All News & Blogs
Jessica Lange accepts the 'Supporting Actress, Miniseries' Emmy honor on Sunday for 'American Horror Story.'
John Shearer/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Visit the Photo Place
BY SCOTT COLLINS
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES--The one-hour drama has a glorious history on broadcast TV, from the old days of "Gunsmoke" to acclaimed fare such as "Hill Street Blues" to current hits like "NCIS."
But at Sunday's 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, the curtain was raised on a new order. The industry's attention has officially shifted to niche-oriented cable dramas, such as "Homeland," the terrorism thriller that in the evening's main surprise swept best drama and both major acting categories--a first-time achievement for premium cable network Showtime.
"I don't think anyone was expecting to be recognized like this right off the bat, but it feels pretty nice," said Claire Danes, who plays a troubled CIA agent in "Homeland," which, with under 2 million total average viewers in its first season, is about one-fifth the audience size of CBS' mass appeal crime hit "NCIS."
The big broadcast networks still collected big prizes for comedy categories, most notably ABC's smash "Modern Family," which won best comedy for the third straight season.
But for the first time ever --in a factoid joked about by host Jimmy Kimmel on ABC's Emmy telecast--ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox had no entries in the best drama category.
Past nominees such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Good Wife" went ignored. The sole broadcast entry was PBS' early 20th century drama about the British aristocracy, "Downton Abbey," which was shut out of the major awards after winning last year in a different category, for best movie/miniseries.
Damian Lewis, the British actor who scored the night's biggest upset for his role as a U.S. Marine sent home after being imprisoned by al-Qaida, told reporters backstage that TV is "the great democratic art form" and "Homeland" "part of the national conversation."
Part of that conversation, perhaps, but a relatively small part. "Homeland" earned almost unanimous praise from critics, but too few Americans have seen the show. The Emmy awards may help change that--not to mention the fact that President Barack Obama has been a vocal fan of the Showtime series, which Danes told reporters backstage was "hugely validating."