‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Fleabag’ claim top Emmy prizes on night of old and new

Cultural phenomenon "Game of Thrones" took home the Emmy for outstanding drama series 10 years after the show first aired on HBO.

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards were presented on Sunday.

“Game of Thrones” capped its epic run with its fourth Emmy as best drama series, entering exclusive company among all-time dramas and equaling its single-year record of a dozen trophies at the TV industry’s most prestigious honors.

Amazon’s “Fleabag” was a major upset winner for best comedy, picking up four awards in all, including acting and writing honors for its star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

“Well this is just getting ridiculous,” Waller-Bridge said, garnering laughs.

The Emmys smiled on familiar faces and but stood out with a surprising number of newcomers, on a historic night that saw a breakthrough win for “Pose” star Billy Porter — and several speeches citing LGBTQ and women’s rights.

Amazon delivered in the comedy categories, with five early prizes for the second-year series “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

In terms of the familiar, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” became a four-peat winner in the variety talk balloting, in much the way “The Daily Show” owned that category for a decade. Peter Dinklage also walked away with his fourth supporting actor Emmy for “Thrones.”

Still, all that glittered was not old, in a night that spread the wealth among networks and series, reflecting the breadth and depth of the current TV landscape.

Voters also recognized first-time nominees like Jodie Comer for BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” “Ozark’s” Julia Garner and Jharrel Jerome for the limited series “When They See Us.”

Jerome overcame a field filled with veterans and Oscar winners for the fact-based Netflix limited series “When They See Us,” writer-director Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited series about the Central Park Five, to whom he dedicated the prize, along with his parents.

“Chernobyl” was named best limited series, with additional honors for writing and directing in a loaded category that included “When They See Us” and “Fosse/Verdon,” whose star, Michelle Williams, took lead actress.

Accepting for “Chernobyl,” writer-producer Craig Mazin said he hoped the story about the nuclear-plant disaster in 1986 would remind people “of the value of the truth, and the danger of a lie.” It was one of several not-so-subtle political messages woven into the early part of the telecast.

A relative newcomer, Jerome triumphed against a field of veteran actors and Oscar winners for “When They See Us,” writer-director Ava DuVernay’s Netflix limited series about the Central Park Five, to whom he dedicated the prize, along with his parents.

Williams, meanwhile, was one of several honorees to speak of female empowerment and hearing women, after winning for her portrayal of actress/dancer Gwen Verdon, in another example of Hollywood having a fondness for Hollywood stories.

In her acceptance speech, Patricia Arquette — a supporting actress winner for Hulu’s “The Act” — teared up speaking about the death of her sister, actress and transgender activist Alexis Arquette, while making a plea for rights and acceptance of transgender people.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge was a dual winner, as lead actress and for writing her comedy “Fleabag.” That victory deprived Julia Louis-Dreyfus a chance to make Emmy history, as a win would have made the “Veep” star the most-honored performer for acting, leaving her tied with Cloris Leachman, with eight in her career. (Louis-Dreyfus has three more awards for producing the show.)

“Fleabag” also won the Emmy for directing, while Emmy voters again smiled on the period dramedy “Mrs. Maisel,” which mounted a near-sweep of those awards last year (with “Veep,” notably, sitting out the race). Alex Borstein claimed her second consecutive supporting actress win for the Amazon dramedy, while Tony Shalhoub received his fourth Emmy overall.

Bill Hader was a repeat winner as lead actor for HBO’s “Barry,” breaking up what was otherwise an Amazon block party.

Repeat winners, in fact, dominated the early part of the show, with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” running off with the prize for best competition program. Host RuPaul injected the first note of politics into the evening, urging viewers to go register and vote.

Once the comedy categories ended, the show quickly conjured several emotional moments, including standing ovations for the casts of “Game of Thrones” and “Veep,” the two long-running HBO series that ended their runs in the spring.

Netflix’s interactive episode “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” was honored with best TV movie, topping a field that included HBO’s “Deadwood” revival.

HBO and Netflix entered Emmy night with 25 and 23 awards, respectively, from the Creative Arts Emmys, which were presented last weekend. That puts those two programmers — who tied in overall awards last year — far ahead of any other networks or streaming services.

Like the Oscars, the Emmys were produced without a host, but as usual was presented as a broad celebration of the medium. “Television has never been this damn good,” Bryan Cranston said, in the show’s introduction.

Fox televised the ceremony, and used the pre-show as a springboard to help promote the return of its musical reality show “The Masked Singer.” Traditionally, ratings dip when the awards play on Fox, coming off what was already record-low tune-in in 2018.

Below is a list of this year’s winners in major categories.

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series

Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”

Anthony Carrigan, “Barry”

Tony Hale, “Veep”

Stephen Root, “Barry”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” *WINNER

Henry Winkler, “Barry”

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series

Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” *WINNER

Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Sian Clifford, “Fleabag”

Olivia Colman, “Fleabag ”

Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”

Sarah Goldberg, “Barry”

Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”

Don Cheadle, “Black Monday,”

Ted Danson, “The Good Place”

Michael Douglas, “The Kominksy Method”

Bill Hader, “Barry” *WINNER

Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series

Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”

Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”

Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag” *WINNER

Outstanding reality/competition series

“The Amazing Race”

“American Ninja Warrior”

“Nailed It”

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” *WINNER

“Top Chef”

“The Voice”

Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie

Mahershala Ali, “True Detective”

Benicio del Toro, “Escape at Dannemora”

Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”

Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”

Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us” *WINNER

Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”

Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie

Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”

Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”

Aunjanue Ellis, “When They See Us”

Joey King, “The Act”

Niecy Nash, “When They See Us”

Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon” *WINNER

Outstanding limited Series

“Chernobyl” *WINNER

“Escape at Dannemora”


‘Sharp Objects”

“When They See Us”

Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or a movie

Patricia Arquette, “The Act” *WINNER

Margaret Qualley, “Fosse/Verdon”

Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”

Marsha Stephanie Blake, “When They See Us”

Vera Farmiga, “When They See Us”

Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Ben Whishaw, “A Very English Scandal” *WINNER

Asante Blackk, “When They See Us”

Paul Dano, “Escape at Dannemora”

John Leguizamo, “When They See Us”

Stellan Skarsgård, “Chernobyl”

Michael K. Williams, “When They See Us”

TV Movie

“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” *WINNER


“Deadwood: The Movie”

“King Lear”

“My Dinner With Hervé”

Outstanding variety sketch series

“At Home with Amy Sedaris”

“Documentary Now!”

“Drunk History”

“I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman”

“Saturday Night Live” *WINNER

“Who Is America?”

Outstanding variety talk series

“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”

“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” *WINNER

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama

Alfie Allen, “Game of Thrones”

Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”

Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” *WINNER

Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul”

Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”

Chris Sullivan, “This Is Us”

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama

Gwendoline Christie, “Game of Thrones”

Julia Garner, “Ozark” *WINNER

Lena Heady, “Game of Thrones”

Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”

Sophie Turner, “Game of Thrones”

Maisie Williams, “Game of Thrones”

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series

Jason Bateman, “Ozark”

Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”

Kit Harrington, “Game of Thrones”

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Billy Porter, “Pose” *WINNER

Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series

Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”

Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve” *WINNER

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”

Laura Linney, “Ozark”

Mandy Moore, “This Is Us”

Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”

Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Outstanding comedy series


“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”


“The Good Place”

“Fleabag” *WINNER

“Russian Doll”

“Schitt’s Creek”

Outstanding drama series

“Better Call Saul”


“Game of Thrones” *WINNER

“Killing Eve”




“This Is Us”

A list of winners in all categories can be found here.

1 Comment

  • Rusty Knyffe

    Considering the ridiculous amount of resources (food, beverages, electricity, set props, fabrics, jewels, precious metals, porcelain, crystal, etc.) that went into this “ceremony,” I certainly hope that none of the winners had the unmitigated audacity to pontificate about climate change or social justice. Virtue-signaling is such hypocrisy.

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