LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix’s “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” combined with Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” to sweep top series honors at the Sunday’s Emmy Awards, a first for streaming services that cemented their rise to prominence in the television industry.
“I’m at a loss for words,” said Peter Morgan, the creator, and writer of the British royal saga “The Crown,” which collected acting, writing, and directing awards in addition to four acting honors.
His comment may also apply to the premium cable channels that once ruled the Emmy Awards and to the broadcast networks — including Sunday’s ceremony host, CBS — that have long grown accustomed to being largely also-rans.
Netflix won a leading total of 44 awards, equaling the broadcast network record set back in 1974, by CBS. The streaming service, which fielded the first drama series nominee, “House of Cards” in 2007, finally won the category.
Newcomer Apple TV+’s first top series came less than two years after it launched.
“The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” tied as leaders with 11 awards each, with “Ted Lasso” topping the comedy side with seven trophies.
“The Queen’s Gambit” made Anya Taylor-Joy a star and Emmy nominee for her portrayal of a troubled chess prodigy. Executive producer William Horberg singled her out in his acceptance speech.
“You brought the sexy back to chess, and you inspired a whole generation of girls and young women to realize that patriarchy has no defense against our queens,” he said.
There was a bright spot for HBO with its limited series “Mare of Easttown,” the crime drama that earned four Emmys, including a lead acting award for star Kate Winslet. For broadcaster NBC, “Saturday Night Live” again came through with a variety of honors.
The ceremony proved disappointing as well to those scrutinizing diversity in Hollywood. The record number of nominees of color yielded only two Black winners, including RuPaul for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and star-creator Michaela Coel’s writing award for “I May Destroy You.”
Cedric the Entertainer proved a game host, moving from a hip-hop opening number to gags and sketches, but the relatively small crowd — a result of pandemic precautions — was fairly muted in their response to his and others’ one-liners.
There was a feeling of personal sadness that pervaded the night, with several winners recounting the loss of loved ones.
“The Crown” stars Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor won the top drama acting honors Sunday, with Jason Sudeikis, star of the warm-hearted “Ted Lasso,” and Jean Smart of the generation-gap story “Hacks,” winners on the comedy side.