Netflix & HBO set pace at 70th Primetime Emmys, but…

Henry-Winkler (1)

The Fonz won. Heeeeeeeey.

Last night, The 70th Emmy Awards kicked off with Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson noting that this year’s nominees were the most diverse in the history of the Emmys — then launching into a pointed tongue-in-cheek song-and-dance number with Ricky Martin, Andy Samberg, Sterling K. Brown, Kristen Bell, Tituss Burgess, RuPaul Charles and John Legend about how the entertainment industry has “solved it” when it comes to improving diversity. While the opening number actually showed that diversity, the winners’ list suggested there’s still a ways to go.

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Sterling K. Brown, Kristen Bell, Tituss Burgess, Andy Samberg, Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson on stage at the 70th Emmy Awards.

The Amazon Prime Video comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, with five awards, and the FX limited series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, with three, were the standouts in major categories. Though the acclaimed fantasy drama Game of Thrones only took home two during the telecast, the HBO juggernaut still won the 2018 Emmys overall with nine awards total between tonight’s show and the two Creative Arts Emmys shows last Saturday and Sunday.

Hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che, of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, ran with the diversity theme, while also taking some shots at NBC for being the most-nominated broadcast network — which Che compared to “being the hottest person on life support.” They also joked about Netflix’s dominance being a result of a relentless but not always impeccable slate of programming before it was time to hand out awards.

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Colin Jost and Michael Che host at the 70th Emmy Awards.

And yes, The Fonz finally won! Heeeeeey!

Six-time nominee but never previously a winner, Henry Winkler, went home with the Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series gold for his role as a tragically uncool acting coach in HBO’s Barry. In his acceptance speech, Winkler, who received his first Emmy nomination in 1976 for the role of Fonzie on the ABC comedy Happy Days, said, “I wrote this 43 years ago,” and added, “[Entertainment lawyer] Skip Brittenham said to me a few years ago, ‘If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you.’ Tonight I cleared the table.”

‘Mrs. Maisel’ Night

Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel also proved it is a comedic power to the be reckoned with.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series went to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel co-star Alex Borstein for her role as caustic comedy club manager Susie Myerson. After ripping off a bolero jacket from her outfit as she approached the stage, Borstein — who won the Emmy for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance at the Creative Arts for her work on the Fox animated comedy Family Guy —took the microphone to say, “Ladies, if you use a public restroom, sit down… Don’t pee on the seat.”

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The cast and crew of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” accept an award at the 70th Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series also went to Mrs. Maisel, for the pilot script by Amy Sherman-Palladino. “Whoever put that carpet down hates women. Time’s up,” she quipped after she crossed the stage. “Alex Borstein made me rip my tights, whatever.” She thanked her husband, Daniel Palladino, as the “Sid to my Nancy.” When she won the Directing for a Comedy Series award minutes later, she cracked, “My panic room is gonna be so pretty!”

The Mrs. Maisel sweep continued when Actress in a Comedy Series went to Rachel Brosnahan, who stars as budding comic Midge Maisel. “What I love about this show is it’s about a woman finding her voice anew, and one of the most important ways we can use our voices is to vote,” Brosnahan said, taking her moment to encourage the audience members to do their civic duty.

The award for Outstanding Comedy Series went to the night’s biggest winner, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. “Let the backlash begin,” joked Daniel Palladino backstage.

“All I can think of is food right now,” Amy Sherman-Palladino added. “It’s like something in a turkey.”

Another theme for the evening was frequently referencing the first Emmy Awards 70 years ago, and midway through the evening the only currently working actor who was also working at that time, Betty White, took the stage. At 96, the actress took a moment to thank the audience, who rose to give her a standing ovation. “It’s incredible I’m still in this business and you’re still putting up with me,” she said. “I’m thanking you. It’s incredible you can stay in a career this long and still have people who work with you. Thank you to each and every one of you.”

The biggest surprise of the evening wasn’t when the director of the Oscars, Glenn Weiss, won the award for Directing for a Variety Special — it was what he did with his acceptance speech. After admitting how much he missed his mother, who had died two weeks prior, he addressed his girlfriend in the audience “You wonder why I don’t want to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife.”

Backstage, Weiss related how his mother befriended Svendsen while they were backstage during rehearsals for the Oscars, and would often say, “She was my friend first.” “That’s what makes this feel bittersweet but really nice.”

Between the Creative Arts and the Primetime telecast, HBO and Netflix tied for most Emmys overall, with 23 each. NBC was second with 16, followed by FX with 12 and Amazon and FX with eight each.

A full list of Emmy Winners can be viewed here.

Source: Emmy Awards

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