HBO reigned supreme at this year's Emmy Awards.
The cable channel and its streaming service, HBO Max, lorded over TV's biggest night with 11 wins presented during Monday's (Sept 12) ceremony.
The operatic Succession, about power plays in a billionaire's family, walked away with the evening's top award for best drama series, while actresses Zendaya (Euphoria) and Jean Smart (Hacks) earned trophies for the second seasons of their respective drama and comedy series.
HBO's class satire The White Lotus won the prize for best limited series, while Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso scored with outstanding comedy series.
Here's a play by play of the night:
Selma Blair triumphantly took the stage to present the last award of the night: outstanding drama series for Succession. "I'm so honoured to be here this evening," said the actress, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 and earned a standing ovation.
"It's been a big week for successions: new king in the UK, this (award) for us," the drama's creator Jesse Armstrong said on stage. "Evidently a little bit more voting involved in our winning than Prince Charles."
For the second year in a row, Ted Lasso walked away with the trophy for outstanding comedy series. "Thank you so much to everyone who makes and watches this show," co-creator and star Jason Sudeikis said, as his castmates cheered and chattered around him.
"You know they can hear everything you're saying – this mic is super-sensitive," Sudeikis playfully scolded them toward the end of his speech, before promising viewers more Ted Lasso.
"We'll see you for Season 3 at some point."
The South Korean actor became the first Asian actor to win lead actor in a drama series at the Emmys.
He thanked the show's creator for "making realistic problems we all face come to life" with "amazing visuals," before he switched from English to Korean to acknowledge "everyone watching in Korea."
The TV icon won her fifth career Emmy for the second season of HBO Max's Hacks.
During her speech, Smart jokingly shaded The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Brosnahan, who was also nominated for best lead actress in a comedy series.
"She sent (me) this box of these unbelievable designer cookies," Smart recalled. "I thought it was classy until I realised she doesn't want me to fit into a single dress in Hollywood."
The Euphoria star won her second Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for the HBO hit, in which she plays teenager struggling with addiction named Rue.
"My greatest wish for Euphoria is that it could help heal people," Zendaya said during her acceptance speech, dedicating the award to everyone who's "loved a Rue" or been one themselves.
"I'm so grateful for your stories. I carry them with me and I carry them with her."
Jimmy Kimmel played dead on stage as Will Arnett presented the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series to Quinta Brunson for Abbott Elementary.
"Jimmy, wake up! I won!" Brunson said to Kimmel, stepping over his "lifeless" body as she walked to the microphone.
The Abbott creator went on to thank her family and friends "in case I am not back up here again," along with "the most incredible man I've ever known," her husband.
Ted Lasso himself, Jason Sudeikis, took home his second Emmy for best lead actor in a comedy series for the hit Apple TV+ series.
The actor/comedian said that he always rolls his eyes at people at awards shows who say they didn't expect to win.
"But I really didn't," Sudeikis said. "It was an amazing, amazing group that I was nominated with, so I'm not overly prepared. But I did take classes at (improv comedy theater) Second City, so I'll go for it."
Shirtless and wearing a white fur coat, Jerrod Carmichael accepted the award for outstanding writing for a variety special for his deeply personal Rothaniel, in which he came out as gay.
The comedian kept his speech short, telling the crowd, "I'm gonna go home because I can't top this right now."
White Lotus creator Mike White picked up two consecutive trophies for writing and directing a limited series.
White playfully referenced popular competition show Survivor as he accepted the latter award, saying: "The way to stay in the game is to lower your threat level." And with these wins, "I feel like I've raised my threat level. I just want to stay in the game! Don't vote me off the island, please!"
Lizzo appeared shocked and overwhelmed as she made her way to the podium to accept the best competition series award for Amazon's Lizzo's Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.
"I'm very emotional," the singer said through tears, thanking the show's contestants for "the stories that they shared. They're not that unique, they just don't get the platform. Let's just tell more stories!"
She then went on to recall how when she was growing up, she never saw girls like herself represented on screen: "fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me."
She wrapped her speech by paying tribute to her late father, saying, "Daddy, I love you."
The Mamma Mia! star won her first Emmy award for best actress in a limited series for Hulu's The Dropout, for her captivating portrayal of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
"It was really hard but it was the best time of my life," Seyfried said in her breathless speech, ending by thanking her family "and my dog, Finn."
Jennifer Coolidge was in hilarious form when she won best supporting actress in a limited series for White Lotus.
"I took a lavender bath tonight right before the show, and it made me swell up in my dress and I'm having a hard time speaking," Coolidge said, earning laughs.
As the Emmys' playoff music began, she initially tried to get it to stop. ("This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I'm full! I'm full!" she insisted.) But she eventually gave up and just started dancing along.
Martin Short delightfully presented outstanding variety talk series to HBO's Last Week With John Oliver, but not before doing a short comedy set with his Only Murders In The Building co-stars Steve Martin and Selena Gomez.
"What a beautiful audience," Short said. "I wish I could box you up and take you home like classified White House documents."
"Thank you so much," Oliver said when he got on stage. "It is a thrill to be here and to meet Steve Martin and Martin Short in the weirdest possible way."
NBC's Saturday Night Live once again won the award for best variety sketch series, which the show's creator Lorne Michaels accepted alongside a tearful Thompson and Kate McKinnon, who recently left the series.
Michaels acknowledged the challenges of putting on the show given the pandemic, but paid tribute to the cast and crew's resilience. "There's something in the DNA of the show," Michaels said. "When it's 11:30 at on Saturday night, we show up."
Brett Goldstein took home his second Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy for Ted Lasso.
Accepting the award, the British actor recalled the "hardest part of being in Ted Lasso": "trying not to ruin the take" because he's too busy staring at his co-stars, "being like, 'God, you're good.' "
He also got bleeped out by Emmy censors while thanking his family, after jokingly promising not to curse like he did last year.
It'll be tough to compete with Sheryl Lee Ralph for best acceptance speech: The Abbott Elementary star was visibly stunned and tearful as she walked to the stage to accept best supporting actress in a comedy series.
She immediately broke into song, belting Dianne Reeves' Endangered Species: "I am a woman, I am an artist/ And I know where my voice belongs."
Ralph then launched into a rousing and inspiring speech, earning a standing ovation as she thanked Abbot creator/co-star Quinta Brunson, as well as her husband and kids.
She also dedicated her speech to "anyone who has ever had a dream.... I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like, this is what striving looks like. Don't ever give up on you."
Ozark star Julia Garner picked up her third Emmy Award for Netflix's Ozark.
The young actress had her eye on the clock as she delivered a brief speech, thanking the show's creators for writing her character of Ruth. "She's changed my life," Garner said. "I just feel really grateful."
Modern Family star Sofia Vergara presented the award for best supporting actor in a drama series to Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom Wambsgans in HBO's Succession.
"This is such a bonkers gift of a role," he said, before thanking "the most supremely talented crew and cast I can imagine," as well as his "darling" wife, actress Keely Hawes.
The first award of the night was presented by Oprah Winfrey to Dopesick star Michael Keaton, who took home the trophy for best actor in a limited series.
"My face hurts from all the fake smiling I have to do," Keaton joked on stage, before thanking his family "for never making me feel foolish."
He also nodded to the people who didn't believe in him throughout his career: "I've had some doubters. But you know what? We're cool."
Thompson started the ceremony by walking through the crowd in a top hat, as he waxed poetic about what television means to all of us. "If it weren't for TV, what would we do with our free time? Read a book?" he joked. "No one in this room has read a book in 50 years."
The SNL vet then joined a slew of backup dancers for a vigorous dance medley set to famous TV theme songs: spinning an umbrella on a couch in a Friends homage, and donning a long, blond wig as the Game Of Thrones theme played. – USA Today/Tribune News Service