And the show with the most wins at the 2014 Emmy Awards goes to…”Sherlock”?
Indeed: “Sherlock: The Last Vow (Masterpiece)” which airs on BBC and PBS, shocked everyone at the awards ceremony on Monday as it steamrolled over big names in the TV movie/miniseries categories to win seven awards total — the most of any show this year. It’s also the first time that “Sherlock,” nominated many times before and 12 times this year, won any Emmys at all.
Star Benedict Cumberbatch picked up lead actor in a TV movie/miniseries (beating Billy Bob Thornton, Mark Ruffalo, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba) while Martin Freeman won the supporting actor prize (instead of Matt Bomer, Joe Mantello, Colin Hanks, Jim Parsons and Alfred Molina). Perhaps not expecting much, neither Cumberbatch or Freeman showed up for the ceremony.
It was a surprise to many in the industry, who expected HBO’s “The Normal Heart” to sweep up all the prizes. (It eventually won best TV movie.) “Sherlock” co-creator Stephen Moffatt — who won the writing trophy over “American Horror Story’s” Ryan Murphy, “The Normal Heart’s” Larry Kramer and others — told reporters backstage at the Emmys he was just as stunned as anyone. “I feel guilty about every award we took from them,” he said in reference to “The Normal Heart.”
As strange as it seemed, “Sherlock’s” domination at the Emmy Awards isn’t that crazy. The show is a massive hit in Britain, where it originally airs, and 4 million people tuned into PBS at the beginning of this year to watch the third season. Plus, Cumberbatch’s profile has risen steadily over the last couple of years from quirky niche favorite to international star, thanks to things like his role in J.J. Abrams’s “Star Trek.”
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s never to underestimate the popularity of British television in the U.S. — examples range from “Downton Abbey” to the inescapable “Poirot.” Combine all of that with the obsession with “Sherlock” (another season will air in 2015) and it was only a matter of time before it collected all the awards.