Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek made history Sunday night when it swept all seven comedy categories at the virtually produced 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, while HBO’s Succession was named outstanding drama and HBO’s Watchmen outstanding limited series. Jimmy Kimmel hosted from a largely empty Staples Center, although many presenters appeared live in the studio. Winners accepted from home with delivery people dressed in hazmat tuxedos handing them their trophies when possible.
Overall, HBO led with 30 overall wins, while Netflix followed with 21. Going into the Emmys, Netflix was by far the most nominated service with a total of 160 compared to HBO’s 107. Even though HBO and Netflix came into Sunday night tied at 19 Emmys each, HBO received 11 more during the primetime broadcast, while Netflix took two.
All four of Schitt’s Creek’s nominated cast won their categories, with Dan Levy and Annie Murphy winning lead actor and actress in a comedy and Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara winning supporting actor and actress in a comedy. The younger Levy also won for directing and writing and Schitt’s Creek took the trophy for outstanding comedy, bringing its total Emmy haul to nine.
While Schitt’s Creek aired in first run on Pop TV in the U.S., it’s probably its run on Netflix that allowed the Canadian series to grow into the critical acclaim and reach that it eventually garnered.
On the drama side, Succession also scored wins for lead actor for Jeremy Strong, writing for creator Jesse Armstong and directing for Andrij Parekh.
Besides winning outstanding limited series and netting the most nominations of any program with 26, HBO’s Watchmen also nabbed Emmys for lead actress Regina King, supporting actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and writing for showrunner, executive producer and writer Damon Lindelof and writer Cord Jefferson. Watchmen, which told an intense story that centered on U.S. racism months before the Black Lives Matter movement reignited, was the year’s most lauded show, winning a total of 11 Emmys.
Also scoring points for HBO were Mark Ruffalo, who won for lead actor in a limited series for HBO’s I Know This Much Is True; HBO’s Last Week with John Oliver, which won outstanding variety talk show for the fifth year in a row and Zendaya, who became the youngest person ever named outstanding lead actress in a drama for HBO’s Euphoria.
Other acting nods went to Billy Crudup, who grabbed Apple TV+’s first Primetime Emmy win as supporting actor on The Morning Show, while Julia Garner repeated last year’s win as supporting actress for Netflix’s Ozark.
Finally, VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race was named outstanding competition reality series for the third year in a row.