Kate Winslet poses for a picture with the award for outstanding lead actress. Reuters
Streaming giant Netflix dominated the Emmys on Sunday, finally winning television's biggest prizes with "The Crown" and "The Queen's Gambit" and bagging an all-time record-equaling awards haul at a scaled-down ceremony.
"I’m at a loss for words,” said Peter Morgan, the creator and writer of the British royal saga "The Crown,” which collected acting, writing and directing awards in addition to four acting honours.
His comment may also apply to the premium cable channels that once ruled the Emmy Awards and to the broadcast networks - including Sunday's ceremony host, CBS - that have long grown accustomed to being largely also-rans.
Despite transforming the entire TV landscape since it began to create original programming in 2012, Netflix had never won any top series prize before Sunday at the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars. Now, it has two of them.
Netflix won a leading total of 44 awards, equaling the broadcast network record set back in 1974, by CBS. The streaming service, which fielded the first drama series nominee, "House of Cards” in 2007, finally won the category.
Josh O'Connor, winner of the Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series award in the press room. AFP
In the comedy categories, Apple TV+'s "Ted Lasso" was this year's big winner.
Television's top stars gathered in person for the event in Los Angeles for the first time in two years -- it was held at a partially outdoor venue due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, after a mainly virtual show last fall.
Newcomer Apple TV+'s first top series came less than two years after it launched.
"The Crown” and "The Queen's Gambit” tied as leaders with 11 awards each, with "Ted Lasso” topping the comedy side with seven trophies.
"The Queen's Gambit” made Anya Taylor-Joy a star and Emmy nominee for her portrayal of a troubled chess prodigy. Executive producer William Horberg singled her out in his acceptance speech.
Hannah Waddingham (3rd from left) and the team from "Ted Lasso" pose for a photo. AP
"You brought the sexy back to chess, and you inspired a whole generation of girls and young women to realize that patriarchy has no defense against our queens.” he said.
There was a bright spot for HBO with its limited series "Mare of Easttown,” the crime drama that earned four Emmys, including a lead acting award for star Kate Winslet. For broadcaster NBC, "Saturday Night Live” again came through with variety honors.
Kate Winslet, who played the title character in "Mare of Easttown,” and Ewan McGregor, who starred in the fashion biopic "Halston,” were honored as top actors for a limited series.
Winslet saluted her sister nominees in "this decade that has to be about women having each other’s back.”
Stephen Colbert and cast and crew members winners of the Outstanding Variety Special (Live) award. Reuters
Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters claimed best supporting acting honors for "Mare of Easttown,” about crime and family dysfunction. Both she and Peters praised star Winslet as an actor and colleague.
Debbie Allen received the Governors Award for a long and acclaimed career as an actor, dancer, choreographer and activist.
"I am trembling with gratitude and grace and trying not to cry ... it’s been many years in the making, taken a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time. Courage and creative and fight and faith to believe I could keep going, and I have,” she said.
The show opened with a musical number that featured Cedric the Entertainer rapping a modified version of the Biz Markie hip-hop hit "Just a Friend” with lyrics like "TV, you got what I need.” LL Cool J bounded from the audience as stars including Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore and more dropped verses celebrating the breadth of television.
Seth Rogen presented the first award, throwing some cold water on the celebratory vibe by noting that the Emmys were being held in a giant tent. "There’s way too many of us in this little room,” he exclaimed in what seemed to be an attempt to be funny that fell flat.
In the cumulative awards handed out Sunday and at the previously-held creative arts events, the outlets that followed Netflix included HBO and HBO Max with 19 combined awards; Disney+ with 14; Apple TV+, 10; NBC, 8.
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