"Game of Thrones," "Fleabag" Win Big At Emmy Awards
Phoebe Waller-Bridge accepts the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series for "Fleabag" at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
"Chernobyl" also enjoys strong showing as HBO tops the field with 34 Emmys, 9 during Sunday’s primetime ceremony
  • LOS ANGELES
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Game of Thrones went out on top, reigning as best drama at the Emmy Awards ceremony on Sunday (9/22) in Los Angeles. The HBO show earned a couple of honors last night, bringing its tally this year to a dozen Emmys--tying its own mark for the most garnered by a series in a single season. Game of Thrones earlier tallied 12 wins in 2015 and then again in ‘16. It is the most awarded show in primetime Emmy history.

Game of Thrones becomes just the fifth show to win the best drama series Emmy four times--the others being Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The West Wing and Mad Men.

Additionally on Sunday, Game of Thrones garnered a best supporting actor honor for Peter Dinklage--setting a record for most wins for the same role, four, breaking a deadlock with Aaron Paul for Breaking Bad. 

Dinklage, who’s a dwarf, said in his acceptance remarks, “I count myself so fortunate to be a member of a community that is about nothing but tolerance and diversity, because in no other place I could be standing on a stage like this.” 

Yet while the Game of Thrones’ swan song continued to lead the way, another show building momentum--particularly in season two--found itself in rarefied Emmy air for the first time: Fleabag (Amazon) which won for best comedy, best lead actress and best comedy writing, all for series creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Additionally Fleabag’s first episode earned Harry Bradbeer the Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series Emmy.

Emmys’ sense of direction extended from Bradbeer to include: Jason Bateman for the Ozark (Netflix) episode “Reparations,” topping the directing for a drama series category; Don Roy King who took the directorial honor for variety series on the strength of NBC’s Saturday Night Live (the episode hosted by Adam Sandler); and Johan Renck who topped the Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special category on the basis of Chernobyl (HBO).

Chernobyl won a total of 10 Emmys this season, counting last weekend’s Creative Arts ceremony. Last night, besides Renck’s win for direction, Chernobyl was honored as Outstanding Limited Series and earned Craig Mazin the best writing mantle.

Meanwhile Billy Porter made history as the first openly gay man to win a best series drama acting Emmy--on the basis for his work on Pose (FX networks), a drama set in the LGBTQ ball scene of the late 1990s.

Making an impassioned plea for trans rights was Patricia Arquette upon accepting the Emmy as best supporting actress in a limited series or movie on the basis of her work in The Act (Hulu). “I’m grateful at the age of 50 to be getting the best parts of my life,” said Arquette, trying to stave off tears. “And that’s great but in my heart I’m so sad I lost my sister Alexis and that trans people are still being persecuted.” Alexis Arquette, a transgender person who had been living with HIV, died at age 47 back in 2016. Patricia Arquette said the she’s “in mourning every day of her life” for Alexis--”and I will be the rest of my life until we change the world” in terms of trans people being treated properly and being afforded employment and other opportunities.”

Backstage in the press room, Arquette expounded upon her remarks, sharing that trans people in America have an average life expectancy of 35 years. Much more, she affirmed, has to be done for this population. 

Also bringing a social issue to the fore during her acceptance speech was Michelle Williams who won the best leading actress Emmy for her portrayal of Gwen Verdon in the FX limited series Fosse/Verdon. Williams thanked FX and Fox 21 Television Studios for showing her respect through not only creative support but also for compensating her financially with pay equal to that received by Sam Rockwell who played Bob Fosse. Williams said that the gender pay gap must be corrected in the industry and society at large. Williams said she felt paralyzed upon finding out that while she was paid $1,000 to reshoot scenes for 2017’s All the Money in the World, co-star Mark Wahlberg earned some $1.5 million for his additional work. 

“The next time a woman--and especially a woman of color because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white male counterpart--tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her,” said Williams on stage, “because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing her to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it.”

In the press room shortly after her acceptance remarks, Williams explained that if she as a white woman in a privileged industry experiences pay discrimination, imagine how much harder it is “for women of color across all industries” to cope with such unjust disparity.

Meanwhile, When They See Us, chronicled injustice relative to the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five. Ava DuVernay created, wrote and directed the Netflix series based on a true story. A huge cheer erupted from the Emmy audience when it was announced that Jharrel Jerome won for best lead actor in a limited series for his portrayal of Korey Wise, one of the five black and Latino teenagers who were coerced in 1989 into confessing to a rape they didn’t commit. They were eventually exonerated some 25 years later.

The Central Park Five were at the Emmy ceremony; they stood and cheered Jerome. Wise himself was moved to tears.

Hoisting the Emmy, Jerome said, “This is for Raymond (Santana), Yusef (Salaam), Antron (McCray), Kevin (Richardson), and King Korey Wise. Thank you so much, it’s an honor. It’s a blessing.” 

It’s believed that Jerome made history on a couple of fronts--becoming the first Afro Latino to win a best actor Emmy, as well as the youngest.

Jodie Comer was honored as best drama actress for Killing Eve

Bill Hader won his second straight best comedy actor Emmy for the HBO hit man comedy Barry.

Ozark star Julia Garner won the best supporting drama actress Emmy.

A Very English Scandal (Amazon) earned Ben Whisaw the best supporting drama actor trophy.

Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) won best comedy supporting acting Emmys.

Netflix’s Bandersnatch (Black Mirror) took the best telefilm Emmy.

Total leaders
Second to HBO’s 34 Emmys this year was Netflix with 23 (including four won last night). Amazon Prime Video finished third with 15 (seven won on Sunday), followed by National Geographic with eight, NBC with seven, and CNN and FX Networks tied with five apiece.

After Game of Thrones with a dozen overall Emmys and Chernobyl with 10, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tallied eight, followed by Free Solo with seven, and Fleabag with six. Tied at five were Saturday Night Live and Love, Death & Robots. And four series deadlocked at four Emmys each: Fosse/Verdon, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Queer Eye, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Here’s a full rundown of Sunday night’s winners:

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
TONY SHALHOUB as Abe Weissman PRIME VIDEO
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
ALEX BORSTEIN as Susie Myerson PRIME VIDEO
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE, Written by PRIME VIDEO
Fleabag
Episode 1

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
HARRY BRADBEER, Directed by PRIME VIDEO
Fleabag
Episode 1

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
BILL HADER as Barry HBO
Barry

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE as Fleabag PRIME VIDEO
Fleabag

OUTSTANDING COMPETITION PROGRAM
RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE VH1
Pamela Post, Executive Producer
Tim Palazzola, Executive Producer
Randy Barbato, Executive Producer
Fenton Bailey, Executive Producer
Tom Campbell, Executive Producer
RuPaul Charles, Executive Producer
Steven Corfe, Executive Producer
Mandy Salangsang, Executive Producer
Bruce McCoy, Co-Executive Producer
Michele Mills, Co-Executive Producer
Jacqueline Wilson, Co-Executive Producer
Thairin Smothers, Senior Producer
John Polly, Producer
Michelle Visage, Producer
Jen Passovoy, Producer

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
PATRICIA ARQUETTE as Dee Dee Blanchard HULU
The Act

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
JOHAN RENCK, Directed by HBO
Chernobyl

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
BEN WHISHAW as Norman PRIME VIDEO
A Very English Scandal

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
CRAIG MAZIN, Written by HBO
Chernobyl

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
JHARREL JEROME as Korey Wise NETFLIX
When They See Us

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
BANDERSNATCH (BLACK MIRROR) NETFLIX
Annabel Jones, Executive Producer
Charlie Brooker, Executive Producer
Russell McLean, Producer

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
MICHELLE WILLIAMS as Gwen Verdon FX NETWORKS
Fosse/Verdon

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
CHERNOBYL HBO
Craig Mazin, Executive Producer
Carolyn Strauss, Executive Producer
Jane Featherstone, Executive Producer
Johan Renck, Co-Executive Producer
Chris Fry, Co-Executive Producer
Sanne Wohlenberg, Producer

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
DAN GUREWITCH, Senior Writer HBO
JEFF MAURER, Senior Writer
JILL TWISS, Senior Writer
JULI WEINER, Senior Writer
TIM CARVELL, Written by
RAQUEL D’APICE, Written by
JOSH GONDELMAN, Written by
DANIEL O’BRIEN, Written by
JOHN OLIVER, Written by
OWEN PARSONS, Written by
CHARLIE REDD, Written by
JOANNA ROTHKOPF, Written by
BEN SILVA, Written by
SEENA VALI, Written by
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE NBC
Lorne Michaels, Executive Producer
Ken Aymong, Supervising Producer
Lindsay Shookus, Producer
Erin Doyle, Producer
Tom Broecker, Producer
Steve Higgins, Produced by
Erik Kenward, Produced by

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
DON ROY KING, Directed by NBC
Saturday Night Live
Host: Adam Sandler

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER HBO
John Oliver, Executive Producer/Host
Tim Carvell, Executive Producer
Liz Stanton, Executive Producer
Jeremy Tchaban, Supervising Producer

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
PETER DINKLAGE as Tyrion Lannister HBO
Game Of Thrones

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
JESSE ARMSTRONG, Written by HBO
Succession
Nobody Is Ever Missing

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
JULIA GARNER as Ruth Langmore NETFLIX
Ozark

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
BILLY PORTER as Pray Tell FX NETWORKS
Pose

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
JASON BATEMAN, Directed by NETFLIX
Ozark
Reparations

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
JODIE COMER as Villanelle BBC AMERICA
Killing Eve

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
FLEABAG PRIME VIDEO
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Executive Producer
Harry Bradbeer, Executive Producer
Lydia Hampson, Executive Producer
Harry Williams, Executive Producer
Jack Williams, Executive Producer
Joe Lewis, Executive Producer
Sarah Hammond, Producer

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
GAME OF THRONES HBO
David Benioff, Executive Producer
D.B. Weiss, Executive Producer
Carolyn Strauss, Executive Producer
Bernadette Caulfield, Executive Producer
Frank Doelger, Executive Producer
David Nutter, Executive Producer
Miguel Sapochnik, Executive Producer
Vince Gerardis, Co-Executive Producer
Guymon Casady, Co-Executive Producer
George R.R. Martin, Co-Executive Producer
Bryan Cogman, Co-Executive Producer
Chris Newman, Producer
Greg Spence, Producer
Lisa McAtackney, Producer

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