Amazon period comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was a massive winner at the 2018 Emmys, scoring outstanding comedy, while Alex Borstein got best supporting actress and Rachel Brosnahan was named outstanding lead actress.
“Let the backlash begin!” quipped exec producer Daniel Palladino.
The show, about a woman finding her voice on the comedy stage in ‘50s New York amid a divorce, arrived at the right time. “If you set out to drive a political message in your show, it just won’t work,” said Amy Sherman-Palladino, executive producer. “You have to love your show, love your characters, love your story.”
HBO’s Game of Thrones got top drama, beating out The Handmaid’s Tale, among others. Handmaid’s Tale had the big buzz at the Emmys a year ago, but Hulu’s dark and timely drama did not have much luck on this night.
HBO and Netflix both ended up with 23 Emmys, including both the Creative Arts and the Sept. 17 awards, while NBC had 16 and FX picked up 12. Amazon Prime had eight and Hulu had four.
It was a good night for Netflix, which had earned more nominations than even HBO, with 112 versus HBO’s 108. Co-host Colin Jost joked about Netflix’s “700 original series,” and how “it makes me realize the show I pitched them really sucked," he said.
Its western series Godless produced best supporting actress (Merritt Wever) and best supporting actor (Jeff Daniels), while Black Mirror got top writing in a limited series.
Lead actress in a limited series or movie went to Regina King for Netflix drama Seven Seconds, while The Crown was singled out for directing for a drama (Stephen Daldry) and lead actress in a drama (Claire Foy).
“The show goes on, which makes me so, so proud,” said Foy.
FX had a big night, with Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace honored multiple times. Murphy said being able to “proselytize for my community is important to me.”
FX’s The Americans also got some real love from Emmys voters. It won writing for a drama series (Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg) and outstanding lead actor in a drama (Matthew Rhys).
Weisberg called the Americans crew “the kind of team you wait your whole life to be on” while Fields called FX chief John Landgraf “our friend, our inspiration.”
FX's Atlanta, nominated for 16 awards, picked up three Creative Arts trophies, and none in the Monday telecast.
Diversity was a major theme of the telecast, an opening number joking about how television had solved its diversity issues. The night’s winners did not reflect broad diversity.
King won lead actress in a limited series or movie for her work in Netflix drama Seven Seconds. She thanked creator Veena Sud for creating a story, about a white police officer who critically injures a black teen, that holds a mirror up to “what is going on today.”
For her part, Sherman-Palladino called it “an interesting fluke” that Mrs. Maisel came out amid media titans being taken down for their transgressions.
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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.