Australia's surprise Emmy win as Ben Mendelsohn is edged out

Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn was denied Emmy glory, losing the award for outstanding guest actor in a drama category to Gerald McRaney in a shock upset in the final moments of the Creative Arts Emmys.

McRaney was nominated for his work on the critically acclaimed drama series This Is Us.

But Mendelsohn was a favourite in the category, along with Mr Robot's B.D. Wong and Ray Donovan's Hank Azaria.

McRaney, who is best remembered as one of the stars of the 1980s series Simon & Simon, was an outsider in the category; this is his first nomination and first win.

Mendelsohn's nomination as a guest star in his own show was slightly peculiar, but resulted from a change between the second and third seasons of Bloodline; for the first two seasons the Melbourne-born actor was a series regular, but for the final season he guest starred in only part of the season.

In better news, Australian designer Perry Meek won an Emmy over the weekend for his work on VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race, bringing our early haul to just one, with the main game still a week off.

Ben Mendelsohn has missed out on an Emmy award. Photo: Jordan Strauss / AP

Ben Mendelsohn has missed out on an Emmy award. Photo: Jordan Strauss / AP

Perry, whose client list includes Cher and Lady Gaga, was nominated in the outstanding costumes in a variety, nonfiction or reality program.

New Zealand actor Sam Neill was nominated for his narration of the documentary series Wild New Zealand but lost out to Meryl Streep for her work on the Netflix documentary Five Came Back.

Among the key winners so far are Netflix's Stranger Things, which won for both main title music and opening theme design, and The Crown, which won both period costume design for a limited series and production design for a narrative period program.

The actress Melissa McCarthy, whose guest run on Saturday Night Live as now ousted White House spokesman Sean Spicer, won for guest actress in a comedy series.

The Creative Arts Emmys are held on the Saturday and Sunday preceding Emmy weekend, and focus on the creative and technical categories, including costume, makeup and hairstyling, production design, casting, stunt work, picture editing, music composition and the guest actor and actress categories.

Australia still has a handful of nominees in contention for key categories which will be given out at this weekend's main game, the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

They are actors Nicole Kidman, Judy Davis, Geoffrey Rush, director Kate Dennis and producer Bruna Papandrea.

Kidman is nominated for her work on the critically acclaimed HBO drama Big Little Lies, while Davis is nominated for the Ryan Murphy limited series Feud: Bette and Joan.

Rush is nominated for his leading role in the series Genius, based on the book Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.

Dennis is nominated for her work on the series The Handmaid's Tale.

Dennis's nomination is particularly significant, setting her among some of Hollywood's best television directors including Vince Gilligan (Better Call Saul) and Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland).

And Papandrea is nominated as the producer of Big Little Lies; the HBO drama is nominated in the limited series category.

The most nominated broadcaster or platform was HBO, with 110 nominations across all of the categories on the three nights of prize-giving.

Netflix was the next most nominated broadcaster, with 91 nominations.

The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Monday, September 18 from 10am on FOX8, and will stream live on Foxtel Now.

This story Australia's surprise Emmy win as Ben Mendelsohn is edged out first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.