Entertainment TV Free-to-air shows reign over cult pay-TV darlings

Free-to-air shows reign over cult pay-TV darlings

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The Emmys have given hope that free-to-air TV in Australia is not a wasteland of reality TV shows, and there are performances and programs worth watching.

Despite limited representation in the 16 major categories for outstanding acting and TV shows, free-to-air shows took home more half of those Emmys in LA on Tuesday (AEST).

Admittedly, pay-TV hit Breaking Bad won the lion’s share of the main awards.

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The show’s star Bryan Cranston, who plays wayward chemistry teacher Walter White, was crowned Outstanding Lead Actor in a drama. It was also his fifth career Emmy.

Breaking Bad also received the Outstanding Drama award, and Cranston’s fellow stars Anna Gunn (Supporting Actress in a Drama) and Aaron Paul (Supporting Actor in a Drama) won Emmys.

But cult shows like Game Of Thrones, House of Cards and True Detective did not get a look-in despite their popularity and numerous nominations.

Network Ten’s Modern Family was crowned the Outstanding Comedy Series in a category that included Veep, The Big Bang Theory, Orange is the New Black and Silicon Valley.

The fact prison drama Orange Is The New Black was even nominated as a comedy is another story in itself and has led to the phrase “category fraud”.

Modern Family’s Ty Burrell took out Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy ahead of the likes of Adam Driver (Girls), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Tony Hale (Veep).

SBS series Fargo was the Outstanding Miniseries in front of American Horror Story: Coven, Bonnie & Clyde, Luther, Treme and The White Queen.

SBS also has first screening rights for the second season of Fargo.

The Nine Network’s The Big Bang Theory, which is one of the highest rating imported shows on Australian TV, received only a few nominations and yet still gained an accolade.

Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, took out Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy in a category that included Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Ricky Gervais, (Derek) and Matt LeBlanc (Episodes).

Ten’s secondary channel Eleven can boast an Emmy award-winning series after Jessica Lange (Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie) and Kathy Bates (Supporting Actress, miniseries or movie) won for their roles in American Horror Story: Coven.

To top it off Mom, which struggled in the ratings on Nine earlier this year, found success when Allison Janney was awarded Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

So among all the reality shows bombarding free-to-air TV in Australia, all is not lost and there are a few gems still to be found.


Outstanding Drama Series – Breaking Bad

Outstanding Comedy Series – Modern Family (Network Ten)

Outstanding Miniseries – Fargo (SBS)

Outstanding TV Movie – The Normal Heart

Lead Actor in a Drama – Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Lead Actress in a Drama – Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife (Network Ten)

Supporting Actress in a Drama – Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Supporting Actor in a Drama – Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Lead Actor in a Comedy – Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (Nine Network)

Lead Actress in a Comedy – Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VEEP

Supporting Actor in a Comedy – Ty Burrell, Modern Family (Network Ten)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy – Allison Janney, Mom (Nine Network)

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie – Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow.

Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie – Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven (Eleven)

Supporting actor, miniseries or movie – Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow

Supporting actress, miniseries or movie – Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven (Eleven)

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