2021 Emmy Awards: ‘The Crown’ wins big and other highlights

·12-min read

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences returned with the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards 2021 in a glittering ceremony on 19 September, 2021. Last year, due to COVID-19, the ceremony was hosted by actor Richard Kind without live audience in New York City. The guests attended the event virtually and there was no red carpet.

This year, however, the Primetime Emmys were held in an indoor-outdoor setting at Event Deck at L.A. Live. The venue was close to Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, where the Emmys have been traditionally held.

Everything that went down at the 2021 Emmy Awards: Highlights –

As was predicted by many, the big winner of the night was The Crown. The Netflix show did a clean sweep of all seven major Drama awards categories in which it was nominated. The Outstanding Drama Series win is a big one for both the show and Netflix as this is the first for the streaming giant in this category.

Making his Emmys debut, Josh O’Connor won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his ‘nailed-it’ portrayal of Prince Charles in The Crown. And, to the delight of fans of the series, Olivia Colman, who was nominated for playing the older Queen Elizabeth II, took home the much deserved award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

The Crown 2021 Emmy Awards
Image: Courtesy of Sophie Mutevelian – © Sophie Mutevelian/IMDb

Giving her tough competition for the award was her co-star Emma Corrin, who has been widely praised for effortlessly playing Princess Diana. Other heavyweights nominated in the category were Elisabeth Moss for The Handmaid’s Tale and Uzo Aduba for In Treatment.

The Crown had 24 nominations, the joint highest at the Emmy Awards 2021 with The Mandalorian.

On the other hand, Ted Lasso, the delightful Apple TV+ show won four awards in Comedy, including Outstanding Comedy Series.

Ted Lasso Jason Sudeikis
Image: Courtesy of Apple TV+

Last year, Schitt’s Creek swept the floor after winning all seven awards given in the category. Ted Lasso was a favourite for 2021 Emmy Awards but had tough competition from Hacks, a fantastic HBO comedy which took the awards for writing, directing and best actress.

The inimitable Jason Sudeikis was unsurprisingly the winner in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

In his acceptance speech, Sudeikis remarked, “Heck of a year,” referring to the effect the pandemic has had on people around the world. Jean Smart won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Hacks.

Ted Lasso had anyway made history when it became the most nominated freshman comedy in the history of Emmys with 20 nominations, breaking the record previously held by Glee (2009 – 2015).

While Ted Lasso and Hacks were nominated for the first time, they weren’t the only ones in the top category as four others of the total eight were newcomers too. These were Cobra Kai, Emily in Paris, The Flight Attendant and Pen15.

The other major winners of the night were Kate Winslet, who won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for Mare of Easttown and Ewan McGregor who lifted the Outstanding Lead Actor in the category for Halston.

Mare of Easttown also won for supporting actress (Julianne Nicholson) and actor (Evan Peters). The Queen’s Gambit, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, won the award for Outstanding Limited Series.

Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live extended its Emmy winning streak for outstanding variety sketch to the fifth consecutive year.

A few firsts and histories made

There were 44 first-time acting nominations at the 2021 Emmy Awards, including Sudeikis.

Mj Rodriguez made history this year at the Emmys. Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Pose, Rodriguez is the first-ever transgender person to receive a nod for a lead acting Emmy Award.

Previously, only two trans performers have been nominated by the Academy’s voters. Laverne Cox had four nominations for her supporting role in Orange Is the New Black while Rain Valdez was nominated for Razor Tongue.

Michaela Coel won in the Best Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for I May Destroy You. This is not only the first Emmy for the British icon but also a first for a Black woman in the category. In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award “to every single survivor of sexual assault.”

A notable name in comedy category this year was Bowen Yang, the first Asian to be part of Saturday Night Live. He was nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Yang was widely praised in March this year when he spoke up against the rising anti-Asian hate in the US on the show.

The Academy paid tribute to the late Michael K. Williams in its In Memoriam segment. Best known for HBO serials The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, Williams passed away on 6 September 2021. He was nominated this year for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Lovecraft Country. The award went to Tobias Menzies for playing Prince Philip in The Crown.

Also remembered at the 2021 Emmy Awards were other luminaries from the world of entertainment who are no more. The names included Hal Holbrook, Helen McCrory, comedian Jackie Mason, Jessica Walter, Norm Macdonald, Ed Asner, Cicely Tyson, Dustin Diamond, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, and talk-show host Larry King.

The night was brought to life by host Cedric the Entertainer and lively performances by Mindy Kaling, Kerry Washington, Seth Rogen, Dan Levy and Stephen Colbert.

Among the many stars who graced the Red Carpet were Kaley Cuoco, Nicole Byer, Mj Rodriguez, Carl-Clemons Hopkins, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Smart, Angela Bassett, Bowen Yang, Kenan Thompson, Dan Levy, Sophia Bush and Paralympic champion Jessica Long who showed her 2020 Tokyo Paralympics medal to the press.

Also present at the 2021 Emmy Awards were teams from Cobra Kai, Nailed It, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and The Amber Ruffin Show.

Show in the midst of pandemic

Like other major award shows since 2020, the 2021 Emmy Awards, too, adhered to COVID-19 protocols in the wake of the delta variant’s rapid spread across the US.

The Academy also made last-minute changes to the number of attendees to the event.

In a statement issued on 10 August, the Academy said, “Although invitations have just been mailed out, nominated teams of three or more will now be limited to no more than four tickets per nomination. Unfortunately, this means not all nominees will be able to attend this year’s awards.”

“The health and safety of our nominees is of paramount importance. Conversations are ongoing and we will be in touch with further information. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Delta Variant,” the statement added.

Furthermore, in-person attendees were required to be tested, vaccinated and wear a mask when not on camera.

The pandemic-imposed restrictions resulted in far fewer number of guests turning up on the red carpet.

Shows such as Top Chef, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Crown opted to join in via video conferencing.

The Emmy Awards 2021: List of Winners –

BEST DRAMA SERIES

Bridgerton

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Boys

Lovecraft Country

The Mandalorian

The Crown

This Is Us

Pose

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

Billy Porter, Pose

Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

Josh O’Connor, The Crown

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Mj Rodriguez, Pose

Olivia Colman, The Crown

Emma Corrin, The Crown

Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Gillian Anderson, The Crown

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

Emerald Fennell, The Crown

Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale

John Lithgow, Perry Mason

Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country

Tobias Menzies, The Crown

BEST DIRECTOR FOR A DRAMA SERIES

The Mandalorian, “Chapter 9: The Marshal,” Jon Favreau

Bridgerton, “Diamond of the First Water,” Julie Anne Robinson

Pose, “Series Finale,” Steven Canals

The Crown, “Fairytale,” Benjamin Caron

The Crown, “War,” Jessica Hobbs

The Handmaid’s Tale, “The Wilderness,” Liz Garbus

BEST WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

Pose, “Series Finale,” Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Our Lady J

The Crown, “War,” Peter Morgan

The Mandalorian, “Chapter 13: The Jedi,” Dave Filoni

The Mandalorian, “Chapter 16: The Rescue,” Jon Favreau

Lovecraft Country, “Sundown,” Misha Green

The Boys, “What I Know,” Rebecca Sonnenshine

The Handmaid’s Tale, “Home,” Yahlin Chang

BEST COMEDY SERIES

Black-ish

Ted Lasso

Emily in Paris

Cobra Kai

Pen15

The Flight Attendant

The Kominsky Method

Hacks

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Aidy Bryant, Shrill

Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

Jean Smart, Hacks

Allison Janney, Mom

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Kenan Thompson, Kenan

William H. Macy, Shameless

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live

Hannah Einbinder, Hacks

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live

Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Juno Temple, Ted Lasso

Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso

Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso

Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso

Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso

Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method

Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

BEST DIRECTOR FOR A COMEDY SERIES

Hacks, “There Is No Line (Pilot),” Lucia Aniello

Ted Lasso, “Biscuits,” Zach Braff

Ted Lasso, “Make Rebecca Great Again,” Declan Lowney

Ted Lasso, “The Hope That Kills You,” MJ Delaney

B Positive, “Pilot,” James Burrows

The Flight Attendant, “In Case of Emergency,” Susanna Fogel

Mom, “Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak,” James Widdoes

BEST WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES

Pen15, “Play,” Maya Erskine

Ted Lasso, “Make Rebecca Great Again,” Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly

Ted Lasso, “Pilot,” Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly

The Flight Attendant, “In Case of Emergency,” Steve Yockey

Hacks, “There Is No Line (Pilot),” Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky

Girls5eva, “Pilot,” Meredith Scardino

BEST LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES

The Queen’s Gambit

I May Destroy You

Mare of Easttown

WandaVision

The Underground Railroad

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Hugh Grant, The Undoing

Paul Bettany, WandaVision

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

Ewan McGregor, Halston

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision

Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit

Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown

Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Jonathan Groff, Hamilton

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit

Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

BEST DIRECTOR FOR A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Hamilton, Thomas Kail

I May Destroy You, Sam Miller and Michaela Coel (“Ego Death”)

I May Destroy You, Sam Miller (“Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”)

Mare of Easttown, Craig Zobel

The Underground Railroad, Barry Jenkins

The Queen’s Gambit, Scott Frank

WandaVision, Matt Shakman

BEST WRITING FOR A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel

Mare of Easttown, Brad Ingelsby

WandaVision, Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron

WandaVision, Jac Schaeffer

WandaVision, Laura Donney

The Queen’s Gambit, Scott Frank

VARIETY SPECIAL (PRE-RECORDED)

Hamilton

Friends: The Reunion

8:46 – Dave Chappelle

A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote

David Byrne’s American Utopia

Bo Burnham: Inside

VARIETY SPECIAL (LIVE)

Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020

Celebrating America — An Inauguration Night Special

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards

The Oscars

The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Starring The Weeknd

BEST VARIETY TALK SERIES

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Conan

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

BEST WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES

Saturday Night Live

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

A Black Lady Sketch Show

The Amber Ruffin Show

BEST VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

Saturday Night Live

A Black Lady Sketch Show

BEST COMPETITION SERIES

RuPaul’s Drag Race

The Amazing Race

Nailed It!

Top Chef

The Voice

Main image: Des Willie / Netflix; Featured image: AppleTV/Twitter

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