Sunday night marks the 68th annual Emmy awards, where Jimmy Kimmel will lead the celebration, honoring the top shows on television today. From the best lead actor/actress to the most outstanding hairstyling and sound, the Emmys cover it all, leaving no televised stone unturned. A select few shows and series seem to have taken this year’s ceremony by storm.
Let’s take a look at the shows slated to dominate this year's Emmy awards.
Game of Thrones (23 Nominations)
They may not have scored in the lead actor or actress in a drama category—mainly due to the vast number of characters starring in it— but Game of Thrones has absolutely emerged as the frontrunner for quite a few accolades. The graphic and fantastical HBO series, which is based off of the book series by George RR Martin, just wrapped up its sixth season, and is more popular than ever before.
Aside from being nominated for the Best Drama Series category, GoT has also overtaken the Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Drama categories as well, sending two actors (Kit Harrington and Peter Dinklage) and three actress (Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Maisie Williams). That means almost half of those nominated between the two categories will be from the show. All together, GoT has earned a total of 23 nominations, including Best Writing, Special Visual Effects, Directing for a Drama Series, and so on and so forth.
All though the HBO series leads the pack as far as nominations go, and is poised to win at least a few awards, there are a few other television shows that could steal the spotlight and conquer a part of the television kingdom (even without the terrifyingly realistic fire-breathing dragons).
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (22 nominations)
Although this new FX true crime anthology television series, called American Crime Story, is going up for completely different categories than Game of Thrones, they are neck and neck with the show recognition-wise at the 2016 Emmys. With a total of 22 nominations, the first season of the show examined the historic murder trial involving football legend O.J. Simpson, who was deemed not guilty of killing his wife amidst a controversial trial. The television series stars John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, and David Schwimmer, each of which are up for an Emmy this year for their work on the show.The show has essentially conquered the limited series categories in the same way that Game of Thrones did for the drama series categories, earning a handful of nominations for both lead and supporting actor/actress roles, as well as nods for Outstanding Limited Series, Casting, Cinematography, and many others. The show has received a favorable amount of recognition already, and I wouldn’t bet against the the show taking home a handful of awards.
Veep (17 nominations)
After getting nominated for nine awards and winning Best Comedy Series at last year’s Emmy Awards, the HBO show Veep is back with a commanding 17 nominations, picking up three bids for comedy directing and two for writing. The politically satirical show stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale, and has just wrapped up its sixth season following the comedic rise of the fictional politician Selina Meyer. Veep has amassed critical acclaim and several awards already, and is already set to start filming for season seven. The show is going stronger than ever, so don’t be shocked to see it conquer the comedy categories at the 2016 Emmys.
Fargo (18 nominations)
The darkly humorous crime drama anthology Fargo, which follows a different set of characters through the strange dangers of midwest America each season, has earned 18 nominations for their latest iteration of the series, which stars Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, among others. In its second season, the show depicts an exhilarating web of murder, lies, and deceit in a uniquely mundane American setting, and has earned high praise equal to that of the renowned first season, which also received 18 Emmy nominations during the 2014 award ceremony.
House of Cards (13 nominations)
The Netflix series House of Cards is one of the primary opponents of Game of Thrones for the Best Drama category, and although it will be a tough bid to win, there are a number of other categories that prove the show’s fifth season is as good as any. The powerhouse acting duo of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright have each earned their spots for the Lead Actor/Actress in a Drama bids again, and are both well overdue for a win. The series also scored an opportunity to win Supporting Actor, Guest Actor (three individual nods), and Guest Actress in a Drama Seires categories. The show depicts a fictionalized version of the cut-throat political environment in the United States, as President Frank Underwood (Spacey) and his equally opportunistic wife (Wright) fight to remain in power by any means necessary.
Honorable Mention: Silicon Valley (11 nominations)
Another show that probably deserves to be mentioned is Silicon Valley, the up-and-coming tech comedy HBO series that has just earned itself 11 Emmy nominations, an improvement from the respectable seven bids from last year. The show follows a hilarious group of friends in the tech startup world, led by the awkward character played by Thomas Middleditch, who earned himself a nomination for Lead Actor in a Comedy for the first time. In addition to Middleditch’s bid, the show has also been nominated in the comedy categories for Writing, Directing, and Editing.