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Behind the Candelabra was the big winner at Sunday night’s 65th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards, held at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.
HBO’s Liberace biopic, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, took home eight awards overall. The movie, the year’s second-most-nominated work, scored nods for casting, editing and sound mixing, among other wins.
The Tony Awards telecast and Boardwalk Empire followed Behind the Candelabra as the night’s second-biggest winners, with four Emmys apiece.
Without a host, the show — held a week before the televised Primetime Emmy Awards — opened with presenters Dan Harmon and Joel McHale handing out “Gervais-style zingers” to casting directors and sound mixers. “Hey, Joel, do you want to know which nominated hair stylists have DUIs?” asked Harmon to big laughter.
Getting down to business, the award for outstanding casting in a drama series, which was the first category, went to the team from House of Cards.
Other casting winners included Behind the Candelabra and the final season of 30 Rock, which won the award for comedy in its last year of eligibility.
One of the night’s most-watched categories, guest actress in a comedy, went to Oscar winner Melissa Leo for her turn on FX’s Louie.
“It was a step to take, and Louis [C.K.] was right there by my side,” said Leo backstage after her win. When asked how she got the role, Leo replied, “My son, who’s 26 years old now, said, ‘Mom, I want to meet Louis C.K.!’ I guess my son got me the role.”
Louis C.K., who was not present for the show, also won his own Emmy for his writing for his HBO special, Louis C.K.: Oh My God.
Bob Newhart earned one of the night’s few acting nods for his guest actor work on The Big Bang Theory. The comedy icon received a standing ovation as he accepted his latest statuette. It marked his first-ever Emmy win over a decades-long career.
“I said to Chuck [Lorre], what if [audience members] don’t recognize me? He said, ‘They’ll recognize you.’ And they did. They gave me a standing ovation,” said Newhart backstage after his win. “The standing ovation tonight really threw me — I wasn’t prepared for that.”
True Blood star Carrie Preston took home her first Emmy, though not for her regular gig. The recurring Good Wife guest took the guest actress in a drama award for her work on the CBS drama. She thanked her HBO series for letting her have an “affair” with the other show.
Backstage, Preston was beaming. “I’ve made myself known there that I would love to be on that show at any time. Anytime they call me, I will come. I hope they call me again. I do feel like I’m a part of the family. I hope they keep inviting me back.”
Elsewhere, the 66th annual Tony Awards was a big winner, taking home four trophies, including one for best special class program. Tony Awards host Neil Patrick Harris — who will be hosting the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony next Sunday — won an Emmy, as did the Harris-sung ditty “If I Had Time,” which bested Smash and 30 Rock for outstanding original song.
Backstage, Harris quipped of his career: “I’ve been very fortunate: For every Smurf, I get to do a Harold & Kumar.“
In a first for Project Runway, hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn nabbed their first-ever win. Meanwhile, Undercover Boss was named best reality show, a repeat winner from the previous year.
Meanwhile, The Kennedy Center Honors was named best variety, music or comedy special, while Nick News With Linda Ellerbee took home the award for best children’s program.
The animation categories kicked off with another win for South Park as outstanding animation program, while Disney’s Mickey Mouse Croissant de Triumph was tops in shortform.
Outstanding art direction for a multicamera show went to MasterChef, which trumped sitcoms How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls and Two and a Half Men.
Other art direction awards included a first for Saturday Night Live. The show tied the London Olympics opening ceremony in the variety/nonfiction category.
Meanwhile, Behind the Candelabra trumped American Horror Story: Asylum in movies/minis, and single-camera went to Boardwalk Empire.
Picture editing for reality went to Deadliest Catch, while single-camera picture editing in drama went to Breaking Bad, trumping House of Cards and Game of Thrones‘ red wedding episode.
Single-camera picture editing in comedy went to the last episode of The Office, while multicamera picture editing in comedy went to How I Met Your Mother. That’s a first win in the category for HIMYM, even though it’s been nominated the last six years.
The mini/movie editing winner was Behind the Candelabra. Director Steven Soderbergh thanked his mom during his acceptance speech.
In the hairstyling categories, Behind the Candelabra scored another win for movies/minis, while the multicamera champ was Saturday Night Live. Boardwalk Empire was the winner among single-cam series.
Scandal actor Dan Bucatinsky, whose regular gig is as Lisa Kudrow‘s producing partner, won guest acting in a drama series. He gave a teary shout-out to the Supreme Court for being able to thank both his on and off-screen husbands
Backstage, Bucatinsky declined to thank any particular members of the Supreme Court. “I was expressing genuine glee at their good sense, and I’m very, very proud,” said the actor-writer-producer. “I’m very proud to be playing the role I am right now. There are a lot of parallels between me and the character I’m playing.”
Meanwhile, sound mixing awards were won by the Grammys, History of the Eagles, Boardwalk Empire, Behind the Candelabra and Nurse Jackie.
Makeup categories gave two more wins to Behind the Candelabra (prosthetic and non-prosthetic), and individual nods to Game of Thrones and Saturday Night Live.
Around the halfway mark in the show, Robert Smigel, voicing Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, gave the audience a five-minute break from the nonstop awards by skewering much the broadcast. (CNN’s Jeff Zucker was also the butt of a particularly off-color joke involving Anthony Bourdain and oral sex.) He also handed out a few awards, including effects nods for Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire — and voice-over performance for Lily Tomlin.
Backstage, Tomlin thanked HBO and Pat Derby and Ed Stewart of the Performing Animal Welfare Society before holding her Emmy above her head and shouting, “It’s time to free the elephants!”
Behind the Candelabra continued its streak with a win for costume design for a movie or miniseries. Series honors went to The Borgias, and variety show/specials went to the Grammys and The Men Who Built America and Portlandia.
Meanwhile, Da Vinci’s Demons took home the trophies in the main title categories, for both theme music and design.
Top of the Lake scored a surprise win in best cinematography for a mini/movie, trumping Behind the Candelabra. How I Met Your Mother, House of Cards, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and Deadliest Catch also took home trophies in the cinematography categories.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was also named best informational series or special in a tie with Inside the Actors Studio.
Childrens Hospital was honored as best short-format live-action entertainment program.
The Voice won best lighting design for a variety series.
A full list of winners can be found at the TV Academy site. And this year’s Creative Arts show will air, in an edited two-hour special, on FXX this coming Saturday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m.
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