Partygoers at weekend's fetes buzz about drama series race
After a 48-hour whirlwind of pre-Emmy partying, the cliffhanger of TV’s kudos season — the outcome of the drama series race — is hours away from resolution.Talk of who takes the drama series trophy home from the Nokia Theater tonight was the most buzzed-about topic at this weekend’s many fetes. The heft of each of the drama series nominees ?”Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “Homeland” and “Mad Men” ?has made the category particularly inscrutable this year. And industryites noted that the stiff competition illustrates the depth and breadth of the small screen’s bench these days. “There is so much great work being done in television right now,” said Bruce Rosenblum, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences chairman and prexy of Warner Bros. TV Group. “It’s good for our entire industry.” And the industry spared no opportunity to pat its self on the back this weekend. A-listers turned out in force on Saturday for the annual Evening Before fundraiser for the Motion Picture Television Fund. The balmy weather and congregation of so many boldface names made for plenty of intriguing conversations. “Mad Men’s” Matthew Weiner revealed himself to be an avid follower of FX’s outre comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” as he gushed with “Sunny’s” Rob McIlhenney and Kaitlin Olson. Showtime’s Saturday gathering at the Sunset Towers had a soulful feel as John Legend performed a five-song set on solo piano, including R&B-ized renditions of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” and the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” The “Homeland” team gathered around the pool area to receive a stream of well-wishers. Star Claire Danes impressed in a bold blue sheath that highlighted her emerging baby bump. NBCUniversal’s Saturday fete packed the house at Boa Steakhouse in West Hollywood. The troupers from “Downton Abbey,” produced by NBCU’s international TV wing, had a hive around them as they mingled with a clutch of NBC, USA Network and Bravo stars. Next door to the NBCU party, History’s party for “Hatfields and McCoys” at the top of Soho House went well past midnight — so much so that A+E Networks’ toppers Abbe Raven and Nancy Dubuc kicked off their shoes before making their final rounds.