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Emmy Winners

September 20, 2017 at 10:17 am
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Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Emmy Awards. And especially to my friends at HBO, which once again led all other networks in number of nominations and number of victories.

It was a great show this year, I thought. Yes, even without GAME OF THRONES. Stephen Colbert made a terrific host. I especially enjoyed his opening number.

A strong lineup of nominees this year gave us some great winners… though, as always, that also means some equally deserving finalists wound up as losers. WESTWORLD especially was robbed, as was STRANGER THINGS. But it IS an honor just to be nominated, and the time will come for both of those shows, as it finally did for GAME OF THRONES. The big winners this year were Hulu’s HANDMAID’S TALE (adapted from the novel by Margaret Atwood) and HBO’s BIG LITTLE LIES (adapted from the novel by Liane Moriarity). ((Notice the common denominator there? BOOKS! Do a faithful adapatation of a great book, and you can’t go wrong)). I was also pleased to see BLACK MIRROR get some love, especially for its brilliant “San Junipero” episode.

GAME OF THRONES, of course, was not eligible this year, having shifted from April to August. Which meant that, for the first time in seven years, I was not actually at the awards in LA. Instead Parris and I watched from home. It felt kind of strange not to be there, truth be told. Not bad, just strange. It was actually sort of relaxing. The Emmy weekend can be very exciting, but it is also exhausting, even the parties… the heat, the crowds, the noise. The red carpet seems to get longer (and hotter) every year. Maybe that’s an ordeal that should be left for the younger and more photogenic members of our television community.

Will I be back next year, or the year after, or the year after that? Time will tell. Emmy is a fickle goddess who bestows her kisses where she will. But either way, I’m good.

((Comments on the Emmys welcome. Off topic comments will be deleted)).

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

Season 7 Is Coming

March 10, 2017 at 2:36 pm
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Seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven books (eventually)… seven seasons.

The seventh season of GAME OF THRONES is on its way. HBO has released their first teaser.


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Oh, and I almost forgot… HBO has also announced the premiere date: Sunday, JULY 16.

There will be gala premieres as usual, of course. Not sure of the details on those yet. But I do know that we hope to have another premiere party right here in Santa Fe, at the Jean Cocteau Cinema… and that we will be running a Season 6 marathon in the weeks running up to the new season, so you can refresh yourselves on what happened last year, and enjoy all the action on our big medium-sized screen.

And speaking of season 6, if you enjoyed the show and would like to nominate us for a Hugo Award, you have only eight days left. Nominations close on March 18. GAME OF THRONES is eligible in two categories. You can nominate the season as whole in Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (which is what I favor, personally), or you can nominate individual episodes in Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. (Or you could do both, if you were so inclined). If you are inclined to take the second course, the episodes most likely to make this year’s (extremely competitive) ballot are “The Door” and “Battle of the Bastards” IMNSHO. “Battle of the Bastards” won Emmy Awards for both writing and directing this year, and “The Door” was also a finalist for directing.

((And though I am of course hopelessly prejudiced toward GOT, I will be the first to proclaim that this was an outstanding year for drama in both categories. The first seasons of WESTWORLD and STRANGER THINGS are also worthy of being nominated for Long Form, along side last year’s best SF movie, ARRIVAL. In Short Form I loved “Leviathan Wakes,” the final episode of season one of THE EXPANSE, and two great episodes of BLACK MIRROR, “San Junipero” and “Hated in the Nation.” I would love to see all of them earn spots on the ballot… along with GOT ))

But enough about last year. A new season is coming.

July 16. Mark your calendars.

Catching Up

September 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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I’m back from LA and the Emmy Awards, and as usual there’s a zillion things to catch up on.

The Giants and Jets both won last weekend. They both made it more exciting than it needed to be, of course, but a win is a win is a win, and I’ll take them. Life is magical and full of joy.

GAME OF THRONES also won big, as those of you who watched the Emmy telecast know. Three more wins, for writing, directing, and show. Added to the nine that we won last weekend, that’s twelve, and gave GOT the record for most Emmys ever won by a primetime scripted series. With thirty-eight, we edged past FRAZIER. Congrats to all, and especially to Dan and Dave, who have put together a truly amazing team and made some television history in the process.

(I do wish our nominated actors and actresses had brought some gold home as well, though. With two finalists in Best Supporting Actor, and three in Best Supporting Actress, we ended up dividing the vote and competing against ourselves, I fear. But the performances we got from Peter, Kit, Lena, Maisie, and Emilia speaks for themselves, trophies notwithstanding).

Jimmy Kimmel did a great job as host.

For me, a couple of personal highlights were meeting Jim Kimmel, Jimmy’s father, who is a big fan of GAMES, and getting the Emmy from Dennis Franz, an amazing actor whose work on NYPD BLUE remains some of the finest ever seen on television. Best police show ever, imnsho).

There were great parties both before and after the awards themselves… though I fear I may getting too old for such things. I turned sixty-eight on September 20th, and may have reached the age where I prefer quieter parties with comfortable chairs.

And now I’m home, and there’s more work to do. Later, folks.

Emmys, Emmys, Emmys

September 13, 2016 at 6:20 pm
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GAME OF THRONES kicked ass and took names last weekend in LA, at the Creative Arts Emmys, racking up nine victories, way more than any other show.

“Dominates,” the Hollywood press is saying. Hey, cool, I will go with that.

GAME OF THRONES took home the Emmys for casting, for makeup (non-prosthetic), for makeup (prosthetic).

Also for production design, for costuming, and for sound mixing.

And for editing, for stunt coordination, and for special visual effects (that was the fifth consecutive win for our SFX guys)

I’d say “eight is enough, and nine is even better,” but we also lost some… so instead I will just say congratulations to all our winners, and condolences to all our losers, and to all the other nominees as well. Hugo, Nebula, Oscar, or Emmy, it IS an honor just to be nominated.

With these nine wins, GAME OF THRONES has now taken home more Emmy Awards than any other drama in the entire history of television. That is a tribute to HBO, which truly has no rivals when it comes to production quality, and to David Benioff and Dan Weiss and the outrageously talented cast and crew they assembled to bring the Seven Kingdoms and their people to life. I have been thrilled to be a part of this.

And who knows? There are more Emmys Awards this weekend, so we may not be done making television history quite yet. Tune in on Sunday night to find out.

Three-and-Twenty Golden Gals

July 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm
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This year’s Emmy nominations were announced this morning, and once again GAME OF THRONES and HBO kicked ass and took names.

HBO collected more nominations than any other network… once again.

And GAME OF THRONES was responsible for a big chunk of those… 23 nominations all told, more than any other series… for the second year in a row (we had 24 last year).

Last year we won Best Drama, and we’re nominated once again this year, so we have a chance to make it two in a row… against a formidable lineup of competitors in HOMELAND, DOWNTON ABBEY, MR. ROBOT, BETTER CALL SAUL, THE AMERICANS, and HOUSE OF CARDS.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss got a nod for Writing, which they won last year.

For directing, two nominations: Jack Bender for “The Door” and Miguel Sapochnik for “Battle of the Bastards.”

And in the acting categories, GAME OF THRONES had its best year yet. Max Von Sydow was nominated for Best Actor in a Guest Role. Peter Dinklage and Kit Harrington both got nods for Best Supporting Actor. And in Best Supporting Actress, GOT snagged not one, not two, but three nominations; Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, and Maisie Williams will all be vying for the Emmy.

I am thrilled and happy for all our nominees, of course… but it made me especially happy to see Kit and Maisie get some love from the Academy at last. About damn time, I say. They are several years overdue. (And I would have loved to see Sophie Turner on that list as well. I know, I know, I’m greedy).

For a full list of the nominees, go here:

The awards will be presented on September 18 in Los Angeles. Two days ahead of my birthday this year, but maybe we’ll get some presents anyway.

The First Emmys

September 27, 2015 at 12:48 am
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Andy Samberg’s joke about my attending the first Emmy Awards ceremony made me curious about Emmy history. This year was the 67th Emmy Awards, and I turned 67 last Sunday, but until Andy appeared beside me I hadn’t actually connected the two. Pretty amazing.

For a few hours I entertained the amusing thought that they were perhaps giving out those first Emmys even as I was being born. Alas, that was not actually the case. Emmy and I may both be 67, but I actually came into the world a few months before her. The first Emmy ceremony took place on January 25, 1949, to honor work telecast during 1948.

Interestingly, those first awards were strictly a local matter: a Los Angeles award, for shows broadcast in the LA media market. Not at all national. The first winner — for “Most Popular Television Program” — was a show called PANTOMIME QUIZ. A drama called THE NECKLACE won for “Best Film Made for Television,” and Shirley Dinsdale won as “Most Outstanding Television Personality.” She was a ventriloquist with a dummy named ‘Judy Splinters.’

It is not recorded whether Judy also got a trophy, or whether she came on stage to accept the Emmy with Shirley.

They also gave an Emmy to the guy who designed the Emmy. And that was it. Four trophies, presented in LA, to local performers. Television was an art form in its infancy back then, and the world was different. (There was WAY more television production going on in New York than in California back in the 40s, but leave it to the Hollywood guys to be the first to think of giving out awards).

The past is another country, truly.

A Birthday to Remember

September 26, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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I turned 67 on September 20. So did the Emmy Awards.

Our party was on TV. Andy Samberg gave me a shout-out. HBO gave me a cake. And the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave me an Emmy. Well, actually they gave one to GAME OF THRONES as tv’s Best Drama, but since I’m a producer on the show, I get one of the trophies.

In case you missed the moment:
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Truth be told, I almost missed the moment myself. While I was pleased that we had been nominated once again, I did not expect us to win… and with so much to do at home, so much pressure on so many fronts, I wasn’t sure I wanted to fly out to LA again, put on a monkey suit, and sit through another loss. The first few times you are up for an Emmy it is very exciting, yes, it’s cool and glamorous and all that… but this would be my seventh time. I had been nominated, and lost, six times before; four times with GAME OF THRONES, and twice more back in the 80s with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. No fantasy show had EVER won ‘the big one,’ the award for Best Drama, and with MAD MEN, a four-time winner, up for its final season, it did not seem likely that this would be the year. Great shows often get a valedictory award or three to celebrate their excellence after they have left the airwaves.

So I was seriously thinking of staying home this year. It was Paul Haas, my agent at WME, who changed my mind. He said he thought that GOT might have a shot this year. Yeah, yeah, I said, I’d heard that before. (I’d thought our third season, with the buzz of the Red Wedding behind it, might be the one to break through, but I’d been way wrong). Then Paul pointed out that if we did win, and I wasn’t there to be part of it, I would regret it for the rest of my life. He was right. So I came, and we won, and it was a birthday I will never forget.

Thanks, Paul.

The Emmy is sitting in my TV room right now, golden and shiny. Big thing. Very heavy. Very pretty. I smile every time I see it. (We ate the cake).

It was a great night for GAME OF THRONES, and for HBO as whole. VEEP dominated in the comedy categories, and OLIVE KITTERIDGE in miniseries… which just goes to show all of you who don’t get HBO, you are missing a lot… and as for us, we were up in five categories, and won four. David Benioff and Dan Weiss won for Writing, David Nutter for Directing, and Peter Dinklage took his second for Best Supporting Actor. All of us were pulling for Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke in Best Supporting Actress, but they lost out to Uzo Aduba from ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, whose Crazy Eyes is the most unforgettable character on an amazing and addictive show. And the came Best Drama… It IS an honor just to be nominated, yes it is. But let me tell you, winning is more fun than losing, and 1-6 beats the hell out of 1-7.

Unlike the Hugo Awards (where, if seven people jointly win some award, all of them get to yammer for as long as they like), the Emmy Awards have a strict time limit, and only one or two designated acceptors speak for the group. For us, that was David and Dan, just as it should be. They thanked a lot of people… and then ran out of time.

But there’s never enough time to thank everyone, of course. So I want to add my own thanks for some of those that D&D did not get to.

Starting with David Benioff and Dan Weiss themselves. Without them, there would be no show. Without their talent and dedication, there would certainly be no Emmy.

Also, I want to thank Bryan Cogman. He’s been there since the beginning too, the right hand man to D&D, and he’s written some of our best episodes. I am thrilled that when we finally won, it was for a year in which he’d finally snagged a “producer” credit, which meant that he got to take home a trophy as well.

And of course I want to thank Parris (so glad you were there with me, Phipps), and Paul Haas and the rest of my team at WME, and Vince Gerardis, and Kay McCauley, and Anne Groell and my team at Bantam, and Jane Johnson as my team at Voyager, and my leal minions Raya and Lenore and Jenni and Elias and Jo, and Pat (who left), and even Ty (who left even earlier).

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the dead. We have the best cast in television, as I have said a hundred times, and many of them were on the stage with us last Sunday. Thanks to all of them, of course, and thanks as well to Emilia and Kit and Dame Diana and Kristian and Natalie and Finn, who were off working and could not be there with us.

But there were ghosts standing behind us. Maybe you couldn’t see them, but I could feel their presence, and I know that without them none of us would have been holding Emmys. Yes, I know, I know, the award was for Season Five… but if you truly believe that the Academy voters did not take our first four seasons into account as well, then let me tell you about this lovely bridge over the Green Fork that Walder Frey would like to sell you.

No. It was the show to date that won, I believe, and our ghosts were a huge part of that. So my thanks go out to Sean Bean, to Mark Addy, to Rose Leslie, to Pedro Pascal, to Michelle Fairley, to Richard Madden, Gethin Anthony, Harry Lloyd, Ron Donachie, Mark Stanley, Esme Bianco, Kate Dickie, Jack Gleeson, Amrita Acharia, Charles Dance, Donald Sumpter, Josef Altin, Peter Vaughn, Margaret John, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Oona Chaplin, Stephen Dillane, Francis Magee, Roxanna McKee, Kerry Ingram, Ian McElhinney, Jason Momoa, and of course Sibel Kekilli… along with all the other noble and ignoble dead that I’ve certainly forgotten, and I’m sure that there’s a lot of them.

Some of you are dead in the books, others only on the show. But if it was up to me, all of you would have been up on the stage beside us. Every one of you played your part, large or show, in making GAME OF THRONES the record-smashing hit it is.

Thank you all.

A New Record

September 21, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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Back from the Emmy Awards in LA.

A night to remember.

GAME OF THRONES set a new record for number of wins by a series in a single year. Eight last week, and four more on Sunday. That’s twelve.

Pretty impressive haul when you line them up like that.

The previous record was nine, set by WEST WING.

Anyway… I will have more to say about the Emmys and all that, but we’ve only been home a few hours, and I’m still pretty tired (celebrating is hard work, and so is travel) so it will have to wait until tomorrow. I do have more to say, and a lot of people to thank.

For now, let it suffice to say that the Emmy looks very good in my TV room, and while it IS an honor just to be nominated (as I have been, six times before), it’s even cooler to win.

Eight Is NOT Enough

September 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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HBO and GAME OF THRONES dominated last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys in LA.

HBO took home 29, way more than any other network. GOT accounted for eight of those, more than any other show.

Awards were given in every category. For the full list of nominees and winners:

The rest of this year’s Emmys will be given out this Sunday. I’ll be flying out to LA once more for the ceremony. GAME OF THRONES is nominated for directing, writing, and acting… and of course, for Best Drama. So cross your fingers, cross your toes.

Meanwhile, congratulations to all of our Emmy winners from last week. Well deserved! A hearty round of applause, please… and for the losers too. Not everyone can take home the trophy, but you all did great work.

Emmy Likes Us

July 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm
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The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced this year’s nominations for the Emmy Awards this morning, and HBO’s GAME OF THRONES led the way with a whopping TWENTY-FOUR nominations. More than <i>any other show this year</i>, in <i>any other category</i>, be it drama, comedy, reality, talk, movie, miniseries, variety, documentary, what have you. <br/><br/><img src=”” alt=”” title=””><br/><br/>Congratulations are in order for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, our showrunners, all our writers and directors and producers, our amazing cast and our incredible crew, and of course the good folks at Home Box Office, who made all this possible.<br/><br/>Here are this year’s nominations for GOT:<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Drama Series</span><br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Supporting Actor</span><br/>Peter Dinklage !“ Tyrion Lannister<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Supporting Actress</span><br/>Lena Headey !“ Cersei Lannister<br/>Emilia Clarke !“ Daenerys Targaryen<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Guest Actress</span><br/>Diana Rigg !“ Lady Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series</span><br/>David Benioff and D.B. Weiss !“ Mother’s Mercy<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series </span><br/>David Nutter !“ “Mother’s Mercy”<br/>Jeremy Podeswa !“ “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”<br/><br/>Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary Or Fantasy<br/>Program (One Hour Or More) <br/>”High Sparrow”<br/>”Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” <br/>”Hardhome” <br/>Deborah Riley, Production Designer<br/>Paul Ghirardani, Art Director<br/>Rob Cameron, Set Decorator<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series</span><br/>Nina Gold, CSA, Casting Director<br/>Robert Sterne, Casting Director<br/>Carla Stronge, Casting Director<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series</span> <br/>”Hardhome” (Fabian Wagner, BSC, Director of Photography_<br/>”Sons Of The Harpy” (Anette Haellmigk, Director of Photography)<br/>”The Dance Of Dragons” (Rob McLachlan, ASC, CSC, Director of Photography)<br/>”Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (Greg Middleton, CSC, Director of Photography)<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Costumes For A Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series Or Movie</span><br/>”The Dance Of Dragons”<br/>Michele Clapton, Costume Designer<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series</span><br/>”Hardhome” (Tim Porter, Editor)<br/>”The Dance Of Dragons” (Katie Weiland, Editor)<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series</span><br/>”Mother’s Mercy”<br/>Kevin Alexander, Department Head Hairstylist<br/>Candice Banks, Department Head Hairstylist<br/>Rosalia Culora, Hairstylist<br/>Gary Machin, Hairstylist<br/>Laura Pollock, Hairstylist<br/>Nicola Mount, Hairstylist<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)</span><br/>”Mother’s Mercy” <br/>Jane Walker, Department Head Makeup Artist<br/>Nicola Matthews, Makeup Artist<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Limited Series, Movie Or A Special</span><br/>”Hardhome”<br/>Jane Walker, Department Head Makeup Artist<br/>Barrie Gower, Special Makeup Effects Department Head<br/>Sarah Gower, Special Makeup Effects Assistant<br/>Department Head<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series</span><br/>”Hardhome” <br/>Tim Kimmel, Supervising Sound Editor<br/>Paula Fairfield, Sound Designer<br/>Bradley C. Katona, Sound Effects Editor<br/>Peter Bercovitch, Supervising Dialogue Editor<br/>David Klotz, Music Editor<br/>Jeffrey Wilhoit, Foley Artist<br/>Dylan T. Wilhoit, Foley Artist<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)</span><br/>”Hardhome” <br/>Ronan Hill, C.A.S., Production Mixer<br/>Richard Dyer, Production Mixer<br/>Onnalee Blank, C.A.S., Re-Recording Mixer<br/>Mathew Waters, Re-Recording Mixer<br/><br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Special Visual Effects</span><br/>”The Dance Of Dragons”<br/>Steve Kullback, Visual Effects Producer<br/>Joe Bauer, Visual Effects Supervisor<br/>Adam Chazen, Visual Effects Associate Producer<br/>Jabbar Raisani, Visual Effects Plate Supervisor<br/>Eric Carney, Visual Effects Previs Lead<br/>Stuart Brisdon, Special Effects Supervisor<br/>Derek Spears, Lead CG Supervisor<br/>James Kinnings, Lead Animator<br/>Matthew Rouleau, CG Supervisor<br/><br/><span style=”font-size: 1.4em”>Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series Or Movie</span><br/>Rowley Irlam, Stunt Coordinator<br/><br/>It’s an incredible list, I applaud everyone on it… and all of those who didn’t make it either. GAME OF THRONES is what it is because of the untiring efforts of the best cast and crew in television today. Many were recognized by the Academy today for their work… but others, equally dedicated and talented, were not. But the show would not the hit it is without their talent and dedication. <br/><br/>The 24 nominations garnered by GAME OF THRONES is not only the highest number of any show this year, but among the highest ever received by a single series for a single season in the entire history of television. (For numbers geeks, the record remains 27, garnered by <i><b><i><b>NYPD BLUE</b></i></b></i> in 1994).<br/><br/>Today is a day for celebrations and congratulations, for popping champagne corks and raising toasts and exchanging thanks… but before we do too many cartwheels, it would be wise to remember that GAME OF THRONES also led the Emmy nominations last year, with 19 nods, only to get skunked on the night of the televised awards. The same as the year before, and the year before that. Like many fantasy shows before us, GOT is often honored for our special effects, costumes, makeup, stuntwork, set design, and cinematography (this year, please note, we have four of five finalists for cinematography), but seldom for writing, directing, or acting. Peter Dinklage’s Emmy as Best Supporting Actor for season one remains the ONLY award the show has ever won in those categories, in fact. <br/><br/>Will that change this year? One can hope, I suppose.<br/><br/>But no matter what happens on Emmy Night, let me say once again that it truly is an honor to be nominated, especially given the competition. This truly is The Golden Age of Television, especially for drama. GAME OF THRONES faces the usual formidable competition for the “Big One,” the award for Best Dramatic Series… but as distinguished a list as that is, there are so many incredible shows that did NOT make the cut that it boggles the mind. It’s great to see BETTER CALL SAUL and ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK on this list, but where is MASTERS OF SEX? THE KNICK? HALT AND CATCH FIRE? How about THE VIKINGS? I really thought JUSTIFIED might make it, for its final season. And OUTLANDER, how in the world did they overlook OUTLANDER, with its music and its costumes and its cinematography and the incredible performances of its three leads (especially Tobias Menzies in his double role)? Why is Nick Offermann not on the ballot for PARKS AND RECREATION? How could BIG BANG THEORY possibly fall off? Truly, the Academy (of which I am a member) moves in mysterious ways.<br/><br/>Even where GOT itself is concerned… I am thrilled to see both Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey among the nominees, but I wanted Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner and Natalie Dormer as well… it’s great that two of our episodes got nominated for directing, but how did they overlook “Hardhome?”… and will Iain Glen and Conleth Hill and John Bradley West ever get any recognition, and… <br/><br/>Okay, okay, I know, I am being greedy, and every producer on every other show on television is probably saying the same things about his own cast just now. Let me just savor the moment. <br/><br/>GOT did good.