In fickle Emmys, handicapping favors 'Thrones' over 'Horror'

Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:52pm EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Although "American Horror Story: Asylum" bested HBO's fantasy epic "Game of Thrones" in picking up the most Primetime Emmy nominations on Thursday, the fright-filled FX miniseries could face another tough year at the fickle Emmys.

"It's cursed by being in the horror genre," Hollywood awards show handicapper Tom O'Neil of said. "Emmy voters, like Oscar voters, are horrified of the horror genre and tend to stay away."

The torture-filled miniseries set in a nun-run mental hospital picked up the same number of nominations as its predecessor, "American Horror Story: Murder House," did last year, and "Murder House" was only able to win two Emmys - best hairstyling and best supporting actress, both in a miniseries.

It was not the only show to flop at last year's Emmys, the top awards in U.S. television. Perennial favorite "Mad Men," the depiction of the 1960s Madison Avenue advertising world, set a record for losses, walking away empty-handed after 17 nominations.

The Emmys honor a broad swath of television production, from the pinnacle prize of best drama series to more obscure ones like best sound mixing for non-fiction programming. There are 537 separate nominations and HBO alone picked up 20 percent of those.

The Time Warner cable channel's "Game of Thrones" racked up 16 nods and should run away with victories in many categories, O'Neil said.

"'Game of Thrones' will sweep those tech categories," the analyst said of its nominations in best sound editing, visual effects and single-camera picture editing for a drama series, among others.

But the handicapper, who said it has also been difficult in the past for fantasy series to break through in top categories, believes "Game of Thrones" is poised to cash in for nods in best drama series and best writing in a drama series.   Continued...

Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from the HBO series "Game of Thrones" arrives at a movie premiere in Hollywood, California in this file photo taken April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files