Creative Arts Emmys: HBO Dominates as 'Game of Thrones' Wins Big

The network took home a total of 29 trophies Saturday night, with Bradley Whitford, Joan Cusack, Margo Martindale and Reg E. Cathey also triumphing.
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Alex Gibney, creator of HBO's 'Going Clear'

The first batch of Emmys were doled out Saturday night at the Creative Arts Emmys.

The notoriously long ceremony, held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, plowed through nearly eighty technical, behind-the-screen awards over the course of three-and-a-half-hours.

The big winner of the night? HBO. The cabler walked away with a total of 29 awards, with fan favorite Game of Thrones nabbing eight of them, Queen Latifah vehicle Bessie four, scientology documentary Going Clear three, and buzzy docu-series The Jinx and miniseries Olive Kitteridge each two.

In accepting his award for outstanding documentary series, Jinx director Andrew Jarecki asked to share a behind-the-scenes story on show's peculiar subject. "After episode five, Bob Durst sent an email to a friend saying, 'I'm in New Orleans. I'm going to check into a hotel under an assumed name. I'm going to watch episode six and see how bad it is, and then I'm going to decide if I'm going to go to Cuba,'" said Jarecki. "He didn't end up going to Cuba because he was arrested, and that's a testament to the power of television."

Behind HBO in the network awards tally was NBC with 11 awards, led by SNL 40th Anniversary Special's four wins. FX trailed closely behind in third place, taking home eight trophies — mostly thanks to the five American Horror Story collected throughout the night. Every other network had four or less.

The most high-profile awards handed out during the ceremony were the four for guest appearance in a comedy or drama. Among those who came out on top was Bradley Whitford, who scored his second career Emmy for his turn as closeted transvestite Mark "Marcy" May in Amazon dramedy Transparent. "I love to be in a show that is a voice of understanding, compassion and radical inclusion," said the West Wing alum in his acceptance speech, adding to loud applause from the audience: "We're not there yet, but non-judgement day is coming."

Another significant winner of the night was Joan Cusack, who, while not present at the ceremony, won her first Emmy for playing Sheila Jackson in Showtime's ShamelessReg E. Cathey snagged his first trophy, too, for his portrayal of Frank Underwood's rib-cooking friend, Freddy, in House of Cards. And though it wasn't the first time Margo Martindale's work was recognized by the TV Academy, her win for her guest appearance in The Americans marked the first Emmy for the critically adored FX spy drama.

Among the previously announced honors was the 2015 Governors Award, which was bestowed upon A+E Networks for their corporate social responsibility programs. "In a time in our industry when so many want to talk about what's wrong, this is a great affirmation of what's right," said network president and CEO Nancy Dubuc while accepting the award on stage, noting that television is a powerful platform to help peoples' lives. "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."

In addition, former Creative Arts producer Spike Jones, Jr. was given the Syd Cassyd Founders Award for the twenty years he spent putting on the show, along with his volunteer service and various creative contributions to the Academy over the years.

A two-and-a-half-hour version of the event will be broadcast on FXX next Saturday evening, a day ahead of the Primetime Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 20.

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