Cable’s ‘Big Four’ Racked Up Emmys


Cable’s “big four” networks once again dominated this year’s primetime Emmy Awards, joined on the victory stand this year by the likes of BBC America and USA Network.

HBO, AMC, Showtime, and Comedy Central accounted for 15 of the 26 primetime Emmy Awards presented Sept. 22, more than doubling the combined take of broadcast’s big four, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. The wins included several triumphs in major Emmy categories including best drama (AMC’s Breaking Bad); best drama actor (Jeff Daniels, HBO’s The Newsroom) and actress (Claire Danes, Showtime’s Homeland); and best variety series (Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report).

Last year, the cable foursome collected half of all primetime Emmy statuettes.

Among the first-time winners this year was BBC America, which took home a statuette for outstanding writing for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special for its Cold War-era drama series The Hour. The channel will look to build on the honor with the development of more original content that appeals to both audiences and critics, BBC America general manager Perry Simon said.

“It validates the continued momentum we feel we’ve established over the past two to three years,” Simon said. “Getting our first Emmy says that we’re doing something right here and we’re getting increasing attention for our channel beyond what we’ve gotten in the past.”

USA, already the most-watched cable network for eight years running, earned its first primetime Emmy since 2007 when The Starter Wife star Judy Davis won for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie.

Ellen Burstyn’s Emmy win in the supporting actress miniseries or movie category for her role in USA’s Political Animals is another feather in the cap of the characters welcome network that’s competing in a very crowded television space.

“We were truly thrilled by the win … there’s no denying that the television landscape is incredibly competitive these days and it’s all about the content,” Michael Sluchan, senior vice president of programming at USA, said. “We hope to continue to deliver content that viewers respond to.”

FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum star James Cromwell also found his way to the big stage to accept a primetime Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie, as did director David Fincher, who took home online content provider Netflix’s first-ever Emmy, winning for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for an episode of political drama House of Cards.