2018 Emmys: ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Take Top Awards

After a year away, an old favorite came to reclaim its crown at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, as “Game of Thrones” took Outstanding Drama Series at the ceremony that was held Sept. 17 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The HBO series also scored a third supporting acting award for fan favorite Peter Dinklage. Meanwhile, a freshman series, Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” dominated the comedy categories, winning not only Outstanding Comedy Series, but also acting awards for Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein, as well both writing and directing accolades for creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.

It was a bittersweet night for Matthew Rhys and Claire Foy, as both took the top acting awards in the drama categories for their final bows on “The Americans” and “The Crown,” respectively. Rhys’ series ended its run after six years, while Foy has passed the torch to another actress , Olivia Colman, who is to play a middle-aged Queen Elizabeth in the upcoming third season of the Netflix series.

It was once again a good year for producer Ryan Murphy, as “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” took Outstanding Limited Series, with its star Darren Criss, to whom Murphy gave his first big break in “Glee,” being honored for his acting. “Godless,” the Netflix limited series that was dwarfed by “Big Little Lies” earlier this year at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, finally got its due, with Merritt Wever and Jeff Daniels taking the supporting acting awards in this category. Netflix’s “Seven Seconds” may have been cancelled, but that didn’t stop star Regina King from winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, an honor which appeared to be a shock for her.

Another pleasant surprise was a win for Henry Winkler, who took Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for “Barry,” his first Emmy ever after six career nominations, the first one in 1976 for “Happy Days” – He even joked that his acceptance speech was 43 years old. His co-star, Bill Hader, was honored for his lead role as a contract killer/actor in the dark HBO series. A very different HBO series, “Westworld,” one its sole award for supporting actress Thandie Newton, who memorably thanked God, whom she referred as being female.

The one and only RuPaul graced the stage twice, first in an opening number poking fun at Hollywood’s diversity number, for which he was joined by the likes of Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Bell, Ricky Martin and Andy Samberg, and second to receive the Outstanding Reality Competition Series Emmy for “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Another host who had a good night was John Oliver, whose “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” won Outstanding Variety Talk Series.

It was a big night for “Saturday Night Live,” as not only did the show once again win Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, but co-head writers and “Weekend Update” anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost hosted the ceremony, which was produced by none other than Lorne Michaels. The duo proved to be relatively low-key hosts, leaving the silliness to SNL alums Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, who teamed up for a tepid recurring bit playing inept Emmy historians. Che, however, killed it with his skit “Reparations Emmys,” in which he sought out African-American actors who have been overlooked by the Television Academy in the past, including Marla Gibbs of “The Jeffersons,” Jaleel “Urkel” White and Jimmie Walker of “Good Times,” and gave them their overdue statuettes.

A high point of the evening came during a category that usually doesn’t hold much interest for the average non-industry viewer, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special. Glenn Weiss, a producer and director highly regarded for his work in live television, won for his work on this year’s Oscar telecast, and used his the occasion to propose to his shocked girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, as the crowd erupted in applause.

Another highlight was an appearance from a woman who is perhaps the most beloved figure in television, Betty White. The 96-year-old actress, who has eight Emmys under her belt, one for each decade in show business, joked about her longevity.

“Somebody said something the other day about first lady of television, and I took it as a big compliment,” White said. “Then came the punchline, ‘And then I heard her talking to her daughter a little later, and she said, ‘first lady, she’s that old. She was the first one way back.'”

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards took place Sept. 17 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA.