‘Stranger’ Theme, Russo, Beal Emmy Winners

Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein

Composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein accept their Emmys for the theme music to Netflix’s Stranger Things. (Photo: Invision/AP)

Jeff Beal has collected his fifth Emmy, winning composition for a series for his House of Cards score, while the third time proved a charm for Jeff Russo, who collected his first Emmy for Fargo in the limited series category tonight at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, night two, at the Microsoft Theater.

Beal has received 17 career nominations, more than any other contender in the music category with the exception of Tina Fey (who received a nomination for a song from Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt). She lost to Common and co-writers Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggs for “Letter to the Free” during round one of Creative Arts Emmys, handed out Saturday night.

In the extremely competitive theme music category, first-time nominees Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon won for Netflix’s Stranger Things. In what was a historic Emmy for music with the addition of a new category for music supervisors, Susan Jacobs won for HBO’s Big Little Lies.

“The way Noah writes these characters makes it so easy to do my job, because the characters are so well-written and the dialogue is so great and the characters are so great, I get to really dig-in to the characters of the show,” Beal said on the red carpet during the arrivals, sharing that the theme to Welcome Back Kotter is his favorite.

In an interview on his way in to the ceremony, Beal shared that the secret to his style is “the method acting version of composing: if I start to feel it, I believe it.” Beal articulated the subtle undertones a great score can provide. “The weird thing about film music is it’s supporting everything that’s going on but it wants to be a part of that world. Music often describes the things that people aren’t saying. It’s sort of the undercurrent of a show, the subterranean emotional current. House of Cards has so many layers. It’s often very dark, but it’s also funny, and serendipitous and subversive. It’s also human, there’s moments of humanity.”

Night one of 2017 Creative Arts Emmys also took place at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. A highlights telecast of the 2017 Creative Arts Emmys will air on FXX  at 9 p.m. Sept. 16, on the eve of the 69th Emmy Awards on Sept. 17, airing live starting at 5 p.m. PT on CBS.


Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)

WINNER: Jeff Beal House Of Cards, “Chapter 63,” Netflix (Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Right s Capital)

Rupert Gregson-Williams  The Crown, “Hyde Park Corner,” Netflix (Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television)

Jasha Klebe, Jacob Shea  Planet Earth II, “Islands,” BBC America (BBC Studios Natural History Unit Production in co-production with BBC America Jacob Shea)

James Newton Howard  A Series Of Unfortunate Events, “A Bad Beginning,” Netflix (The Sonnenfeld Company, What is the Question?, Paramount Television)

Max Richter  Taboo, “Episode 1,” FX Networks  (Scott Free London and Hardy Son & Baker in association with Sonar Entertainment)

Martin Phipps, Ruth Barrett, Natalie HoltVictoria  (Masterpiece)“Doll 123,”  PBS  (A co-production of Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece )


Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)

Jeff Russo  Fargo, “Aporia,” FX Networks  (MGM Television and FX Productions)

Mac Quayle  FEUD: Bette And Joan, “Pilot,” FX Networks, Fox 21 Television Studios)

Jeremy Turner Five Came Back, “The Price Of Victory,” Netflix  (Amblin Television, Scott Rudin, IACF Productions in association with Passion Pictures & Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment)

Gary Lionelli  OJ: M ade In America • “Part 3,” ESPN (ESPN Films and Laylow Films)

Rael Jones Suite Française,  Lifetime,  (Suite Distribution Limited)

Patrick Jonsson The White Helmets, Netflix  (Grain Media / Violet Films)


Outstanding Music Direction

WINNER: Rickey Minor Taking The Stage: African American Music And Stories That Changed America, ABC  (Don Mischer Productions)

Bernard MacMahon, Duke Erikson, Jack White, T Bone Burnett  American Epic, “The American Epic Sessions,” PBS  (Lo-M ax Films/Wildwood Ent erprises/BBC Arena/Thirteen Productions)

David Lai  Joshua Bell: Seasons Of Cuba (Live From Lincoln Center), PBS  (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts)

Rickey Minor Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute To The Music Of The Bee Gees, CBS  (Ken Ehrlich Productions / AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC)

Michael Bearden  Super Bowl LI Halftime Show Starring Lady Gaga, FOX (NFL Network)

Tom Scott  Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet To Come, NBC (TB TV, LLC)


Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics

WINNER: “Letter To The Free,” 13th, Music & Lyrics by Common, Music by Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins, Netflix (Forward Movement, LLC and Kandoo Films)

“We Tapped That Ass,” Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,
Music & Lyrics by Adam Schlesinger, Lyrics by Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen, episode: “When Will Josh And His Friend Leave M e Alone?,” CW (CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television)

“Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling,” Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christ mas Special
Music & Lyrics by Christopher Willis, Lyrics by Darrick Bachman and Paul Rudish Disney Channel (Disney Television Animation)

“The Ballad of Claus Jorstad (Devil Stool),” Jimmy Kimmel Live
Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Kimmel and Gary Greenberg,  episode: “Jessica Chastain/Willie Nelson/Hunter Hayes,” ABC  (ABC Studios in association with Jackhole Industries)

“Last Christmas,” Saturday Night Live
Music by Eli Brueggemann, Lyrics by Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, Kenan Thompson, Will Stephen, episode: “Host: Casey Affleck,” NBC (SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video)

“Hell No,” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Music by Jeff Richmond,  Lyrics by Tina Fey and Sam Means, episode: “Kimmy’s Roommate Lemonades!,” Netflix (Universal Television, Little Stranger, Inc., 3 Arts Entertainment and Bevel Gears)


Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music

WINNER: Stranger Things
Theme by Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon, Netflix (21 Laps Entertainment and Monkey Massacre Productions)

FEUD: Bette And Joan
Theme by Mac Quayle, FX Networks (Fox 21 Television Studios)

Theme by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe, National Geographic (Imagine Television and Fox 21 Television Studios)

The Good Fight
Theme by John David Buckley, CBS All Access (Scott Free Productions)

Victoria (Masterpiece)
Theme by Martin Phipps,  PBS (A co-production of Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece)

Theme by Ramin Djawadi, HBO (HBO Entertainment in association with Kilter Films, Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television)


Outstanding Music Supervision

WINNER: Susan Jacobs, Music Supervisor
Big Little Lies, “You Get What You Need,” HBO (HBO Entertainment in association with David E. Kelley Productions, Pacific Standard and Blossom Films)

Thomas Golubić, Music Supervisor,  Better Call Saul, “Sunk Costs,” AMC  (Sony Pictures Television and Gran Via Productions)

Manish Raval,  Jonathan Leahy, Tom Wolfe, Music Supervisors
Girls, “Goodbye Tour,” HBO  (HBO Entertainment in association with Apatow Productions and I Am Jenni Konner Productions)

Zach Cowie,  Kerri Drootin, Music Supervisors
Master Of None, “Amarsi Un Po,” Netflix (Universal Television, Oh Brudder Productions, Alan Yang Productions, Fremulon and 3 Art s Entertainment)

Nora Felder, Music Supervisor
Stranger Things, “Chapter Two: The Weirdo On Maple Street.” Netflix (21 Laps Entertainment and Monkey Massacre Productions)

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