestowed by the Academy’s board of governors in honor of individual or organizational achievement in the television arts and sciences that is so exceptional and universal in nature, it goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition.
This year, the award was given to the long-running Fox reality-competition American Idol, in recognition of its game-changing impact on the medium, including its integration of social media, dominance of the pop-culture conversation and legions of imitators.
Television Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum presented the Governors Award. Prior to the presentation, actress-singer Katherine McPhee, who competed in the show’s fifth season, in which she was runner-up to Ruben Studdard, performed the Harold Arlen/ E.Y. Harburg standard “Over the Rainbow,” as she had on Saturday night.
Four of the five for Fox went to Grease: Live, which scored for special class program, lighting design/direction, production design and technical direction/camerawork/video control. In addition, Seth MacFarlane, of the animated comedy Family Guy, took the Emmy for character voice performance.
HBO took two Emmys for Last Week with John Oliver (writing for a variety series, picture editing) and had single wins for Jim: The James Foley Story (which tied with A&E’s Cartel Land for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking), Project Greenlight (picture editing) and Vice (sound mixing).
Netflix’s five awards were led by four for the widely renowned true-crime saga Making a Murderer, which won for outstanding documentary or nonfiction series, writing, directing and picture editing. The streaming service also took the Emmy for outstanding documentary or nonfiction special, which went to What Happened, Miss Simone?, the documentary about singer-pianist Nina Simone.
A&E’s four Emmys included three for Cartel Land, the documentary about Mexico’s drug wars — exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking (a tie with HBO’s Jim: The James Foley Story), cinematography and sound mixing. The cable net also prevailed in the category of unstructured reality program, which went to Born This Way, the acclaimed series chronicling the lives of a group of young men and women with Down syndrome.
The four for Adult Swim were comprised of two each for Childrens Hospital (short-form comedy or drama, Rob Corddry for outstanding actor in a short-form comedy or drama) and Robot Chicken (short-form animated program, character animator Scott Daros for individual achievement in animation).
The three NBC wins went to The Voice (lighting design/direction), The Wiz Live! (costumes) and Saturday Night Live (hairstyling).
Two of Cartoon Network’s troika went to Adventure Time, for individual achievement in animation — one for production designer Jason Kolowski, the other for storyboard artist Tom Herpich — and one for Long Live the Royals, which went to background designer Chris Tsirgiotis.
Comedy Central’s pair of Emmys went to director Ryan McFaul, for his work on Inside Amy Schumer, and to the non-prosthetic makeup team for Key & Peele.
National Geographic's two went to He Named Me Malala, for individual achievement in animation — won by animation production designer Jason Carpenter — and the cinematography team for Life Below Zero.
FX logged two with Archer's first win for outstanding animated program, and the prize for short-form nonfiction or reality series, which went to Inside Look: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
ABC scored with Dancing with the Stars, which won in the category of technical direction/camerawork/video control, and Shark Tank, for outstanding structured reality program.
Shark Tank's award was the show’s third consecutive win in the category.
Extending another streak, CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was named outstanding informational series or special for the fourth consecutive time.
In addition to the repeat winners, there were a number of notable firsts:
— RuPaul Charles, of Logo’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, took the Emmy for outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition series. The award also marked the first Emmy in Logo's history.
— Outstanding choreography was a tie between two first-time winners — Quest Crew, for MTV's America’s Best Dance Crew, and Kathryn Burns for the CW comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
— Patrika Darbo, a performer who has had guest roles in dozens of series over the years, won the first Emmy for actress in a short-form comedy or drama — and the first Emmy of her career — for the zombie comedy Acting Dead, from the website ActingDead.com.
— The award for short-form variety series went to Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, the first Emmy for the AOL series.
A significant addition to this year's Emmy Awards was the expansion of short-form categories, which the Academy implemented in response to the increase in production of content with running times in the 15-minute range. Speaking to the press afterward, Rob Corddry, who won two short-form Emmys for Childrens Hospital, praised the move.
"I like that the Academy pays attention as much as they do," said Corddry. "Media is changing, and they’re really on it. Much more so than the movie business. This is such a great time for TV, and they seem really aware of that."
Presenters for the evening included Michelle Ang (Fear the Walking Dead), RuPaul Charles (RuPaul's Drag Race), Rob Corddry (Childrens Hospital), Morgan Freeman (The Story of God with Morgan Freeman), Seth Green (Robot Chicken), Lori Greiner (Shark Tank), Tim Gunn (Project Runway), Erinn Hayes (Childrens Hospital), Marilu Henner (The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries), Robert Herjavec (Shark Tank), Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars), Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars, Grease: Live!), Vanessa Hudgens (Grease: Live!), Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing with the Stars), Carly Rae Jepsen (Grease: Live!), Heidi Klum (Project Runway), Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night), Bethany Mota (YouTube), Oscar Nuñez (Uncle Buck, The Crossroads of History), Tyler Oakley (YouTube), Chris Parnell (Archer), Ryan Seacrest (American Idol), Gloria Steinem (WOMAN with Gloria Steinem) and Neil deGrasse Tyson (StarTalk).
Bob Bain, who produced the 2015 Creative Arts show, returned to produce the Saturday and Sunday Creative Arts weekend shows.
This year’s executive producers were Kevin Hamburger, chair of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Committee, along with vice-chairs Bob Bergen and Jonathan Murray.
FXX will air an edited version with highlights from both shows, on Saturday, September 17, from 8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. (ET/PT) with an encore from 10:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (ET/PT).
The remaining Emmys will be announced at the 68th Emmy Awards telecast on Sunday, September 18. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the show will air live coast-to-coast on ABC from the Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles. The executive producer is Don Mischer.