×

‘Sherlock’ Shocks Emmys With Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman Wins

PBS’ “Sherlock” pulled off a string of surprise wins at the 2014 Emmy Awards, including lead and supporting actor trophies for stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who faced stiff competition in the crowded miniseries/movie category. At the end of the night, “Sherlock” was the series with the most awards — seven — having scooped an additional four at the Creative Arts Emmys.

In the lead actor category, Cumberbatch — who was absent from the ceremony — faced off against also-absent Freeman (nominated for his role on “Fargo”) along with Billy Bob Thornton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba and Mark Ruffalo. Among pundits, consensus seemed split between Thornton and Ruffalo for the victory, but Academy voters seemed high on the cerebral British drama.

In the supporting actor race, Freeman was up against “Fargo” co-star Colin Hanks, as well as “Normal Heart” stars Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina and Matt Bomer.

Series creator Steven Moffat’s work on “Sherlock: His Last Vow” also won writing for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special, although the show missed out on scoring the best miniseries award, which went to Freeman’s “Fargo,” while “Normal Heart” scored best movie.

SEE ALSO: Emmy Awards Winners 2014

Backstage, Moffat told reporters, “I didn’t think we’d win anything, genuinely … very shocked and surprised.” While he pointed out that the show has won plenty of awards outside America, they had almost written off any chance of an Emmy given that the series is aging. “We’re delighted that we’ve made it here and hopefully that it will get more people watching.”

As for how they plan to top last year’s highly rated season, Moffat declared, “We have a plan to top it, and I do think our plan is devastating. We practically reduced our cast to tears by revealing the plan.” He said he and co-creator Mark Gatiss are probably “more excited than we’ve ever been” about where the show is heading.

Moffat joked that Cumberbatch is now “too big to come to the Emmys,” but admitted that wrangling the busy stars has always been a challenge, given that they have no ongoing deals with the cast and are required to pitch them every year. “We all know what’s happening with ‘Sherlock’ is unusual, we know this won’t happen again in our lives … we’re keen to keep making ‘Sherlock’ as long as it’s a good show,” he promised.

The seven trophies ensured that PBS tied with CBS for the second-most Emmy wins of any network (taking home 11 total), beaten only by HBO’s 19 awards. “We are extremely proud of all of our programs honored by the Academy this year, especially Masterpiece’s ‘Sherlock’,” said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS in a statement. “This is a golden age for drama on television, and we’re very pleased that public television has been recognized with the second-most awards of any network. My sincere congratulations to the team at Masterpiece, and our individual honorees for their well-deserved Emmy Awards.”

“‘Sherlock’ delivers! Big audiences, great reviews, and now the hardware,” says Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton. “We’re so happy for ‘the boys’ and for Sue and Beryl Vertue and all our gifted colleagues at Hartswood, the BBC, and PBS.”

More TV

  • BH90210: L-R: Brian Austin Green, Gabrielle

    'BH90210's' the Peach Pit Pop-Up to Open in L.A. (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fox and Popsugar have teamed up to open the Peach Pit in celebration of “BH90210,” Variety has learned exclusively. The beloved retro diner has been recreated for the upcoming continuation series debuting August 7 on Fox, and for a few nights leading up to the big premiere, reservations can be made to dine in. Taking [...]

  • John FordNPact Awards, Show, Los Angeles,

    John Ford to Exit as Head of Unscripted Producers Trade Association NPact

    John Ford has stepped down as general manager of NPact, the trade association that represents unscripted TV producers. Ford is exiting the post he’s held since 2015 because of the potential for conflicts of interest arising from his role as head of programming for digital multicast outlets Justice Network and Quest Network. The channels were [...]

  • Justin Connolly

    Disney Merges All Media Sales and TV Channel Distribution Under Justin Connolly

    Disney promoted Justin Connolly to the new role of president, media distribution, overseeing a single organization that combines all of the company’s media sales and TV channel distribution operations. Connolly previously served as EVP, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. Based in New York, he will report to Kevin Mayer, chairman of [...]

  • HBO Max - WarnerMedia

    WarnerMedia's HBO Max Unveils Content Team

    WarnerMedia has unveiled its original programming and business operations and strategy teams as the company builds out its HBO Max streaming platform. Sarah Aubrey will lead the original programming group as head of original content, reporting to HBO Max chief content officer Kevin Reilly. Joining her on that team are Joey Chavez as executive vice [...]

  • 'Lego Masters' Series from Brad Pitt's

    'Lego Masters' Competition Series from Brad Pitt's Plan B Ordered at Fox

    Fox is continuing to build its non-scripted slate, block by block. The network has put out a series order for reality competition series “Lego Masters,” which hails from Endemol Shine North America and Brad Pitt’s Plan B. The quirky format, which pits all-age contestants against one another to design and construct Lego masterpieces, bowed on Channel [...]

  • Bert and Ernie

    Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt and 'Sesame Street' Among 2019 Kennedy Center Honorees

    Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt, “Sesame Street,” conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and R&B veterans Earth, Wind and Fire have been selected as the 2019 Kennedy Center Honorees. The kudos will be handed out Dec. 8 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. The award to “Sesame Street” marks the first time the prestigious laurel [...]

  • Ben Whishaw Mary Poppins

    Jack Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw Among 12 Joining 'Fargo' Season 4 Cast

    FX has announced that Jack Huston, Jason Schwartzman and Ben Whishaw will be joining the cast of “Fargo” for its upcoming fourth season. The cabler previously announced that comedian Chris Rock would also be jumping aboard the hit limited series in a lead role. Season 4 of “Fargo” is set to air in 2020. Schwartzman [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content