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Emmys winners & losers

As predicted, the 70th annual Emmy Awards were unpredictable, for the most part, except for the times when they went exactly as predicted.

The awards, handed out Monday night in Los Angeles, honored the best in television from the 2017-2018 season (June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018).

In stark contrast to what we’ve seen in recent years from the Academy Awards, the nominations for the small screen showed a remarkable level of diversity, with record numbers of nominees being people of color – black, Hispanic and Asian performers. The show on Monday even opened with a farcical musical tribute proclaiming “We Solved It”, as the Emmys patted itself on the back for its diversity.

But as the night progressed, it was clear this diversity would not be reflected in the actual winners. Some presenters even joked, “#EmmysSoWhite” – a riff on the pejorative “#OscarsSoWhite” that has haunted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Winning the most awards Monday were Netflix and HBO, each with six victories. They began the night with the most nominations at 37 and 29, respectively.

But the night really seemed to belong to Amazon Prime Video and FX, with the former winning all but one of the six awards for which it was nominated, and the latter also taking five statuettes.

FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” had the most nominations of any program and ended up the second winningest show (three wins), next to Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (five wins).

The near total domination of “Maisel” in the comedy category is not surprising or undeserved. It had a fantastic debut season, with an astounding cast, clever and funny writing and excellent production values. This wonderful and entertaining show has already won the equivalent Golden Globe award.

That said, last year’s winner, “Atlanta” was arguably even better in its exceptionally daring second season than its first. However, it could also be debated that the show is becoming more of an amusing half-hour drama than a comedy.

And sadly, it appears “black-ish” – which also had a strong season, delving into taboo topics like never before – will never receive the Emmy love it has so long deserved.

That’s partly because of some apparent “broadcast network curse”. Broadcast network TV clearly needs its own CableACE Awards. You remember those? The ACE (Award for Cable Excellence) was the only way for original cable television content to get any award recognition back in the old days – the late 1970s to mid-1990s – when cable channels were largely shut out by the Primetime Emmys.

After the Emmys started recognizing cable shows, the Ace Awards weren’t necessary anymore. And now it seems that if you’re on a broadcast network, awards just won’t be in your future (unless you’re a variety show, reality show, talk show or special).

Like “black-ish” was in the comedy category, “This is Us” was the only series from a broadcast network in the drama category, and would have been the first network drama to win since way back in 2006.

Instead, “Game of Thrones” – an elaborate motion-picture quality experience every single episode – won its third Best Drama Award. With its two wins on Monday, and Creative Arts Emmys victories the week before, the show continues to add to its impressive list of trophies. It holds the record for the most ever Emmys for a scripted television series (only the variety sketch show “Saturday Night Live” has more), and “Game of Thrones” has surpassed shows like the long-running “The Simpsons”, and Emmy magnets “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Frasier”.

With my predictions last week, I was only able to correctly call “SNL” for best variety sketch show and “Last Week Tonight” for variety talk, Matthew Rhys for Best Actor for “The Americans”, and Alex Borstein for Supporting Actress for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. And I said keep an eye on Rachel Brosnahan for “Maisel” and Claire Foy for “The Crown”, knowing this would be her final chance to win for her amazing portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth II the past two years.

Here are the winners in the major categories:


Outstanding Comedy

Atlanta, FX

Barry, HBO

black-ish, ABC

Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO

GLOW, Netflix

Silicon Valley, HBO

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon Prime Video

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix

Winner: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


Outstanding Drama

The Americans, FX

The Crown, Netflix

Game of Thrones, HBO

The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu

Stranger Things, Netflix

This Is Us, NBC

Westworld, HBO

Winner: Game of Thrones


Outstanding Limited Series

Genius: Picasso, National Geographic

Godless, Netflix

Patrick Melrose, Showtime

The Alienist, TNT

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, FX

Winner: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story


Outstanding Variety Talk

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Comedy Central

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, TBS

Jimmy Kimmel Live!, ABC

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, HBO

The Late Late Show with James Corden, CBS

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS

Winner: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


Outstanding Variety Sketch

At Home with Amy Sedaris, truTV

Drunk History, Comedy Central

I Love You, America, Hulu

Portlandia, IFC

Saturday Night Live, NBC

Tracey Ullman’s Show, HBO

Winner: Saturday Night Live


Outstanding Leading Actor Comedy

Anthony Anderson — black-ish

Ted Danson — The Good Place

Larry David — Curb Your Enthusiasm

Donald Glover — Atlanta

Bill Hader — Barry

William H. Macy — Shameless

Winner: Bill Hader


Outstanding Leading Actor Drama

Jason Bateman — Ozark

Sterling K. Brown — This Is Us

Ed Harris — Westworld

Matthew Rhys — The Americans

Milo Ventimiglia — This Is Us

Jeffrey Wright — Westworld

Winner: Matthew Rhys


Outstanding Leading Actor Limited Series or Movie

Antonio Banderas — Genius: Picasso

Darren Criss — The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Benedict Cumberbatch — Patrick Melrose

Jeff Daniels — The Looming Tower

John Legend — Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

Jesse Plemons — U.S.S. Callister (Black Mirror)

Winner: Darren Criss


Outstanding Leading Actress Comedy

Pamela Adlon — Better Things

Rachel Brosnahan — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Allison Janney — Mom

Issa Rae — Insecure

Tracee Ellis Ross — black-ish

Lily Tomlin — Grace and Frankie

Winner: Rachel Brosnahan


Outstanding Leading Actress Drama

Claire Foy — The Crown

Tatiana Maslany — Orphan Black

Elisabeth Moss — The Handmaid’s Tale

Sandra Oh — Killing Eve

Keri Russell — The Americans

Evan Rachel Wood — Westworld

Winner: Claire Foy


Outstanding Leading Actress Limited Series or Movie

Jessica Biel — The Sinner

Laura Dern — The Tale

Michelle Dockery — Godless

Edie Falco — Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

Regina King — Seven Seconds

Sarah Paulson — American Horror Story: Cult

Winner: Regina King


Outstanding Supporting Actor Comedy

Louie Anderson — Baskets

Alec Baldwin — Saturday Night Live

Tituss Burgess — Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Brian Tyree Henry — Atlanta

Tony Shalhoub — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kenan Thompson — Saturday Night Live

Henry Winkler — Barry

Winner: Henry Winkler


Outstanding Supporting Actor Drama

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage — Game of Thrones

Joseph Fiennes — The Handmaid’s Tale

David Harbour — Stranger Things

Mandy Patinkin — Homeland

Matt Smith — The Crown

Winner: Peter Dinklage


Outstanding Supporting Actress Comedy

Zazie Beetz — Atlanta

Alex Borstein — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Aidy Bryant — Saturday Night Live

Betty Gilpin — GLOW

Leslie Jones — Saturday Night Live

Kate McKinnon — Saturday Night Live

Laurie Metcalf — Roseanne

Megan Mullaly — Will & Grace

Winner: Alex Borstein


Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama

Alexis Bledel — The Handmaid’s Tale

Millie Bobby Brown — Stranger Things

Ann Dowd — The Handmaid’s Tale

Lena Headey — Game of Thrones

Vanessa Kirby — The Crown

Thandie Newton — Westworld

Yvonne Strahovski — The Handmaid’s Tale

Winner: Thandie Newton


Directing Comedy Series

Winner: Amy Sherman-Palladino — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Directing Drama Series

Winner: Stephen Daldry — The Crown

Directing Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special

Winner: Ryan Murphy — The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Writing Comedy Series

Winner: Amy Sherman-Palladino — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Writing Drama Series

Winner: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg — The Americans

Writing Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special

Winner: William Bridges and Charlie Brooker — Black Mirror: USS Callister

• Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of “Morning Blend” on Guardian Radio and station manager. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. He writes the weekly Nassau Guardian Pulse film review column “Reel to Real”. Email and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.


Dwight Strachan

Guardian Radio Station Manager at The Nassau Guardian
Dwight is the host/producer of “Morning Blend” on Guardian Radio and station manager. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff.
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