September 23, 2008
Smashing Sunday: Cable Excels At 60th Primetime Emmys
On Mon morning, AMC gm Charlie Collier's raspy voice told the story: the net and cable strode to the Primetime Emmys armed with an estimable number of nominations, and when the pair took home several key and unprecedented honors a well-deserved flurry of celebration followed. "It was a pretty remarkable evening on all accounts," said Collier, who soaked up the success of net shows "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad." The former became the 1st basic cable series to win Best Drama, and the latter's star Bryan Cranston surprisingly (though deservingly) snagged Best Actor in a Drama. "The best talent is coming to cable now," said Collier. "People are recognizing that we're creating an environment where [established stars] can shine." Case in point: Glenn Close, winner of Best Actress in a Drama for FX's "Damages." The show also earned Zeljko Ivanek the prize for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama—an honor that with Close's win gives basic cable its 1st win ever in each category. "I'm absolutely thrilled, just thrilled... you don't make history very often," said FX pres/gm John Landgraf. "Our reward is that the show is really good." He said cable's wont of "working harder on crafting a smaller number of eps" makes many projects more conducive to the schedules of stars such as Close and Holly Hunter of TNT's "Saving Grace." In all, cable (53) notched more wins than broadcasters (46), led by brilliantly consistent HBO's 26 victories. The premium net's miniseries "John Adams" pulled down 13 Emmys alone, including wins for Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Paul Giamatti, Lead Actress Laura Linney and Supporting Actor Tom Wilkinson. Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" also earns plaudits for winning Best Variety Series for a 6th consecutive year, 1 of 3 total awards for the net. Other multiple wins: Showtime (5), Bravo (2), Cartoon (2), Bravo (2) and Sci Fi (2).