SUDDENLY Wednesday there was an unexpected front-runner in the competition for the 57th annual nighttime Emmy Awards. The ceremonies are still a month away but the Cartoon Network already has walked off with six.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced winners in three areas -- what it calls juried categories. There are no nominations or voting by the membership in these, unlike other categories; instead, peer-group juries simply pick as many winners as they deem warranted.
The Emmy for voice-over performance, which usually goes to actors providing the voices of cartoon characters, went to Keith David for his work on the PBS documentary “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.”
For outstanding costumes for a variety or music program, the winners were costume designer Wendy Benbrook and costume supervisor Wanda Leavey for an episode of the Fox late-night comedy show “MADtv.”
There were eight winners in the category of outstanding individual achievement in animation: Barbara Wierzchowska, animator, “Classical Baby (Bear Hugs segment),” HBO; Gordon Hammond, character designer, “The Fairly Odd Parents (Shelf Life episode),” Nickelodeon; Mike Moon, art director, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (House of Bloos episode),” Cartoon Network; Craig McCracken, character designer, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (House of Bloos episode),” Cartoon Network; Ed Baker, storyboard artist, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (World Wide Wabbit episode),” Cartoon Network; Frederick Gardner, background key designer, “The Powerpuff Girls (West in Pieces episode),” Cartoon Network; Bryan Andrews, storyboard artist, “Samurai Jack (Episode 49),” Cartoon Network; Justin Thompson, background key designer, “Star Wars Clone Wars Vol. 2 (Chapters 21-25),” Cartoon Network.
The winners will be honored at the first of two ceremonies for the nighttime Emmys, to be held Sept. 11 at Shrine Auditorium and focusing on the technical categories. The second ceremony, for programs, performers, writers and directors, will be at the same site a week later and televised on CBS.