It was a huge night for Viola Davis at the 2015 edition of the Emmy Awards which held on Sunday in Los Angeles, as she made history by becoming the first African American woman to take home the best actress in a drama award for her role in “How to Get Away With Murder.”
While there was disappointment for the Brits, actor Jon Hamm was all smiles when he finally collected the best actor award for the final season of “Mad Men”.
Two other female actors of colour also won awards: Uzo Aduba for ‘Orange is the New Black’ and Regina King for ‘American Crime’, which lost out to Olive Kitteridge in the other awards for which it was nominated.
Amy Schumer won the inaugural outstanding variety sketch series award, which she dedicated to “my sister Kim, who is the only reason I am alive and breathing.” She also thanked the makeup artist who gave her “this sort of smoky eye. I love it.”
Also, for the first time in the show’s six season history, HBO’s Game of Thrones took home the best drama series award, beating nine other competitors including AMC’s ‘Mad Men’.
The show racked up a record-breaking 12 awards from its 24 nominations, the most any series has won in a single year. The previous record holder was ‘The West Wing’ which won nine awards at the 2000 Emmys.
In addition to best drama, ‘Game of Thrones’ also took home Emmys for best directing and best writing. Peter Dinklage, who has previously won an Emmy for his role as Tyrion Lannister, won for best supporting actor in a drama.
The win capped a huge night for HBO, which won a total of 43 Emmys, more than any other network. In addition to winning best drama, the cable network also claimed best comedy series for Veep and best miniseries for Olive Kitteridge.
Based on the Pulitzer prizewinning short stories by Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge won almost every category for which it was nominated, winning six awards, while Veep’s victory denied ‘Modern Family’ the chance of a sixth consecutive win in that category.
Veep’s creator, Armando Ianucci, was the only British nominee to win, with others including Mark Rylance, who was nominated for ‘Wolf Hall’, going home empty-handed.
Meanwhile, ‘Transparent’, the Amazon Prime show about a transgender woman and her family netted a prize for its director, Jill Soloway, and the outstanding lead actor in a comedy award for Jeffrey Tambor, who at 71 is the oldest person to take the prize. He dedicated his win, and performance, to the transgender community, concluding “thank you for letting us be part of the change”.
In his final season on ‘Mad Men’, John Hamm won the prize that had eluded him for eight years: outstanding lead actor in a drama for his role as the tortured, womanising advert executive, Don Draper. Tripping on his way to the podium, he received a standing ovation.

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