NEW YORK - Succession, HBO’s portrait of a dysfunctional media dynasty, won best drama at the 74th Emmy Awards on Monday night, the second time the series has taken the prize.
Jesse Armstrong, the show’s creator, also took home the Emmy for best writing, the third time he has won in that category. And Matthew Macfadyen won best supporting actor in a drama for the first time for his performance on the show.
It was the sixth time in eight years that HBO has taken the television industry’s biggest prize for a recurring series, making it yet another triumphant night for the cable network.
HBO, as well as its streaming service, HBO Max, won more Emmys (38) than any other outlet, besting its chief rival, Netflix (26).
The White Lotus, the cable network’s beloved upstairs-downstairs dramedy that took place at a Hawaiian resort, won best limited series, and tore through several other categories. The show won 10 Emmys altogether, more than any other series.
Mike White, the show’s creator and director, won a pair of Emmys for best directing and writing. And performers from the show, Murray Bartlett and Jennifer Coolidge, both received acting Emmys.
“Mike White, my god, thank you for giving me one of the best experiences of my life,” Bartlett, who played a off-the-wagon hotel manager, said from the Emmys stage.
But HBO’s chronicles of the rich were not the only winners on Monday night.
Ted Lasso, the Apple TV+ sports series, won best comedy for a second consecutive year, as the tech giant continues on an awards show tear.
Apple TV+, which had its debut in November 2019, won best picture at the Oscars (Coda) earlier this year. And Jason Sudeikis repeated as best actor in a comedy as the fish-out-of-water soccer coach in Ted Lasso.
There were other big moments in the comedy awards.
Quinta Brunson, the creator of the good-natured ABC workplace sitcom, Abbott Elementary, about a group of elementary schoolteachers at an underfunded Philadelphia public school, won for best writing in a comedy.
It was only the second time a black woman won the award (Lena Waithe was the first, in 2017, for Master Of None).
In one of the night’s most electric moments, Sheryl Lee Ralph won best supporting actress in a comedy for her role on Abbott Elementary as a veteran teacher at the school.
Ralph began her Emmys speech by singing Endangered Species by Dianne Reeves, and received a standing ovation from the room full of nominees.
Her victory was also historic: It was only the second time a black woman won the award. The last time was in 1987, when Jackee Harry won for her role in the NBC sitcom 227.
This has been the most competitive Emmys season ever: Submissions for all the categories surged, and 2022 is very likely to set yet another record for the highest number of scripted television series.
But there was also a sense of concern among the executives, producers and agents in attendance at Monday night’s Emmy Awards, that 2022 represents the pinnacle of the so-called Peak TV era, which has produced the highest number of scripted television series, nearly every year, for more than a decade.
Netflix, which lost subscribers this year for the first time in a decade, has laid off hundreds of staffers and is reining in its spending. HBO’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, has shelved projects and is about to lay off a significant number of employees. NBC executives are considering ending its prime-time lineup at 10 pm, and handing the hour over to local stations.
Business challenges aside, the night was mostly a feel-good celebration.
Zendaya won her second Emmy by taking best actress in a drama for her role as a troubled teen in HBO’s Euphoria. Jean Smart repeated as the best actress in a comedy for her role as a Joan Rivers-like comedian in HBO Max’s Hacks.
Those wins represented a major breakthrough for a foreign language show as television becomes more global, and as American audiences are increasingly receptive to series with subtitles.
Michael Keaton, who played a small town doctor in Dopesick, took the best actor award in a limited series. And Amanda Seyfried won best actress in a limited series for her well-received performance as Elizabeth Holmes in The Dropout.
Emmy voters often have a habit of finding a winner, and sticking with it, and this year was no different.
John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight won the best talk show category for a seventh consecutive year, and Saturday Night Live took the best variety sketch series for a sixth straight year.
This year’s ceremony was the first return to the Microsoft Theatre since the pandemic. Producers for the Emmys incorporated an element that it experimented with at last year’s ceremony, which took place inside a tent: Instead of theatre-style seating, nominees were gathered around tables with bottles of Champagne and wine around them.
This year’s host, Kenan Thompson, the Saturday Night Live veteran, opened the ceremony in a top hat and led a group of dancers in a bizarre interpretive dance to theme songs of famous TV series like Law & Order, The Brady Bunch and Game Of Thrones.
During his monologue, Thompson took a dig at Netflix’s recent woes.
“If you don’t know what Squid Game is, it is the contest you enter when you’re in massive debt and desperate for money,” the host said. “Joining the cast next season? Netflix.” NYTIMES
This year’s Emmy winners
Best Comedy: Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Best Drama: Succession (HBO)
Best Limited Series: The White Lotus (HBO)
Best Actress, Comedy: Jean Smart, Hacks
Best Actor, Comedy: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Best Actress, Drama: Zendaya, Euphoria
Best Actor, Drama: Lee Jung-jae, Squid Game
Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie: Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout
Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie: Michael Keaton, Dopesick
Supporting Actress, Comedy: Sheryl Lee Ralph, Abbott Elementary
Supporting Actor, Comedy: Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Supporting Actress, Drama: Julia Garner, Ozark
Supporting Actor, Drama: Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
Supporting Actress, Limited Series or a Movie: Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus
Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Murray Bartlett, The White Lotus
Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
Reality Competition Programme: Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls
Writing for a Comedy Series: Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary (Pilot)
Writing for a Drama Series: Jesse Armstrong, Succession (All The Bells Say)
Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special: Mike White, The White Lotus
Directing for a Comedy Series: MJ Delaney, Ted Lasso (No Weddings And A Funeral)
Directing for a Drama Series: Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game (Red Light, Green Light)
Directing for a Limited Series or Movie: Mike White, The White Lotus
Documentary Or Nonfiction Series: The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)
Documentary Or Nonfiction Special: George Carlin’s American Dream (HBO)
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special: Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel
Outstanding Variety Special, Pre-Recorded: Adele One Night Only (CBS)
Outstanding Variety Special (Live): The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show (NBC)