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Irish at the Emmys

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 65th Emmys Sunday, September 22, 2013 on CBS.

By Adam Farley, Editorial Assistant
September 23, 2013

Last night the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held at Los Angeles’s Nokia Theater. Though they were hosted by Irish American Neil Patrick Harris, that’s almost all the stage time descendants of Erin got for the three-hour ceremony.

The other biggest presence on stage was The Colbert Report, which finally beat out the perennial favorite The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to take home the award for Outstanding Variety Series. Stewart’s show has won the award for the last ten years in a row. The Colbert Report also won for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series and was nominated in four more categories.

Stephen Colbert, whose Irish ancestors immigrated to the U.S. during and after the famine, joked during the acceptance speech, “As I said before, it’s a cliché to say it’s an honor just to be nominated, but it’s more than that. It’s also a lie, this is way better.”

Alec Baldwin was also nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as NBC exec Jack Donaghy in the recently-ended 30 Rock (his seventh nomination for the role), but lost out to Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory. But 30 Rock didn’t go home empty handed. Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield took home the award for best writing in a comedy, though they lost the Outstanding Comedy Series award to the much-lauded (and still-on-the-air) Modern Family, starring the Ohio-born Irish American Ed O’Neill. O’Neill was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as patriarch of the show’s Pritchett family. Modern Family’s Gail Mancuso also won for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series, becoming the second woman ever to do so, according the The Hollywood Reporter.

Although comedian Louis C.K.’s first language is Spanish, his last name is Hungarian, and he retains Mexican citizenship from his father’s side, it’s likely his Irish-Catholic mother from whom he gets his red hair. C.K.’s comedy show Louie went into the night with four Emmy nods: best comedy show, best writing, best direction, and best actor in a comedy series for Louis himself.

The Belfast-studios-based fantasy drama Game of Thrones also went in with many nominations, but left award-less. Brits Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke were nominated for best supporting actor and actress in a drama respectively, and the series itself was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. Since principal filming started in the summer of 2010, the show’s primary location has been the Paint Hall Studios in the newly revitalized Titanic Quarter.

Finally, rounding out the diaspora, Irish-Kiwi Jane Campion was nominated twice for her dramatic miniseries Top of the Lake, starring Elisabeth Moss (of Mad Men fame) and Peter Mullen, perhaps best known from Trainspotting. Campion, who descends from Antrim emigrants, was nominated along with Gerard Lee for Outstanding Writing and with Garth Davis for Outstanding Direction.

Other big wins for the night include Breaking Bad for Outstanding Drama Series and Anna Gunn in it for best actress in a drama as wife and antagonist Skyler White. Michael Douglas won Outstanding Actor in a miniseries or movie as Liberace in the HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra, which also won for best miniseries or movie. Claire Danes won for best actress in a drama as the unhinged CIA agent Carrie Mathison in Homeland and Laura Linney took home the best actress award for a miniseries or movie for her part as in the Showtime dramedy The Big C: Hereafter. Netflix garnered a win too, with House of Cards director David Fincher grabbing the award for Outstanding Director for a Drama Series.

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