Schitt’s Creek, Watchmen and Succession were the big winners at the 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which were held virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s ceremony, held on September 20, 2020, was presented from an eerily empty Staples Center in Los Angeles by Jimmy Kimmel, with only a few guest presenters joining him in the studio.
It was a significantly lower-key event this year, with most winners dialing in to make their acceptance speeches from home.
Schitt’s Creek won nine prizes – breaking the Emmys record for most wins in a single season for a comedy.
It was a glowing send-off for the Canadian series, which broadcast its sixth and final season this year.
Succession took home the night’s top prize, best drama series, as well as best actor for Jeremy Strong.
The HBO series also won prizes in the drama categories for best writing and best directing during the virtual ceremony.
The show’s British creator Jesse Armstrong listed a number of “un-thank yous” during his acceptance speech, criticizing President Donald Trump and UK’s PM Boris Johnson for their respective responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another HBO series, Watchmen, won best limited series, as well as acting gongs for its stars Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Twenty-four-year-old Zendaya became the youngest ever winner of best drama actress for her performance in Euphoria, a teen drama which follows a group high school students as they grapple with issues of love, drugs and identity. Zendaya beat stiff competition from the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Laura Linney and Olivia Colman in her category.
Schitt’s Creek won the best comedy series prize, with the show’s creators, father and son Eugene and Daniel Levy, picking up best comedy actor and best supporting comedy actor respectively.
Catherine O’Hara was named best comedy actress, with Annie Murphy winning best supporting actress in a comedy series.
The show follows the wealthy Rose family, who is forced to move to a motel in a small town after losing their fortune.
Schitt’s Creek launched on CBC in 2015 but developed a strong fan following around the world after later being added to Netflix.
Its wins also included outstanding directing for a comedy series for Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy, with the latter also winning outstanding writing for the finale episode Happy Ending.
Regina King was named best actress in a limited series for her performance in Watchmen.
In her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Notorious RBG, who died over the weekend, and encouraged viewers to register vote in the forthcoming presidential election.
Regina King wore a T-shirt bearing the image of Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot and killed by police in Kentucky in March.
Uzo Aduba, who won best supporting actress in a limited series for Mrs. America, also wore a shirt displaying Breonna Taylor’s name during her speech.
Regina King’s co-star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was also named best supporting actor for his performance in the show.
Watchmen, an innovative reimagining of a superhero graphic novel that tackled racism in America, scored the most nominations this year.
The show won a loyal following and critical acclaim last year during its nine-episode run.
Elsewhere, Ozark‘s Julia Garner won best supporting drama actress while Billy Crudup won in the male category for his portrayal of a conniving network executive in Apple TV’s The Morning Show.
Succession‘s creator Jesse Armstrong also won best writing for a drama, while Andrij Parekh won best directing.
Several winners used their acceptance speeches to encourage Americans to register to vote in November’s election, including Mark Ruffalo, who won best actor in a limited series for I Know This Much Is True.
The in memoriam section honored stars including Chadwick Boseman, Naya Rivera, Caroll Spinney, Kirk Douglas, Sir Ian Holm and Dame Diana Rigg.
The Creative Arts Emmys took place earlier this week, with winners announced in categories such as casting, hair, make-up, lighting and sound design.
More than 25,000 members of the Television Academy vote for the awards, which were first presented in 1949.
The name Emmy derives from an early piece of TV equipment called the image orthicon camera tube – or the Immy.
This year marked Jimmy Kimmel’s third time hosting the Emmys, after he fronted the ceremony in 2012 and 2016.