Women ruled the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards last night. The show gave out five Emmys each to a pair of female-fronted projects: Hulu’sdystopian series The Handmaid’s Tale and the HBO domestic drama Big Little Lies. Their respective stars Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidmanwon Outstanding Lead Actress prizes, and Handmaid’s Tale was named Best Drama Series – the first streaming show to win the category.
In addition, Veep won its third consecutive prize for Best Comedy Series and star Julia Louis-Dreyfus set a new record with her sixth Emmy win. Lena Waithe of Netflix’s Master of None became the first African-American woman to get an Emmy for comedy writing.
Among the networks, HBO totaled 10 Emmy wins, while NBC had six and Hulu scored five.
Other highlights from the show:
Hosted by Stephen Colbert, the opening number included cameos by Anthony Anderson, Allison Janney, Chance The Rapperand more. Colbert bounced around from the set of Archer to the set of This is Us, singing, “It’s so good to feel so sad,” and visited the sets of Veep and The Americans. He stood behind Selina Meyer of “Veep,” played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and sang, “Imagine if your president was not beloved by Nazis.” Chance the Rapper made a cameo to rap along, and Colbert continued onto the set of The Handmaid’s Tale. He finally walked onto the Emmys stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with several Handmaids, who disrobed to dance in sequined bodysuits.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer made a surprise appearance during Colbert’s monologue. Colbert set it up by saying he had no idea how many people would be watching the Emmys, then Spicer wheeled a podium out on stage – a reference to Melissa McCarthy’s memorable impersonation of President Donald Trump’s ex-spokesman on Saturday Night Live. “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, in person and around the world,” Spicer said. That, of course, recalled Spicer’s Trump-ordered claims about the bigness of Trump’s Inauguration Day crowd. “Wow,” Colbert replied. “That really soothes my fragile ego.”
In another skit, a naked Colbert got pulled into a Delos lab off of Westworld and was interrogated by Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe, who was checking his programming. Colbert, who suddenly seemed to have an Adonis-like body, pointed out that he was perfectly good as he was.
Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda appeared onstage, arm in arm, and Parton said, “I’ve been looking forward to a 9 to 5 reunion” of her co-stars. Fonda recalled that in the film, they had a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical” boss. “We still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” said Tomlin, seemingly alluding to Trump.
Colbert even meet “Emmy” herself. RuPaul was dressed up as Emmy and put down her sphere for a sit-down with Colbert. “I’ve been holding that thing up for 69 years,” said “Emmy.” “Honey, get out the china because I’m about to spill the tea.” She revealed that she once dated “Oscar,” but “couldn’t trust a man who’s naked and holding a sword.” “Emmy” had some words for winners and said, “if you win, own it, share it, love it. When you get up on that stage, don’t say you’re surprised by how heavy I am, because that’s just plain rude.”
Cicely Tyson and Anika Noni Rose appeared together. Tyson got stage fright and paused as she spoke, saying she was nervous. Then Tyson continued and said, “Fifty years ago for eight consecutive nights the country was united by a landmark television event. Roots was the very first nightly miniseries,” before Tyson and Rose presented Outstanding Series, which went to Big Little Lies.
The audience got on their feet as Oprah Winfrey presented the final award of the night, Outstanding Drama Series. The award went to The Handmaid’s Tale. The series had 13 nominations. Showrunner Bruce Miller said to the audience, “Go home. Get to Work. We have a lot of things to fight for” before Colbert closed out the show.
- Comedy Series: Veep
- Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale
- Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us
- Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Donald Glover – Atlanta
- Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
- Limited Series: Big Little Lies
- Actor in a Limited Series: Riz Ahmed – The Night Of
- Actress in a Limited Series: Nicole Kidman – Big Little Lies
- Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: John Lithgow – The Crown
- Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Ann Dowd – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin – Saturday Night Live
- Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live
- Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series: Laura Dern – Big Little Lies
- Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series: Alexander Skarsgård – Big Little Lies
- Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
- Reality Competition: The Voice
- Television Movie: Black Mirror: San Junipero
- Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
- Structured Reality Program: Shark Tank
- Unstructured Reality Program: United Shades Of America: With W. Kamau Bell
- Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program: RuPaul Charles – RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Writing in a Limited Series: Charlie Brooker – Black Mirror
- Writing in a Comedy Series: Aziz Ansari, Lena White – Master Of None
- Writing in a Drama Series: Bruce Miller – The Handmaiden’s Tale
- Best Directing in a Comedy Series: Donald Glover – Atlanta
- Writing For a Variety Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
- Best Directing in a Drama Series: Reed Morano – The Handmaiden’s Tale
- Best Directing for a Variety Series: Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live