'People v. O.J. Simpson,' 'Game of Thrones' lead Emmy nominations

Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:16pm EDT
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy and Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," a TV mini-series exploring racial tensions that strained the criminal justice system 20 years before Black Lives Matter, dominated the Primetime Emmy nominations on Thursday along with HBO's medieval fantasy "Game of Thrones."

The 10-part drama on basic-cable channel FX chronicling the sensational, polarizing murder trial of O.J. Simpson in 1995 earned 22 nominations in all, including best limited series and best actor for Cuba Gooding Jr.'s title role as the disgraced former football star.

"The People v. O.J." viewed Simpson's trial through the prism of racial politics gripping the nation in the aftermath of the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King by white policemen in Los Angeles.

The show aired against a contemporary backdrop of rising tensions between minority communities and law enforcement over a series of killings of unarmed black men at the hands of police in cities across the country, giving rise to the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

"Game of Thrones" led Emmy contenders with 23 nominations overall, including nods for best drama series, two for best supporting actor and three for best supporting actress.

The hit show, based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire," was named outstanding drama series at last year's Emmy Awards.

Rounding out the best drama race are Showtime's CIA thriller "Homeland," FX's Cold War espionage saga "The Americans," AMC's quirky legal story "Better Call Saul," Netflix's political mystery "House of Cards," the final season of PBS's period melodrama "Downton Abbey" and USA Network's freshman cyberhacking drama "Mr. Robot."

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Cast member Peter Dinklage attends the premiere for the sixth season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" in Los Angeles April 10, 2016. REUTERS/Phil McCarten