“Game of Thrones” capped its epic run with its fourth Emmy as best drama series, entering exclusive company among all-time dramas and equaling its single-year record of a dozen trophies for the 71st Emmy Awards, the TV industry’s most prestigious honors.
Amazon’s “Fleabag” was a major upset winner for best comedy, picking up four awards in all, including acting and writing honors for its star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
“Well this is just getting ridiculous,” Waller-Bridge said, garnering laughs.
Not all fans were thrilled with “Thrones'” six-episode final season, but with its fourth Emmy, author George R.R. Martin’s fantasy tale ties past drama repeat winners “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” “The West Wing” and “Mad Men.”
The two additional awards on Sunday bring its all-time total to 59, a record for any program, after a record number of nominations in its swan-song year.
The Emmys smiled on familiar faces and but stood out with a surprising number of newcomers, on a historic night that saw a breakthrough win for “Pose” star Billy Porter — and several speeches citing LGBTQ and women’s rights.
Amazon delivered in the comedy categories, with five early prizes for the second-year series “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
In terms of the familiar, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” became a four-peat winner in the variety talk balloting, in much the way “The Daily Show” owned that category for a decade. Peter Dinklage also walked away with his fourth supporting actor Emmy for “Thrones.”
Still, all that glittered was not old, in a night that spread the wealth among networks and series, reflecting the breadth and depth of the current TV landscape.
Voters also recognized first-time nominees like Jodie Comer for BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” “Ozark’s” Julia Garner and Jharrel Jerome for the limited series “When They See Us.”
Jerome overcame a field filled with veterans and Oscar winners for the fact-based Netflix limited series “When They See Us,” writer-director Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited series about the Central Park Five, to whom he dedicated the prize, along with his parents.
“Chernobyl” was named best limited series, with additional honors for writing and directing in a loaded category that included “When They See Us” and “Fosse/Verdon,” whose star, Michelle Williams, took lead actress.
Accepting for “Chernobyl,” writer-producer Craig Mazin said he hoped the story about the nuclear-plant disaster in 1986 would remind people “of the value of the truth, and the danger of a lie.” It was one of several not-so-subtle political messages woven into the telecast, although President Donald Trump was never overtly mentioned.
A relative newcomer, Jerome triumphed against a field of veteran actors and Oscar winners for “When They See Us,” writer-director Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited series about the Central Park Five, to whom he dedicated the prize, along with his parents.
Williams, meanwhile, was one of several honorees to speak of female empowerment and hearing women, after winning for her portrayal of actress/dancer Gwen Verdon, in another example of Hollywood having a fondness for Hollywood stories.
In her accepting speech, Patricia Arquette — a supporting actress winner for Hulu’s “The Act” — teared up speaking about the death of her sister, actress and transgender activist Alexis Arquette, while making a plea for rights and acceptance of transgender people.
Waller-Bridge’s acting victory deprived Julia Louis-Dreyfus a chance to make Emmy history. A win would have made the “Veep” star the most-honored performer for acting, leaving her tied with Cloris Leachman, with eight in her career. (Louis-Dreyfus has three more awards for producing the show.)
“Fleabag” also won the Emmy for directing, while Emmy voters again smiled on the period dramedy “Mrs. Maisel,” which mounted a near-sweep of those awards last year (with “Veep,” notably, sitting out the race). Alex Borstein claimed her second consecutive supporting actress win for the Amazon dramedy, while Tony Shalhoub received his fourth Emmy overall.
Bill Hader was a repeat winner as lead actor for HBO’s “Barry,” breaking up what was otherwise an Amazon block party.
Repeat winners, in fact, dominated the early part of the show, with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” running off with the prize for best competition program. Host RuPaul injected the first note of politics into the evening, urging viewers to go register and vote.
Once the comedy categories ended, the show quickly conjured several emotional moments, including standing ovations for the casts of “Game of Thrones” and “Veep,” the two long-running HBO series that ended their runs in the spring.
Netflix’s interactive episode “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” was honored with best TV movie, topping a field that included HBO’s “Deadwood” revival.
HBO finished the two-part Emmy process with 34 Emmys — including nine on Sunday night, or a third of those doled out — followed by Netflix, with 27, Amazon — the runner-up in terms of high-profile victories Sunday, with seven — finished with 15, in a night that saw ads for new streaming players, Disney+ and Apple TV+, which will launch in November.
In a sign of the times, NBC garnered a pair of awards for “Saturday Night Live,” the only broadcast program to earn an award on Sunday. All told, the four major broadcasters totaled 16 awards this year, mostly in technical areas, as eight networks or streaming services took at least one honor during Sunday’s festivities.
“Chernobyl” amassed 10 wins, while “Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag” finished the season with eight and six, respectively.
HBO and Netflix entered Emmy night with 25 and 23 awards, respectively, from the Creative Arts Emmys, which were presented last weekend.
Like this year’s Oscars, the Emmys were presented without a host, but as usual was presented as a broad celebration of the medium. “Television has never been this damn good,” Bryan Cranston said, in the show’s introduction.
Fox televised the ceremony, and used the pre-show as a springboard to help promote the return of its musical reality show “The Masked Singer.” Traditionally, ratings dip when the awards play on Fox, coming off what was already record-low tune-in in 2018.
Below is a list of this year’s winners in major categories.
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Anthony Carrigan, “Barry”
Tony Hale, “Veep”
Stephen Root, “Barry”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” *WINNER
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” *WINNER
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
Sian Clifford, “Fleabag”
Olivia Colman, “Fleabag ”
Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
Sarah Goldberg, “Barry”
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Don Cheadle, “Black Monday,”
Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominksy Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry” *WINNER
Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag” *WINNER
Outstanding reality/competition series
“The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” *WINNER
Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie
Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie
Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie
Mahershala Ali, “True Detective”
Benicio del Toro, “Escape at Dannemora”
Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us” *WINNER
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie
Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Aunjanue Ellis, “When They See Us”
Joey King, “The Act”
Niecy Nash, “When They See Us”
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon” *WINNER
Outstanding limited Series
“Escape at Dannemora”
“When They See Us”
Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or a movie
Patricia Arquette, “The Act” *WINNER
Margaret Qualley, “Fosse/Verdon”
Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Marsha Stephanie Blake, “When They See Us”
Vera Farmiga, “When They See Us”
Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Ben Whishaw, “A Very English Scandal” *WINNER
Asante Blackk, “When They See Us”
Paul Dano, “Escape at Dannemora”
John Leguizamo, “When They See Us”
Stellan Skarsgård, “Chernobyl”
Michael K. Williams, “When They See Us”
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” *WINNER
“Deadwood: The Movie”
“My Dinner With Hervé”
Outstanding variety sketch series
“At Home with Amy Sedaris”
“I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman”
“Saturday Night Live” *WINNER
“Who Is America?”
Outstanding variety talk series
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” *WINNER
“The Late Late Show with James Corden”
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama
Alfie Allen, “Game of Thrones”
Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” *WINNER
Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul”
Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
Chris Sullivan, “This Is Us”
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama
Gwendoline Christie, “Game of Thrones”
Julia Garner, “Ozark” *WINNER
Lena Heady, “Game of Thrones”
Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”
Sophie Turner, “Game of Thrones”
Maisie Williams, “Game of Thrones”
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”
Kit Harrington, “Game of Thrones”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Billy Porter, “Pose” *WINNER
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve” *WINNER
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Mandy Moore, “This Is Us”
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Outstanding comedy series
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“The Good Place”
Outstanding drama series
“Better Call Saul”
“Game of Thrones” *WINNER
“This Is Us”
A list of winners in all categories can be found here.