LOS ANGELES — The feel-good comedy “Ted Lasso” debuted at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, with castmates Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein earning the evening’s first honors.
An enthusiastic Waddingham, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for a comedy, said that series star and producer Jason Sudeikis “changed my life with it, and more importantly my baby girl.”
Goldstein, who won the equivalent award for supporting actor, said he had promised not to swear and either imitated or muted for a few seconds, then called the show a “privilege and joy” of his life.
Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies were honored for their supporting performances in the British royal drama “The Crown”.
Anderson, who played British political leader Margaret Thatcher, used her acceptance speech to thank her manager of 20 years for her advice and confidence before believing her talent.
Menzies, who plays Prince Philip, did not attend the ceremony, which included a London gathering for “The Crown” nominees.
Before announcing the winner in her category, presenter Kerry Washington spoke to another “Lovecraft County” nominee, Michael K. Salute Williams. Williams died on 6 September at the age of 54.
“Michael was a wonderfully talented actor and a generous human being who left us too soon,” Washington said.
Julian Nicholson and Evan Peters claimed the Best Supporting Acting honor for “Mare of Easttown,” a limited series about crime and family dysfunction.
Nicholson said, “The script was “true to the horrors and beauty of the lives of ordinary people,” especially the lives of women.
He and Peters both saluted star Kate Winslet.
“Man, you’re good at acting. But turns out you’re good at taking care of the whole production,” Nicholson said.
The show began with a musical number in which host Cedric the Entertainer rapped a modified version of the biz marquee hip-hop hit “Just a Friend” with songs like “TV, You’ve Got What I Need”. LL Cool J drew limited audiences from the audience in the form of omitted verses celebrating stars like Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore, and the breadth of television.
Seth Rogen, presenting the first prize, threw some cold water on the festive atmosphere, seeing that the Emmys were being held in a giant tent. “There’s a lot of us in this little room,” he said as he tried to be weird, which fell flat.
“Why have a ceiling? Instead of making sure we have three chandeliers, it’s more important that we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That’s the decision.”
The makers of the show promised that the show will be a celebration for all. But for some it can be too rewarding, even historical.
This includes the Netflix drama “The Crown” and the Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso.” Each is considered a leading Sunday for top series honors in their respective categories, and their cast received armloads of nominations.
Streaming will benefit more than shows. Wins in both the Best Drama and Comedy Series categories will mark a first for the streaming services and cement their growing dominance, much to the dismay of the contestants.
But the TV industry overall, which includes broadcast networks that still air popular shows but are largely eclipsed at the Emmys, will be honored, says the program in charge of airing on CBS.
“Sometimes, programs that might be called ‘niche’ run with awards and a lot of people…. are going, ‘What the hell that?’” Ian Stewart, executive producer of the ceremony with Reginald Hudlin he said. “So we’re really looking into that, and bring in the big stars that everyone knows and loves.”
Ellen Pompeo of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”), and LL Cool J (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) are among the presenters.
Roughly 500 people attended the Emmys in downtown Los Angeles, fashion standout Billy Porter sporting large feathers attached to the sleeves of his black trouser look, and Sudeikis walked the red carpet in a soft blue velvet suit.
The ultimate goal of the makers is to have a function that excites and acknowledges the importance of TV during the pandemic and its lockdown.
Top nominees include the British royal drama “The Crown” and the Star Wars-universe derivative “The Mandalorian”, which each received a leading 24 nominations.
On the comedy side, the feel-good comedy “Ted Lasso” is competing with “Black-ish”; “Cobra Kai”; “Emily in Paris”; “Hacks”; “the flight attendant”; “The Kominsky Method” and “PEN15.”
Other drama series contenders include previous winners “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Lovecraft Country”, which were canceled after one season, but nods for cast members Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Ajonew Ellis and Williams. .
They are part of a diverse field of nominees. Of the 96 acts for drama, comedy and mini-series, about 44% – a total of 42 nominations – went to people of color. Their increase reflects a change in the US population, with the number of people white shrinking for the first time in census history.
Associated Press writer Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this report.