Late celebrity chef and writer Anthony Bourdain won six posthumous Emmys for his hit CNN travel series Parts Unknown over the weekend, as the Television Academy handed out its first round of annual awards.
The Creative Arts Emmys, held on Saturday and Sunday night in Los Angeles, honor achievement in technical disciplines, writing and unscripted programming. They are awarded ahead of the main primetime gala on September 17.
Bourdain -- who committed suicide in June at age 61 -- personally earned statuettes for best writing for a nonfiction program and outstanding informational series for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The show and its digital counterpart took home four other prizes.
Among other early winners were heavy favorite Game of Thrones, which scooped up seven Emmys, including for costumes, visual effects and music. It earned 22 nominations overall, including for best drama series. Sketch show Saturday Night Live also took home seven awards.
NBC’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert raked in five awards, including one for best live variety special. That honor allowed singer John Legend and theater giants Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to claim a rare title -- all three now have coveted EGOT status, with individual Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony wins.
The trio served as executive producers on the musical, in which Legend starred as Jesus. He is also up for an Emmy for best actor in a limited series or movie, an award to be presented at the main event. After a year off, Game of Thrones -- HBO’s wildly popular fantasy epic -- is expected to dominate this year’s Emmys competition.
But Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale -- which took home the best drama series trophy last year with GoT out of the picture -- could again steal the spotlight. It has 20 nominations, and won three in the first round of awards. The Emmys are television’s answer to the Oscars.