2015 Emmy Awards: Full Winners List + Critic Reviews

  • Publish Date: September 20, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

Updated 9/21 with additional reviews of the show.

Little drama, but plenty of HBO

Shows with Most 2015 Emmy Wins
(including Creative Arts Emmys)
1 Game of Thrones (HBO) 12
2 Olive Kitteridge (HBO) 8
3 American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX) 5
  Transparent (Amazon) 5
  Veep (HBO) 5

Winners of the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Sunday night in Los Angeles in a ceremony televised live on Fox and hosted by Andy Samberg. Outright surprises were few during an evening that saw just a handful of titles—HBO's Game of Thrones, Veep, and Olive Kitteridge—dominate the drama, comedy, and miniseries categories, respectively.

Yes, that's a lot of HBO. Including last week's Creative Arts Emmys, HBO absolutely dominated the competition this year with 43 total Emmy wins. By comparison, the cable network also was the leader last year, but with just 19 total trophies. The top broadcast network winner this year was NBC, with 12 Emmy wins. Amazon also picked up its first five Emmys, edging fellow streaming service Netflix, which had four wins.

Below, find out what TV critics thought of Samberg and this year's Emmy telecast as a whole, and see which experts and users were the most accurate in their predictions this year. First, here is a quick recap of the 2015 Emmy Award winners in each of the major categories (including a few of the creative arts winners named in a separate ceremony last weekend). A complete list of winners in every category can be found at the official Emmy website.

Drama Winners - 67th Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Drama Series Game of Thrones (HBO)
Lead Actor Jon Hamm Mad Men (AMC)
Lead Actress Viola Davis How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
Supporting Actor Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones (HBO)
Supporting Actress Uzo Aduba Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
Guest Actor Reg E. Cathey House of Cards (Netflix)
Guest Actress Margo Martindale The Americans (FX)
Writing David Benioff & D. B. Weiss Game of Thrones (HBO), "Mother's Mercy"
Directing David Nutter Game of Thrones (HBO), "Mother's Mercy"

Surprises here were of the minor sort. While Game of Thrones' first best drama series win (in five tries) isn't necessarily a shock, experts had given Mad Men the edge by roughly a 2-1 margin. Jon Hamm's trophy definitely isn't a surprise—he was the favorite by a huge margin—but it is his first career Emmy after 11 previous acting nominations (and another four as a producer). Viola Davis (also the favorite) is the first African American woman to win the top drama actress award. Experts (though not Metacritic users) had given the supporting actor edge to Jonathan Banks of Better Call Saul, though Peter Dinklage did previously win an Emmy in 2011 for the same role. Uzo Aduba, similarly, wasn't the critics' first choice (Lena Headey was a slight favorite), but she did win the Emmy for playing the same character last year, albeit when her show was classified as a comedy. The biggest surprise may have been in the writing category, where Matthew Weiner's Mad Men finale was the heavy favorite. Hamm ultimately took home that show's sole trophy in its final season.

Comedy Winners - 67th Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Comedy Series Veep (HBO)
Lead Actor Jeffrey Tambor Transparent (Amazon)
Lead Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus Veep (HBO)
Supporting Actor Tony Hale Veep (HBO)
Supporting Actress Allison Janney Mom (CBS)
Guest Actor Bradley Whitford Transparent (Amazon)
Guest Actress Joan Cusack Shameless (Showtime)
Writing Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, & Tony Roche Veep (HBO), "Election Night"
Directing Jill Soloway Transparent (Amazon), "Best New Girl"

For the first time in its six seasons on the air, Modern Family is not the best comedy winner. In fact, that ABC hit failed to win a single Emmy this year. Instead, Veep and newcomer Transparent were the top comedy recipients, with the former taking many of the major categories and the latter bringing Jeffrey Tambor his first-ever win. (Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler, however, is still somehow without an Emmy at home.) Again, there were few surprises here, though Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) did have a slight edge with experts over the actual supporting actor winner, Tony Hale.

Movie/Miniseries Winners - 67th Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Limited Series Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Outstanding Made for Television Movie Bessie (HBO)
Lead Actor Richard Jenkins Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Lead Actress Frances McDormand Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Supporting Actor Bill Murray Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Supporting Actress Regina King American Crime (ABC)
Writing Jane Anderson Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Directing Lisa Cholodenko Olive Kitteridge (HBO)

The Olive Kitteridge domination wasn't entirely a surprise, based on expert predictions, though Richard Jenkins' win can be considered a bit of an upset (David Oyelowo, of Nightingale, was the favorite). Regina King's win, however, was a huge surprise: not a single expert had picked her to win. (American Horror Story's Sarah Paulson was the favorite there.)

Additional Winners - 67th Primetime Emmy Awards

Variety Sketch Series Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Variety Talk Series The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Writing for a Variety Series The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Directing for a Variety Series Chuck O'Neil The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (CC)
Variety Special Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special (NBC)
Writing for a Variety Special Louis C.K. Louis C.K.: Live At The Comedy Store
Reality Competition The Voice (NBC)
Reality Program - Structured Shark Tank (ABC)
Reality Program - Unstructured Deadliest Catch (Discovery)
Reality Host Jane Lynch Hollywood Game Night (NBC)
Animated Program Over the Garden Wall (Cartoon Network)
Childrens Program Alan Alda and the Actor Within You (HBO)
Documentary Series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (HBO)
Documentary Film Citizenfour (HBO)
Documentary Special Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (HBO)
Informational Series or Special Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown (CNN)
Interactive Program Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
Special Class Program Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (PBS)
Short-Format Live-Action Program Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Brad Pitt (FunnyOrDie)
Short-Format Nonfiction Program A Tribute to Mel Brooks (FX)

Experts couldn't agree on which of TV's late-night institutions would collect Emmys for their final season(s). The answer, it turns out, was The Daily Show, which won three trophies on the night, besting David Letterman's Late Show and The Colbert Report (as well as critic favorite Last Week Tonight With John Oliver). Buzzy Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer was the winner of the first-ever award handed out in the Variety Sketch category, while The Voice won for the second time in three years, recapturing the Reality Competition crown from longtime champion The Amazing Race.

How accurate were the predictions?

A few days ago, we gathered Emmy predictions from dozens of industry experts (including TV critics). And the good news is that the professionals fared far better than they did in the previous two years. While 2014's top forecaster had a success rate of just 58%, this year's top expert—the AP's Lynn Elber—was 70% correct across the 23 categories we tracked, and several others bested 60% accuracy.

We also asked Metacritic users to offer their Emmy predictions this summer, and over 2,500 of you responded. And our users' consensus picks were actually better than most of the expert selections—our users' overall accuracy was 61%, representing an enormous improvement over last year's 32% figure. Our top-performing user (who did not provide a name) beat all of the experts with a 78% accuracy rate, while six others (including Chris Fasano, Nico Lang, Caleb Oakley, Liam Peters, and two anonymous users) were 74% correct (again, better than any of the experts).

How was the telecast?


Well, it finished on time—which is something rarely said of any major awards broadcast. As for the content of the show itself: consider it surprisingly above average. While critics aren't out-and-out raving about the three-hour ceremony, no one is calling it a dud, and many reviewers actually enjoyed the evening (at least compared to past awards shows). Host Andy Samberg also seems to have acquitted himself well.

Below is a sampling of the critics' responses to the broadcast; click on any publication name to read the full review.


Alan Sepinwall

Viola Davis's speech — really, all of the pageantry associated with her win, including the fierce hug fellow nominee Taraji P. Henson wrapped her up in after Davis's win was announced, and the cut to a crying Kerry Washington in the audience — was the sort of powerful, eloquent moment that justifies a lot of the filler, repetition and stupid banter that comes with most awards shows, even one like this that somehow managed to finish a minute or so ahead of schedule.


Brian Lowry

What mostly came across, gradually, was that Samberg’s approach just didn’t wear especially well. He plays better in bite-sized bits, and his sprightly setup/joke rhythms yielded diminishing returns over the course of the evening.


Robert Bianco
USA Today

Wearing what seemed to be a permanent yet unforced goofy grin, Samberg rolled through the show with a minimum of friction and a great deal of fun. ... The show he ran, for the most part, was as smooth as its host. There were no great innovations, but that’s not such a terrible thing: Most of the past attempts to innovate the Emmys have been disastrous. Instead, this year's awards settled for comfortable competence.


Frazier Moore
Associated Press

Samberg ... crushed it as host from sign-on to finish.


Tim Molloy

This was the rare year there were no notably bad decisions. Add in a couple of amusing if forgettable digital shorts by Samberg – and one brilliant skit about stars fighting over a can of beans on the red carpet – and you had yourself a historic and historically good show.


James Poniewozik
The New York Times

Like much great TV today, Mr. Samberg was excellent, and not for everyone.


Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Comic actor Andy Samberg specializes in upbeat humor that lives at the intersection of stupid-funny and smart-funny, which is exactly what he brought to hosting the “67th Annual Emmy Awards” Sunday night on Fox.


Matt Roush
TV Insider

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this year's Emmy Awards was that it was hard to find much of anything in the show to gripe about. Honestly [I] can't remember when I've felt that way about an Emmy broadcast, typically one of the clunkiest nights of any TV year.


Tim Goodman
The Hollywood Reporter

Entertaining, weird, shocking in parts and glorious and fun in others -- the Emmys was finally a mix of things that worked as a TV event and didn't leave everyone bored in the process. ... For Samberg, almost everything went right after his funny and nutty opening song.


Jeremy Gerard

The three-hour parade, led by host Andy Samberg, scored more often than it fumbled — even if there were even fewer surprises on the show than in the gridiron match preceding it.


Kristi Turnquist
The Oregonian

An exceptionally satisfying awards show, capably hosted by Andy Samberg. If not at the lofty levels of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler -- the gold standard of award-show hosting -- Samberg was surprisingly comfortable handling the often thankless job of herding cats, er, celebrities.


Hank Stuever
Washington Post

Samberg proved to be a polished and suitably glib host.


David Sims
The Atlantic

On balance, it was probably the best hosting job at the Emmys since Conan O’Brien’s work nine years earlier.


Linda Holmes

Andy Samberg ... has gotten better at selectively deploying the broader parts of his comic personality and made a solid host. ... Over the course of the evening, though, it was the awards and honorees themselves that provided enough good stories that the show (which came in on time, by the way) didn't drag.


Liz Shannon Miller

This year's Emmy Awards marks the first awards ceremony I've ever felt comfortable grading an "A."


Willa Paskin

It wasn’t perfect, but it was a good show. Samberg’s monologue may not have played great in the room, but was funny, sharp and goofy, like Samberg.


Mary McNamara
Los Angeles Times

Fast-paced and mercifully uncluttered by too much "hostiness," the telecast mostly stayed out of its own way, with just enough jokes that didn't work to make us appreciate the ones that did.

What do you think?

Were you happy with this year's Emmy winners? What did you think of the broadcast, and of Samberg as host? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (1)

  • marco86  

    No other comment, except that Emmy snubs of The Americans is getting more and more ridiculous and where is John Voight for his role in Ray Donovan ?

    Next year, if the Americans got another snub, there will be no more excuse for this stupid decision.

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