After a four-month delay, the Emmy Awards go on with the show

January 16, 2024 9:56 am

[Source: CNN Entertainment]

After a four-month delay prompted by Hollywood’s twin actors and writers strikes, the 75th annual Emmy Awards finally have their moment in the spotlight.

Much of the focus will be on HBO’s “Succession,” seeking its third best-drama Emmy in four seasons (the others coming in 2020 and 2022), having missed out in a first season that coincided with the eighth and final campaign of another HBO heavyweight, “Game of Thrones.”

Emmy producers sought to tap into nostalgia tied to the 75th anniversary, sprinkling mini-show reunions in the form of presenter pairings and nods to the medium’s history throughout the telecast. The show got off to an emotional start, with standing ovations for Christina Applegate (who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis) and TV legend Carol Burnett, and moving acceptance speeches by Quinton Brunson and Ayo Edebiri for “Abbott Elementary” – a rare broadcast series still able to compete for awards attention – and “The Bear,” respectively.

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Edebiri was quickly joined by Jeremy Allen White and Ebon Moss-Bachrach for “The Bear,” the FX show that has steamrolled its way through this month’s awards ceremonies, while both drama supporting nods went to repeat winners: Jennifer Coolidge claimed another Emmy for “The White Lotus,” this time competing as a drama series; and Matthew Macfadyen kicked off the night for “Succession.”

Niecy Nash-Betts also injected a strong political note into the event, accepting her award for “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” on behalf of Black women who had been “unheard and over-policed,” listing several high-profile examples of the latter.

Despite switching categories after seven consecutive wins in the late-night talk competition, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” continued its winning ways in the in the variety category opposite “Saturday Night Live,” also collecting an eighth straight writing trophy. The shift did open the door for a new late-night king, “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” in Noah’s final season as host of the Comedy Central series.

Another repeat winner, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” strutted away with its fifth Emmy in the reality-competition field.

Although its success might not be as evident during the main televised ceremony, thanks to the Creative Arts Emmys handed out January 6 and 7 (primarily devoted to technical areas, such as sound and cinematography), this year’s most-honored program could be a first-year drama, “The Last of Us.” The apocalyptic HBO show previously earned eight awards, including both guest actor statuettes for Nick Offerman and Storm Reid.

With “Last of Us” leading the way, HBO/Max (like CNN, a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery) amassed 22 awards at those events, compared to 16 for Netflix, likely giving the pay network overall bragging rights for the second straight awards cycle when the primary results, encompassing 26 categories, are completed.

In 2021, Netflix amassed a whopping 44 awards, tying the all-time record. That’s the only time HBO has finished second (it also tied Netflix once) in more than 20 years.

Because of the postponement, the Emmys somewhat awkwardly followed the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards in rapid succession. Broadcast on Fox this year, the awards also face off against the NFL playoffs – by far the most popular programming on linear television – as opposed to a regular-season football game, which could further depress ratings.

The Emmys were last delayed in 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks. The Television Academy still announced the nominees in July and conducted voting prior to the originally scheduled airdate in September.