Apple TV+ soccer comedy "Ted Lasso" and Netflix chess drama "The Queen's Gambit" earned top prizes at Sunday night's Emmy Awards, though it was Netflix's British monarchy series “The Crown" that finally reigned supreme.
After three previous tries, "The Crown" won best drama at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards as part of its seven-trophy haul, which also included drama acting honors for Olivia Colman, Josh O'Connor and Gillian Anderson. "Ted" lassoed best comedy series and wins for stars Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham; "Queen's Gambit" took home outstanding limited series; Kate Winslet, Evan Peters and Julianne Nicholson took home acting Emmys for the limited series "Mare of Easttown"; and Jean Smart received the best comedy actress award for "Hacks."
While it was not at all a great night for diversity – no actors of color were awarded Emmys Sunday – RuPaul made history as the most awarded Black artist in the ceremony's history with his 11th career win.
Here are all the highlights and big winners from the Emmys:
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The last award of the night goes to the buzzy Netflix drama that entertained lots of locked-down folks. Creator Scott Frank thanked everyone who gave it great word of mouth during quarantine and told their friends "you've got to watch the orphan girl chess drama," he says. Frank also shouts out star Anya Taylor-Joy: "You brought the sexy back to chess and reminded a generation of girls that patriarchy has no defense to our queens."
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"Thanks to this lot," says creator Peter Morgan, accepting the best drama trophy for "The Crown" – its seventh of the night. He keeps it short because they've got to start filming in a few hours.
OK, it didn't repeat the impressive "Schitt's Creek" sweep from last year but – unlike the AFC Richmond soccer squad – "Ted Lasso" wins when it counts, for outstanding comedy series. "The biggest thank you from this group is to the people who watch," says creator Bill Lawrence.
Disney+'s filmed production of "Hamilton" snags an Emmy for pre-recorded variety special. Original cast member Renee Elise Goldsberry accepts the award for the musical that entertained fans at home during quarantine "when we were separate and alone."
"Yes!" Conan O'Brien yells when Colbert and Co. arrive to accept the Emmy for outstanding live variety special for their election night program last November. "I haven't met some of these people before," Colbert quips and thanks Showtime for giving them an hour "because CBS had to report the news or something like that."
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"I'm an absolute wreck," says O'Connor, who takes lead actor in a drama series as Prince Charles on "The Crown." He calls doing the show "the most rewarding two years of my life."
"The Crown" star Colman, who played Queen Elizabeth II for two seasons, wins for lead actress in a drama series. "I would have put money on that not happening," Colman says from London. She also tearfully honored her father, who died during the pandemic: "He would have loved all of this."
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"It's quite difficult going after you, Kate," McGregor says, accepting his Emmy for lead actor in a limited series for Netflix's "Halston."
She's queen of the world! "Mom, they're standing up!" says Winslet, accepting the Emmy for lead actress in a limited series for HBO's detective show. She thanked everybody who binged during quarantine: "It was this cultural moment and it gave people something to talk about other than a worldwide pandemic."
The crowd cheers mightily for the British actress/filmmaker, who wins the outstanding writing Emmy for limited series for HBO's "I May Destroy You." "I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault," she says when accepting the honor.
Scott Frank wins best directing for a limited series for Netflix's "The Queen's Gambit," a show he describes as being about "a girl addicted to chess, pills and wallpaper." He also thanked star Anya Taylor-Joy, who came to set "full of joy" and "always ready to work."
"I am trembling with gratitude and grace," Allen says, accepting her career-achievement honor and thanking everyone from Shonda Rhimes to Berry Gordy to the late Kobe Bryant. "Let this moment resonate with women across the world. ... It is time for you to claim your power."
The Emmy for outstanding competition program goes to "RuPaul's Drag Race," and RuPaul made history as the most awarded Black artist at the Emmys ever with his 11th career win. In his acceptance speech, RuPaul says he's ready to bring in more talented competitors: "For you kids out here watching, you have a tribe here for you."
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"Heck of a year," Sudeikis says accepting his outstanding comedy actor win for "Ted Lasso." He thanks his "teammates," aka his co-stars: "I'm only as good as you make me look."
'The HBO comedy gets its third win – and a big one: outstanding comedy actress for Smart. She congratulates her "friends" on "Mare of Easttown" and paid tribute to her late husband, actor Richard Gilliland, who put his own career on hold "so that I could take advantage of all the incredible opportunities I've had."
The HBO comedy starring Jean Smart takes the Emmys for outstanding writing and directing, besting the popular "Ted Lasso."
NBC's late-night show took home its fifth straight Emmy for outstanding variety sketch series and producer Lorne Michaels also tearfully paid tribute to Norm Macdonald, a former "Weekend Update" staple on "SNL."
HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" won its sixth consecutive Emmys for both outstanding variety series and best writing for a variety series. Oliver shouts out the late Norm Macdonald: "No one was funnier," he says. "Just spend time watching YouTube clips of him and Conan (O'Brien) because it doesn't get better than that."
"The Crown" gets Nos. 3 and 4. Anderson wins supporting actress in a drama for playing Margaret Thatcher and dedicates her Emmy to manager Connie Freiberg, "who believed in me when no one else did." And Menzies is named best supporting actor for his role as Prince Philip over late "Lovecraft Country" nominee Michael K. Williams, whose recent death made him an emotional favorite going into Sunday's show.
Here's two for the royals! "We're going to party," says Peter Morgan, keeping it simple after winning for best writing in a drama for "The Crown" right before Jessica Hobbs gets the Emmy for best directing. "Not a lot of women have won this award so I feel I'm standing on the shoulders of some extraordinary people," she says.
The HBO detective show takes back to back Emmys as Peters nabs supporting actor in a limited series. He also thanks co-star Kate Winslet "for being Kate Winslet!" before saying the Emmy is "a dream come true."
Nicholson wins for supporting actress in a limited series, the first win of the night for HBO's "Mare of Easttown." She thanks co-star Kate Winslet: "Man, you're good at acting. But turns out, you're also good at caring for a whole production."
He's here, he's there, he's everywhere because Goldstein, who plays the lovably surly, constantly foul-mouthed Roy Kent on "Ted Lasso," takes best supporting actor in a comedy. "I was very specifically told I was not allowed to swear," he says, then saying something that doesn't make it on air. Of course.
The first Emmy of the night, supporting actress in a comedy, goes to "Ted Lasso" star Hannah Waddingham. "Jesus Christ on a bike! I'm not responsible for anything that falls out of my face in the next 90 seconds," she says, thanking Jason Sudeikis for "changing my life." She also tells co-star Juno Temple, "If you ever leave, I'm going to stalk you."
Cedric the Entertainer kicks the night off by sharing a story about watching TV with his grandma and promises it won't be "Emmys Lite": "It's not just about the things we loved in the past year. It's about what we love about television." He then raps along with LL Cool J, Rita Wilson and the whole crowd in a song about what everybody loves about TV to the tune of the late Biz Markie's "Just a Friend."
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It was one of the buzziest, most binge-worthy shows people watched during COVID-19 lockdown, but a win for Netflix's "The Queen's Gambit" isn't going to be easy in a stacked category for best limited series. The powerhouse field also includes the first Marvel/Disney+ show "WandaVision," the Kate Winslet detective show "Mare of Easttown," Michaela Coel's British series "I May Destroy You" and Barry Jenkins' alt-history drama "The Underground Railroad."
The three previous seasons of the royal-centric Netflix series fell, respectively, to "The Handmaid's Tale," "Game of Thrones" and "Succession." Is the fourth time the charm? To do so, it'll have to upend "Handmaid's Tale," returning nominees "Pose," "The Mandalorian" and "This Is Us," plus first-timers in the category including "The Boys," "Bridgerton" and "Lovecraft Country."
The first season of the feel-good show is a favorite to succeed "Schitt's Creek," which swept last year's comedy categories and became the first to ever win all four main comedy acting races. "Lasso" faces competition for the big prize – outstanding comedy series – from "Black-ish" (which has three previous nominations in the category), "Cobra Kai," "Emily in Paris," "Hacks," "The Flight Attendant," "The Kominsky Method" and "PEN15."
The 2020 show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel was during the height of the pandemic and was a mostly virtual affair where people in hazmat suits delivered trophies and winners Zoomed in their acceptance speeches. Sunday's Emmys will be broadcast from outside the LA's Microsoft Theater and include "a limited audience of nominees and their guests," according to the TV Academy.
This year's host, Cedric the Entertainer, told USA TODAY the ceremony will be an "intimate" affair amid the mutating coronavirus: "At first, the idea was to really bring it back full steam ahead and now, with the (delta) variant, there’s been some sizing down."