The Creative Arts Emmy Awards for 2017 are over and done, and when all the numbers shook out, three shows are walking into the Primetime Emmys tied for first place: NBC's Saturday Night Live, Netflix's Stranger Things and HBO's Westworld. With five apiece, all three are now considered frontrunners for the main telecast. But Westworld's Creative Arts Emmy wins are also a sign of perhaps greater things to come as well.
The Emmy Awards, given out for superior achievement in the television industry, are the single largest awards out there. While all the major awards that top line along with it (the Oscars, the Tonys, and the Grammys) all have more awards than can be given out in a single telecast, only the Television Academy has so many that it divides into more than two nights of statuette handing out, with several different versions, including Primetime, Daytime, News & Docs, Sports, Engineering, Regional, and International.
The "Primetime Emmys" then breaks down further, into three nights, with the Creative Arts taking up both Saturday and Sunday of the weekend prior to the main telecast. Unlike their counterparts, who do not air their extra awards portions, but will montage an overview of the major wins during the regular telecast, the Creative Arts Emmys do air and edited version, on Saturday, September 16th on FXX, the night before the Primetime Emmys on CBS.
Part of the reason for explaining all this is that it's the Creative Arts portion of the Emmys that have made up the bulk of HBO's nominations these last several years. When you see the pay cable channel crowing this year about it's impossible seeming 111 nominations, the fact is only 46 of those are telecast on CBS on Sunday.
The other 65 nominations are all in the Creative Arts categories, which is a grab bag of everything the Television Academy deems not worth fitting into the Primetime telecast, including all the technical awards (lighting, sound, video, costumes, makeup, hair) as well as stuff like Guest Actor and Guest Actress slots, variety specials, most reality programming awards, children's programs, animation, etc.
When we talk about Game of Thrones holding the record for Most Emmy Wins in a Year, or Most Emmy Wins For A Single Program, what we're talking about is how it sweeps in these Creative Arts categories every year. But with GoT out of the running this year--Season 7 did not start airing until three days after the nominations for this year's Emmys were announced--it seemed like HBO's chances of winning big at the Creative Arts Awards was going to be severely hampered.
Not so. Enter Westworld, which walked in this year with a Thrones like the amount of nominations, 22 in all. Five of those are in the Primetime main telecast. The other 17 were Creative Arts, of which it won five.
That's a big deal to HBO -- with only one more season of Game of Thrones, they're looking for a show that will fill the Emmy gap left behind every year. Westworld is now off to a promising start. Not only that, but it also has a leg up on Thrones in that it is not an ensemble piece, and therefore can garner nominations in the top line Best Actor and Actress categories that GoT cannot.
One can see that in this year's nominations where they have not only Supporting Actor nods for Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe, and Thandie Newman as Maeve Millay, but also Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Robert Ford, and Best Actress for Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy. With five wins already under their belt, Westworld is considered the frontrunner in all four of these categories, as well as Outstanding Drama Series.
Move over, Westeros. Westworld would like to share your seat.
The Primetime Emmy Awards air this Sunday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. on CBS.