Drama The Crown and comedy Ted Lasso took home the top prizes at television’s Emmy awards on Sunday while The Queen’s Gambit was named best limited series in what turned out to be a strong night for streaming giant, Netflix, and British acting talent.
The Crown was named best drama series giving Netflix its biggest prize so far, while Apple TV+ entered streaming’s big leagues as Ted Lasso, which focuses on the fortunes of a struggling English football club and their American manager, won best comedy series – a first for the fledgling service.
Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor won the top acting Emmys for their performances in the most recent series of The Crown, which focussed on the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher was British prime minister and Prince Charles married Princess Diana.
Colman and O’Connor, who played Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, were named best drama actor and actress.
Fellow British thespian Kate Winslet was named best actress for her performance as a small-town detective in the HBO limited series Mare of Easttown, while Ewan McGregor was a surprise winner for his role in Netflix’s Halston.
The Crown also brought wins for supporting actors Gillian Anderson, who portrayed Thatcher, and Tobias Menzies, who played Prince Philip, as well as for writing and directing.
“We’re all thrilled. I am very proud. I’m very grateful. We’re going to party,” said Peter Morgan, the drama’s creator, at a gathering in London for the cast and crew.
In all, British actors won seven of the 12 acting awards up for grabs at the Emmys.
Jason Sudeikis, the star and co-creator of Ted Lasso, was named best comedy actor while Britons Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein were honoured for their supporting roles.
“This show is about family. This show’s about mentors and teachers and this show’s about teammates. And I wouldn’t be here without those three things in my life,” Sudeikis said on accepting the award.
The popular Queen’s Gambit, which sparked a worldwide boom in chess, took home the award for best limited series, against stiff competition from shows including Mare of Easttown and harrowing London-set sexual assault drama I May Destroy You.
Netflix won a leading total of 44 awards, equalling the broadcast network record set back in 1974, by CBS.
The ceremony proved disappointing to those scrutinising diversity in television.
While there were a record number of nominations for people of colour, only a few were translated into wins including – RuPaul for RuPaul’s Drag Race and Michaela Coel, who was recognised as the writer of I May Destroy You, which she also starred in and directed.
“Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable,” Coel said, dedicating her Emmy to the survivors of sexual assault.
The relatively small ceremony, held outside amid concerns about COVID-19, was hosted by Cedric the Entertainer who moved from a hip-hop opening number through a series of gags and sketches.
Key award winners at the Emmys
Best drama series
Best comedy series
Best limited series
The Queen’s Gambit
Best actress (drama)
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Best actor (drama)
Josh O’Connor, The Crown
Best actress (comedy)
Jean Smart, Hacks
Best actor (comedy)
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Best supporting actress in a drama
Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Best supporting actor in a drama
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Best supporting actor in a comedy
Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Best supporting actress in a comedy
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
Best actress, limited series or movie
Kate Winslet, Mare Of Easttown
Best actor, limited series or movie
Ewan McGregor, Halston
Best supporting actress, limited series or movie
Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown
Best supporting actor, limited series or movie
Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown