The HBO drama Succession and Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso took top honours at the Emmy Awards in a ceremony that spread its awards between repeat winners and also honoured several first-timers.
Jason Sudeikis and Jean Smart collected back-to-back acting trophies, while Zendaya picked up her second drama actress prize for Euphoria.
Several new Emmy winners were minted, with Lizzo, Lee Jung-jae of Squid Game and Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph of Abbott Elementary collecting trophies.
“Thanks for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show,” said Zendaya, a two-time winner for Euphoria, the drama series about teens and their tough coming-of-age.
“My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people. Thank you for everyone who has shared your story with me. I carry them with me, and I carry them with” her character, Rue, as well, Zendaya said.
Sudeikis won his second consecutive trophy for the soccer comedy Ted Lasso, with Smart matching that haul for the standup-centred comedy Hacks. Sudeikis gave a rare awards show shoutout to TV consumers.
“Thanks to the people who watch this show and dig it as much as we dig making it,” he said.
Lee picked up the trophy for best actor in a drama for the hit Netflix series, making history as the first actor from a non-English show to ever win at the Emmys.
“Thank you for making a realistic problem we all face come to life so creatively on the screen, with great script and amazing visuals,” he said in a bilingual speech, thanking director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, who also took home an Emmy for best directing for a drama.
Ralph stopped the Emmy Awards show by accepting the best supporting actress comedy award for Abbott Elementary with a brief but rousing song of affirmation.
“I am an endangered species, but I sing no victim song. I am a woman, I am an artist and I know where my voice belongs,” she belted out. She then encouraged anyone doubting their dream “I am here to tell you this is what believing looks like”.
The audience, including Lizzo and many of television’s biggest stars, leapt to their feet to cheer on Ralph.
When Lizzo herself accepted the award for best-competition series trophy for Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, she offered her own emotional pep talk.
“When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media. Someone fat like me, black like me, beautiful like me,” the music artiste said.
Brett Goldstein of Ted Lasso won comedy supporting actor, while Matthew Macfadyen of Succession and Julia Garner of Ozark earned drama series supporting actor honours.
“It’s such a pleasure and privilege for me to play this bonkers gift of a role in this wonderful show,” Macfadyen said in accepting the trophy for his role as a scheming member of a media empire family.
Garner was among the winners who took advantage of covering all bases by thanking her husband and others in an on-screen message.
Host Kenan Thompson kicked off the Emmy Awards with a tribute to TV, dismissing Tik-Tok as “tiny vertical television”, and a musical number saluting series’ theme songs from Friends to The Brady Bunch to Game Of Thrones.
Once the music stopped, Thompson provided a mic drop moment – announcing Oprah Winfrey as the first presenter. Winfrey strutted onto the stage holding an Emmy statuette, declaring the night “a party!” The night’s first award went to Michael Keaton for his role in Dopesick. Winfrey and Keaton hugged before she handed him his trophy.
“It means something,” Keaton said of the award for playing a caring doctor ensnared with his patients by addiction. He went on to recall the “magic” of being introduced to TV when his dad won a set at a raffle and thanked his parents for not mocking his young attempts at acting.
Amanda Seyfried earned the limited-series lead actress trophy for The Dropout, in which she played ill-fated Silicon Valley whiz kid Elizabeth Holmes. She thanked a long list of friends and colleagues and even her dog, Finn.
Murray Bartlett won the best supporting actor award for limited series of The White Lotus, a tragicomedy set in a Hawaii resort. Jennifer Coolidge, who won best supporting actress honours for the show, delighted the audience by shimmying to the orchestra music that was cutting off her acceptance speech.
The award for best variety talk show went to Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, with stand-up special Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel winning for best writing for a comedy special.
“Good night, everybody. I’ma go home. I’m not like a sore winner, but I’m going to go home because I can’t top this right now,” an overcome Carmichael told the audience.
The vibrant start to Monday’s show was very different from the best drama contenders include the violently dystopian Squid Game, bleak workplace satire Severance and Succession, about a powerful and cutthroat family. Even comedy nominee Ted Lasso, the defending champ, took a storytelling dark turn.
Early arrivals on the show’s gold carpet struck a fun, upbeat tone despite temperatures being in the 80s with unseasonable humidity in downtown Los Angeles.
Glamour was back with some metallic sparkle and lots of bright colour as an otherworldly Britt Lower, Old Hollywood Elle Fanning and their fellow stars posed for photographers.
Here’s a partial list of winners for the 2022 prime-time Emmy Awards:
Comedy Series: Ted Lasso
Drama Series: Succession
Actor, Comedy Series: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Actress, Comedy Series: Jean Smart, Hacks
Actress, Drama Series: Zendaya, Euphoria
Actor, Drama Series: Lee Jung-jae, Squid Game
Limited or Anthology Series: The White Lotus
Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie: Michael Keaton, Dopesick
Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie: Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout
Supporting Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie: Murray Bartlett, The White Lotus
Supporting Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie: Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Julia Garner, Ozark
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Sheryl Lee Ralph, Abbott Elementary
Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Reality or Competition Program: Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls