LOS ANGELES (AP) — The HBO drama “Succession” and the comedy “Ted Lasso” took top honors at the Emmy Awards in a ceremony that distributed their prizes among repeat winners and also honored several rookies.
Jason Sudeikis and Jean Smart picked up back-to-back acting trophies, while Zendaya picked up her second drama actress award for “Euphoria.”
Several new Emmy winners were coined, with Lizzo, Lee Jung-jae from “Squid Game” and Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph from “Abbott Elementary” collecting trophies.
“Thank you for creating such a safe space to make this show so difficult,” said Zendaya, a two-time winner of “Euphoria,” the drama series about teens and their difficult coming of age.
“My greatest wish for ‘Euphoria’ was that it could help heal people. Thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me. I carry them with me and I carry them with” her character, Rue, too, Zendaya said.
Sudeikis won his second consecutive trophy for the football comedy “Ted Lasso,” with Smart matching that haul for the stand-up comedy “Hacks.” Sudeikis gave a rare salute at the television consumer awards show.
“Thank you to the people who watch this show and enjoy it as much as we enjoy doing it,” he said.
Ralph stopped the emmy awards show by accepting the award for Best Supporting Comedy Actress for “Abbott Elementary” with a short but poignant song of affirmation.
“I am an endangered species, but I do not sing a victim song. I am a woman, I am an artist, and I know where my voice belongs,” she yelled. She then encouraged anyone who doubts her dream: “I’m here to tell you that this is what believing looks like.”
The audience, including Lizzo and many of television’s biggest stars, rose to their feet in cheers for Ralph.
When Lizzo herself accepted the award for best competition series for “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” she gave another emotional pep talk.
“When I was a child, all I wanted to see was me in the media. Someone fat like me, black like me, beautiful like me,” said the musical artist.
“Ted Lasso” co-star Brett Goldstein won comedy supporting actor, while “Succession”‘s Matthew Macfadyen and “Ozark’s” Julia Garner earned drama series supporting actor honors.
“It is my great pleasure and privilege to play this crazy gift of a role in this wonderful show,” Macfadyen said in accepting the trophy for his role as a scheming member of a media empire family.
Garner was among the winners who took the opportunity to cover all the bases thanking her husband and others in an on-screen message.
“The White Lotus” collected several honors, including best limited or anthology series.
Host Kenan Thompson kicked off the Emmys with a tribute to television, dismissing Tik-Tok as “little vertical TV” and a musical number saluting the show’s theme songs, from “Friends” to “The Brady Bunch” to “Game of Thrones.” “.
Once the music stopped, Thompson provided a mic drop moment, announcing Oprah Winfrey as the first host. Winfrey took the stage with an Emmy statuette and declared the night “a party!” The first award of the night went to Michael Keaton for his role in “Dopesick.” Winfrey and Keaton hugged before she handed over her trophy.
“It means something,” Keaton said of the award for playing a caring doctor trapped by addiction to his patients. He went on to recall the “magic” of meeting television when his father won a set in a raffle and thanked his parents for not making fun of his youthful attempts at acting.
Amanda Seyfried won the trophy for leading actress in a limited series for “The Dropout,” in which she played unlucky Silicon Valley child prodigy Elizabeth Holmes. She thanked a list of family and colleagues and even her dog, Finn.
Murray Bartlett won best supporting actor for the limited series “The White Lotus,” a tragicomedy set in a Hawaiian resort. Jennifer Coolidge, who won best supporting actress for the show, delighted the audience by dancing to music that was meant to interrupt her thank you speech.
The award for best variety talk show went to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” and the stand-up special “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel” won best writing for a comedy special.
“Good night everyone. I’m going home. I’m not like a bad winner, but I’m going home because I can’t get over this right now,” Carmichael told the audience.
Monday’s show’s vibrant start was a far cry from top drama contenders including the violently dystopian “Squid Game,” the grim workplace satire “Severance” and “Succession,” about a powerful and ruthless family. Even the comedy nominee “Ted Lasso,” the defending champion, took a dark turn at storytelling.
The Emmys are broadcast live on NBC and streaming on Peacock.
First arrivals on the show’s golden carpet struck a fun, upbeat tone despite temperatures in the 80s with unseasonable humidity in downtown Los Angeles. The glamor was back with a bit of metallic shine and lots of bright color. like an otherworldly Britt Lower, Old Hollywood Elle Fanning and her fellow stars posed for photographers.
While HBO’s “Succession,” which won best drama series in 2020, and Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” are seen as top contenders for best series awards, there is potential for surprises. Netflix’s “Squid Game,” a global sensation, would be the first non-English language drama series to win an Emmy.
On the comedy side, Acclaimed ABC Newcomer “Abbott Elementary” could become the first streaming show to win best comedy since the network’s “Modern Family” in 2014. It’s also among the few contenders this year, along with “Squid Game,” to feature a substantial number of color nominees.
In the Emmy Creative Arts Ceremonies Made earlier this month, the mockumentary-style show about educators at an underfunded Philadelphia school won the trophy for best comedy series cast. “Succession” won the drama series casting award.
“The Crown,” last year’s big winner, was out of the running this time because it fell out of the Emmy eligibility period. The dramatized account of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and family life will return for its fifth season in November, while Britain mourns the loss of its longest-serving monarch who died Thursday at age 96.
AP reporter Beth Harris contributed to this report.
For more information on this year’s Emmy Awards, visit: www.apnews.com/EmmyAwards