HBO had a massive night at the Emmys in downtown Los Angeles September 12, with the Mike White social satire The White Lotus winning five trophies. Apple TV Plus comedy Ted Lasso claimed four, and HBO’s Succession took three. ABC comedy Abbott Elementary and Netflix drama Squid Game picked up two Emmys apiece.
Among other HBO winners, Zendaya got best actress in a drama for Euphoria, Matthew Macfadyen got top supporting actor for Succession, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver picked up best variety talk series and outstanding writing for a variety series, Jesse Armstrong won for writing for a drama with Succession, and Jerrod Carmichael won for outstanding writing in a variety special for Rothaniel.
HBO Max pitched in another win, as Jean Smart was honored for best actress in a comedy on Hacks.
NBC aired the Emmys. Kenan Thompson hosted from the Microsoft Theater. Last year's event, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer on CBS, took place inside a tent near the theater, with a few hundred stars in attendance.
The White Lotus won the prestigious best limited series, along with Jennifer Coolidge winning supporting actress in a limited series, Murray Bartlett getting supporting actor in a limited series, White winning for writing in a limited series and again for directing.
The White Lotus, an upstairs-downstairs drama about the self-absorbed wealthy people at a Hawaiian resort and the staffers who serve them, beat Hulu’s Dopesick, The Dropout and Pam & Tommy, and Netflix’s Inventing Anna for best limited series.
Succession got top drama, beating out AMC’s Better Call Saul, HBO’s Euphoria, Netflix’s Ozark, Stranger Things and Squid Game, Apple TV’s Severance and Showtime’s Yellowjackets.
Ted Lasso won top comedy, besting ABC’s Abbott Elementary, HBO’s Barry, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Hacks (HBO Max), Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building and FX’s What We Do in the Shadows.
The political zingers often offered up by winners in their speeches were largely absent, with presenter Bowen Yang standing out for a mild poke at President Trump and the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.
Done+Dusted and Hudlin Entertainment produced the telecast, which featured 25 categories, plus the Governors Award. Presenters included Amy Poehler, Angela Bassett, Anthony Anderson, Christopher Meloni, Jean Smart and Jeremy Allen White.
Last year, Netflix's The Queen's Gambit got top limited series, Ted Lasso won top comedy and Netflix's The Crown earned top drama.
Succession creator Jesse Armstrong thanked HBO as he accepted the best drama prize, crediting the network for its efforts to “protect and support us.”
During one of his various trips to the podium, White Lotus creator White spoke about his time on season 37 of Survivor. He said the way to stay in the Survivor game was to lower your threat level. “Now I feel like I raised my threat level,” he said. “I want to stay in the game…don’t vote me off the island please!”
Season two of The White Lotus, set in Italy, starts in October. ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.