So, did your favorite series win last night? Yes? No? Don’t know?
If you were like a good percentage of the country, you may not have even cared about last night’s 71st Emmy Award broadcast from the Microsoft Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Despite drawing a 5.8 household rating on Fox, a new record low in Nielsen’s earliest-available numbers according to The Wrap, that didn’t stop HBO rolling through the annual awards show like Game of Thrones’ White Walkers.
Last year’s Emmys aired Monday, Sept 17, 2018 on NBC, and were hosted by SNL: Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che. This year’s ceremony was host-less not as fun.
And was duly noted by presenters including CBS’ Late Show host Stephen Colbert.
“If we let this slide, they’ll start using Alexa to present the nominees,” deadpanned Colbert, to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.
Produced by Don Mischer Productions and Done+Dusted, the telecast featured 27 awards presented by top talent from some of television’s most acclaimed shows including Angela Bassett (9-1-1 and The Flood), Anthony Anderson (black-ish), Stephen Colbert (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), James Corden (The Late Late Show with James Corden), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method), Bill Hader (Barry), Ken Jeong (The Masked Singer), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Fosse/Verdon and His Dark Materials), Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek), Gwyneth Paltrow (The Politician), Amy Poehler (Duncanville and Russian Doll), Billy Porter (Pose), Ben Stiller (Escape at Dannemora), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag and Killing Eve), Taraji P. Henson (Empire) and Zendaya (Euphoria).
HBO is the Kingslayer
And dragonslayer. And networkslayer.
As many TV prognosticators forecasted, the final season of HBO’s juggernaut Game of Thrones was the one to beat and no one could.
A bigger winner than even GoT was HBO, which between last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys and tonight’s Fox telecast, snagged 34 Emmys, the most wins of any network. This included nine Primetime Emmy Awards, the most wins of any network this year. Game of Thrones, despite the Starbucks cup gaffe, led all programming with 12 Emmys, tying its own record for the most wins of any scripted program in a single season.
The show received a record-breaking number of nominations for one show in a single season with 32 nods and took home the most awards of any show with 12. “I can’t believe we did it, and we finished it, and it’s over,” said producer David Benioff in accepting the win.
HBO’s Emmy wins this year include:
12 Emmys for Game of Thrones, including: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour), Outstanding Special Visual Effects and Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie.
10 Emmys for Chernobyl, including: Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More), Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie and Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.
4 Emmys for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, including: Outstanding Variety Talk Series, Outstanding, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Series.
3 Emmys for Barry, including: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Bill Hader), Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.
2 Emmys for Succession, including: Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.
1 Emmy for Leaving Neverland, including: Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.
1 Emmy for The Sentence, including: Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking (*Tied with RBG)
1 Emmy for When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special, including: Outstanding Children’s Program.
Clearly, the “big three” are not CBS, NBC and ABC anymore.
Despite the audience looking on like Cersei Lannister from her castle other awards were handed out to other shows and networks.
“This is just getting ridiculous,” said Phoebe Waller-Bridge, as she accepted the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy for Prime Video’s Fleabag. On the night, the show also prevailed in three other categories — writing and Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, both of which went to Waller-Bridge — and directing, won by Harry Bradbeer.
Between the Creative Arts and the telecast, Fleabag captured a total of six Emmys. When the producers and cast gathered on stage for the Outstanding Comedy award, Bradbeer stepped to the microphone to admit that, in accepting his directing award, “I forgot to thank my wife when I was up here before. We’ve had a very difficult hour.”
The award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series bypassed Game of Thrones’ nominee Kit Harington to tap Billy Porter, who stars as Pray Tell, a master of ceremonies during New York’s ballroom scene of the 1980s in FX’s Pose. “I’m so overjoyed,” he said from the stage.
“I have the right, you have the right, we all have the right.” Porter edges a little closer to an EGOT with his win. Already a Tony and Grammy winner for the stage production of Kinky Boots, he now only needs an Oscar to complete the set.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama went to BBC America’s Killing Eve star Jodie Comer. Clearly thrilled, albeit stunned, by her victory, Comer said, “I want to thank my mum and dad in Liverpool, who I didn’t invite because I thought this wasn’t my time,” adding that she would be taking the award home.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, which was presented by Bob Newhart and Ben Stiller, went to Tony Shalhoub for Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, After admitting he hated long lists on awards shows, but the audience had to “just deal with it,” Shalhoub thanked show creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, among others.
Alex Borstein took her second consecutive Emmy for the role of hard-charging comedy manager Susie Myerson in Maisel.
After apologizing for not wearing a bra last year, Borstein said she wasn’t wearing underwear, then took a serious turn to tell a story about how her grandmother, while in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII, stepped out of line, thus saving her own life. “Step out of line, ladies! Step out of line!” she urged the audience.
When They See Us
The Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie went to Jharrel Jerome for his performance as Korey Wise in the Netflix series When They See Us, Ava Duvernay’s take on the true story of the so-called Central Park Five, in which Jerome was the sole actor to play both the 16-year-old and adult versions of his character.
“I feel like I should be in the Bronx right now, chilling, waiting on my mom’s cooking,” he said, before praising the innocent real-life survivors of the unjust incarceration: “This goes to the Exonerated Five.”
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie went to Michelle Williams for her portrayal of real-life singer and dancer Gwen Verdon (as well as spouse of director Bob Fosse) in FX’s Fosse/Verdon. “I see this as an acknowledgement of what is possible when a woman is trusted to discern her own needs, feels safe enough to voice them, and respected enough that they’ll be heard.”
Praising FX’s commitment to the show, she added, “They understood that when you put value into a person, it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value. And then where do they put that value? They put it into their work.” Backstage, Williams guessed at what Verdon, who died in 2000, would have thought of the series. “I’m sure she would have had nothing but warmth and loveliness and hope and champagne bubbles.”
NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which has received a record-breaking 270 nominations over the years, won the award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Program, as well as directing, which went to Don Roy King. Producer Lorne Michaels accepted for the series win, recalling that the nominated episode was hosted by former SNL cast member Adam Sandler, who payed tribute to his late friend Chris Farley.
“It’s rare that you see a cameraman tear up or a boom crew crying, but it was a very, very chilling moment and very powerful. And it’s those kind of moments which is why we’re going into our 45th season. And that sort of thing is what keep us there — that, and the politics.”
A complete list of winners is available here.