Netflix dominates Emmys with ‘Crown’ sweep and ‘Queen’s Gambit’ win

Streaming giant Netflix dominated the Emmys on Sunday, finally winning television’s biggest prizes with “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” and bagging an all-time record-equaling awards haul at a scaled-down ceremony.               

Despite transforming the entire TV landscape since it began to create original programming in 2012, Netflix had never won any top series prize before Sunday at the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars. Now, it has two of them.               

In the comedy categories, Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” was this year’s big winner.                 

Television’s top stars gathered in person for the event in Los Angeles for the first time in two years — it was held at a partially outdoor venue due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, after a mainly virtual show last fall.                 

“We’re gonna have a party now. I’m lost for words, and I’m very, very grateful,” said “The Crown” creator Peter Morgan, dialing in with fellow cast and filmmakers from a remote London satellite hub.                 

The fourth season of the wildly popular British royal series, which depicted the ill-fated marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, swept the drama awards.                 

Olivia Colman — who previously won an Oscar for playing Britain’s Queen Anne in “The Favourite” — scooped best actress for portraying her descendant Queen Elizabeth II.                 

Colman paid tribute to her father who died during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying he “would have loved all of this.”     

Josh O’Connor, named best actor for playing Charles, said making the show had been “the most rewarding two years of my life.”         

“The Crown” also won both supporting actor prizes — including one for Gillian Anderson for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher — and awards for best writing and directing.                 

Its tally including technical awards handed out before Sunday’s ceremony came to 11 — tied this year with “The Queen’s Gambit,” and one short of the drama record held by “Game of Thrones.”

Inspiring ‘a whole generation of girls’ –
The two Netflix shows brought the streaming giant’s tally this year to 44 Emmys — matching a record set by CBS network way back in 1974, when shows like “M*A*S*H” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ruled the airwaves.

“The Queen’s Gambit” — about a troubled orphaned girl who storms the world of professional chess — captivated audiences and sent chessboard sales skyrocketing worldwide as more and more people watched.                 

“You brought the sexy back to chess, and you inspired a whole generation of girls and young women to realize that patriarchy simply has no defense against our queens,” executive producer William Horberg told star Anya Taylor-Joy on stage.                 

“The one thing that no algorithm can predict and no billion dollar budget can manufacture is word of mouth,” he said of the show becoming a global phenomenon.                 

But the limited series lead actress prize went to Kate Winslet for small-town whodunit detective drama “Mare of Easttown,” which also won both limited series supporting acting awards for Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters.           

“I just want to acknowledge my fellow nominees in this decade that has to be about women having each other’s backs,” said Winslet.                 

She praised the show’s creators for creating “an middle-aged, imperfect, flawed mother… you made us all feel validated, quite honestly.”                 

Ewan McGregor won best limited series actor for fashion designer series “Halston.”                 

Heck of a year
Apple TV+ global smash hit “Ted Lasso” won best comedy series and a slew of acting prizes.                 

Co-creator Bill Lawrence praised the show’s “fearless leader” Jason Sudeikis, who won best actor as an out-of-his-depth American football coach handed control of an English soccer team.                 

“Heck of a year,” said Sudeikis. “I would say that this show is about family, this show is about mentors and teachers, this show is about teammates.                 

“And I wouldn’t be here without those three things in my life.”                 

The show also claimed the night’s first two awards in comedy for supporting acting. But it missed out on comedy writing and directing to “Hacks,” whose star Jean Smart won best actress for portraying a faded diva scrambling to save her residency in Las Vegas.                 

Veteran TV star Smart earned a standing ovation and paid an emotional tribute to her actor husband Richard Gilliland, who died six months ago, for “putting his career on the back burner.”                 

Emmys So White

The show opened with rappers LL Cool J and Lil Dicky and actress Rita Wilson leading the celebrities in a singalong of late rapper Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend,” riffing on the year’s nominated television shows.                 

Presented by comedian Cedric the Entertainer and featuring presenters such as the indigenous cast of “Reservation Dogs,” the ceremony drew on a diverse range of talents.                 

But all 12 major acting awards went to white performers, causing some social media users to adopt the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite.                 

“(S)uper disappointed that we saw so many nominees of color overlooked despite the incredible number of nominees,” tweeted one user, Cory Allen.

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