'Game of Thrones' is Emmy leader after creative arts awards wins; TV movie 'Bessie' golden

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Jane Lynch, winner of an Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for "Hollywood Game Night," poses at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Governors Ball on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Derek Hough, right, and Julianne Hough, co-winners of the award fo rOutstanding Choreography for "Dancing with the Stars," pose in the press room at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Josh Earl, from left, Alexander Rubinow and Alex Durham, winners of the award for outstanding picture editing for reality programming for the "Deadliest Catch," pose in the press room at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES — "Game Of Thrones" is the Emmy Awards front-runner after winning eight technical achievement awards.

The HBO fantasy saga was honored at Saturday's creative arts Emmys, the precursor to the main Sept. 20 ceremony, in categories including special visual effects and casting.

FX Networks' "American Horror Story: Freak Show," was next with five awards.

The creative Emmys also recognized guest actors for drama and comedy series, with trophies going to Reg E. Cathey for "House of Cards"; Margo Martindale for "The Americans"; Joan Cusack for "Shameless"; and Bradley Whitford for "Transparent."

Whitford's award, for his portrayal of a cross-dressing character, was among three Emmys for "Transparent" — costumes and main title theme music were the other wins— and the first of the trophies for new-wave TV player Amazon.

"Transparent" star Jeffrey Tambor is nominated for best comedy series actor at next week's awards for his performance as transgender Maura Pfefferman. The show is part of the growing attention to gender- identity issues and to such candid individuals as Caitlyn Jenner.

"I love to be in a show that is a voice of understanding, compassion and radical inclusion. We're not there yet, but non-judgment day is coming!" Whitford said in accepting his award.

Other Emmys went to "Bessie," a biopic about Bessie Smith starring Queen Latifah as the great blues singer, which was honored as best made-for-TV movie.

"The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst," about a privileged New Yorker under a cloud of suspicion in connection with three murders, won the best documentary or nonfiction series award.

A taped version of the creative arts ceremony will be telecast Saturday, Sept. 19, on the FXX channel. Next week's ceremony with acting, writing and other awards will air live on Fox with host Andy Samberg.

HBO won a leading 29 Emmys on Saturday, followed by NBC with 11. Other tallies included FX Networks with eight awards; ABC, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Fox and PBS with four each; and Amazon, CBS, Discovery Channel and Netflix with three each.

A&E Networks received the Governors Award in recognition of its corporate social responsibility programs.

Among others honored at the creative arts Emmys:

— Host for a reality or reality-competition program: Jane Lynch, "Hollywood Game Night," NBC.

— Voice-over performance: Hank Azaria, "The Simpsons," Fox.

— Unstructured reality program: "Deadliest Catch," Discovery Channel.

— Structured reality program: "Shark Tank," ABC.

— Commercial: #LikeAGirl (Always).

— Animated Program: "Over the Garden Wall," Cartoon Network.

— Writing for a variety special: Louis C.K., "Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store," louisck.net.

— Music composition for a series (original dramatic score): "House of Cards," Netflix.

— Music composition for a limited series, movie or special (original dramatic score): "Bessie," HBO.

— Original music and lyrics: "Inside Amy Schumer," Comedy Central.

— Choreography (multiple winners): "Dancing With the Stars," ABC; "So You Think You Can Dance," Fox.

— Casting for a drama series: "Game of Thrones," HBO.

— Casting for a limited series, movie or a special: "Olive Kitteridge," HBO.

— Casting for a comedy series: "Veep," HBO.

— Costumes for a period fantasy series, limited series or movie: "American Horror Story: Freak Show," FX Networks.

— Costumes for a contemporary series, limited series or movie: "Transparent," Amazon.

AP Entertainment Writer Mike Cidoni Lennox contributed to this report.

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