Each year, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presents the Primetime Emmy Award to members of the industry in recognition of outstanding involvement in primetime television programming. Awards honor writing, directing, acting and production of various categories of television, TV movies, competition programs, and variety series.
Going into this year, it was clear that two programs would run the night. Prior to this year’s Emmy nominations, The Crown had received 17 Primetime Emmy Award nominations since the series began in 2017, winning only three. The fourth season of the series earned 11 nominations, and on Sunday evening, they walked away with seven wins. The Crown made history at this year’s Emmys as it became the first series to sweep all seven drama categories: Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Writing, Directing, and Drama Series.
On the comedy side of things, most assumed that no series stood a chance to beat out anyone associated with Apple TV+’s hit new series Ted Lasso. The show was widely praised by critics and audiences alike for its heartwarming freshman season. Including its nominations at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the series set a new record for the most nominations by a new comedy series with 20 nominations. By the end of the night, Ted Lasso earned four Primetime Emmys.
Jason Sudeikis won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Hannah Waddingham won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Brett Goldstein won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and the show walked away with the top prize for Outstanding Comedy Series.
The big shocks in the comedy bracket came when HBOMax’s underdog comedy series Hacks beat out three nominated episodes of Ted Lasso for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and two nominated episodes of Ted Lasso for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
Though not necessarily considered snubs, two winners were certainly disappointing for many viewers. Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show Conan was nominated in its final season for Outstanding Variety Talk Series. Since O’Brien’s 28-year run as a late-night host came to an end this year, many hoped he would walk away with the award. Conan lost out to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Finally, Bo Burnham: Inside, the surprise comedy special that Bo Burnham produced entirely on his own over the COVID-19 Lockdown, lost the award for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) to Disney+’s filmed rendition of Hamilton. While Hamilton is a fantastic musical, many viewers were confused as to how it even fit into the category in the first place.