Emmys: Game of Thrones, Veep, others battle for best drama

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2019 EMMY AWARDS

“Game of Thrones” is set to crown its final season with another best drama series Emmy late on Sunday.

This is despite an array of new contenders jostling for the most prestigious awards in television.

Already the most-awarded series in Emmy history with 38 wins, “Game of Thrones” landed a record 32 nominations for its final season, including nine for its actors.

On a night that could see old favourites prevailing over the biggest line-up of first-time nominees in eight years, HBO political satire “Veep” and returning Emmy champ “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” from Amazon Studios, along with their stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Rachel Brosnahan, are seen as frontrunners in the contest for best comedy series.

Unless, that is, British comedian Phoebe Waller-Bridge can pull off an upset with one or both of her buzzy shows – female-driven BBC America thriller “Killing Eve” and Amazon comedy “Fleabag,” which drew 20 Emmy nominations between them.

The 71st Emmy awards show, chosen by members of the Television Academy, will be broadcast live on Fox, starting at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT (midnight GMT).

The haul for “Game of Thrones” helped cable channel HBO lead all comers with 137 Emmy nominations this year, ahead of Netflix with 117, reflecting the battle for dominance between traditional outlets and streaming services.

None of the “Game of Thrones” actresses have ever won an Emmy, and this year they face formidable competition from “Killing Eve” co-stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as well as Laura Linney for drug-trafficking thriller “Ozark.”

One of the closest races is in the limited series category in which the wrenching social justice drama “When They See Us” faces off against Soviet nuclear accident tale “Chernobyl” and “Fosse/Verdon,” starring Michelle Williams as Broadway singer and dancer Gwen Verdon.

In the actor contest, Billy Porter is considered the favourite for his role in LGBTQ series “Pose” on FX after a breakout year in which he made waves on the Oscar and Met Gala red carpets for his ground-breaking gender-neutral outfits.

This year’s Emmys is taking place without a host following the break with tradition at the Oscars in February. But there still could be stinging barbs from presenters and winners, especially about politics.