Who won at the 2018 Primetime Emmys, who lost and what did it all mean? The awards were handed out on Monday night, September 17, during a live ceremony on NBC hosted by “Saturday Night Live” stars Michael Che and Colin Jost. And there was potential for history to be made in a number of categories. Follow along below for our live blog analyzing the night’s winners.
“SNL” entered the night having already made history. During the Creative Arts Awards held on the weekend of September 8-9 the sketch comedy won seven awards, bringing its all-time total to 71. That’s more than any other program in the history of the Emmys, and it was nominated in three more categories at the telecast with which it could extend that record: Best Variety Sketch Series, Best Comedy Supporting Actress and Best Comedy Supporting Actor.
“Game of Thrones” probably doesn’t stand a chance of catching “SNL’s” record since it will be ending in 2019 after its eighth season. But with seven prizes of its own at Creative Arts the HBO epic fantasy series rose to 45 Emmys overall, more than any other primetime comedy or drama in history. It was nominated in five categories during the telecast: Best Drama Series, Best Drama Supporting Actor, Best Drama Supporting Actress, Best Drama Writing and Best Drama Directing. That gave it the potential to extend its record to an even 50.
In the race for Best Comedy Series there was also history at stake as FX’s “Atlanta” aimed to be the first basic cable series ever to win that award, while Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” hoped to be the first streaming show to take that prize.
Streaming shows in general had the potential for unprecedented awards dominance. Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” entered the night as the front-runner to repeat for Best Drama Series, while Netflix’s “Godless” was positioned as a dark horse contender for Best Limited Series. For all three programs to win might mean the dawn of a new age of streaming supremacy.
Follow along below starting at 8:00pm to find out what happened (all times listed are Eastern).
8:15pm — Henry Winkler wins the first award of the night (Best Comedy Supporting Actor for “Barry”), which gets the first standing ovation of the night because it’s the very first Primetime Emmy of Winkler’s storied career in television. “I wrote this 43 years ago,” he said at the start of his speech, where he thanked series creators Bill Hader and Alec Berg and told his kids, “You can go to bed now, daddy won!” Winkler was ranked eighth in our predictions for the Emmy nominations, but when the nominations were announced and he made the cut, he soared to the top of our predictions chart and came into the night with leading odds of 4/11.
8:24pm — Alex Borstein wins her second Emmy of the weekend: Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” During the Creative Arts Awards on September 8 she also won Best Character Voice-Over Performance for “Family Guy.” She thanked her family, especially her parents. And she implored all women to sit when using the restroom — ladies, please don’t pee on the seat.
8:26pm — “Mrs. Maisel” takes another prize “Whoever put that carpet down hates women — time’s up!,” said series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also thanked her husband and fellow executive producer Daniel Palladino, who is “the Sid to my Nancy.”
8:30pm — “My panic room is going to be so pretty!” said Sherman-Palladino upon collecting another trophy: Best Comedy Directing, also for the pilot. “Maisel” is three-for-four tonight already, so it’s looking more and more like the show to beat for Best Comedy Series, especially after this directing win: “Atlanta” had been favored to win for the episode “Teddy Perkins.” Sherman-Palladino has actually won three Emmys this year so far, since at the Creative Arts Awards she won Best Music Supervision for the show. I’m going to pretend at least one of those is really for “Gilmore Girls.”
8:36pm — No surprise here: Rachel Brosnahan takes Best Comedy Actress for “Maisel,” bringing the show’s total for the night to four. It has got one more nomination tonight: Best Comedy Series, and I have a feeling that’s going to be a slam dunk at this point. Brosnahan says of “Maisel,” “It’s about a woman who’s finding her voice anew,” so she encourages the audience to “vote, show up, and bring a friend to the polls.”
8:40pm — Arguably the biggest surprise of the night so far: Bill Hader (“Barry”) upsets Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) for Best Comedy Actor. Even Hader seemed flustered, since most of our Emmy pundits though Glover would repeat his victory from last year. “Atlanta” has been defeated twice in upsets tonight, so winning Best Comedy Series might be a tall order. The six comedy prizes thus far were swept by “Maisel” (four) and “Barry” (two), with just one category left to go.
8:49pm — “Don’t mistake my fear right now for a lack of gratitude,” said a nervous Merritt Wever upon her upset victory for “Godless.” This is her second Emmy, and when she won a few years ago for “Nurse Jackie” she only set a few words before leaving the stage. But this time she came prepared with a written speech. She thanked her fellow nominees, and “I’m still shocked that you made a space for me and that you made a space for Mary Agnes.” Wever overtook front-runners Penelope Cruz and Judith Light, who were both up for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” So far tonight it looks like vote-splitting is claiming a few victims. Every winner so far as been the sole nominee from their show.
8:54pm — Jeff Daniels wins Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Godless,” another victory over “Versace,” which had three nominees in this category. More victims of vote-splitting? Daniels thanked Netflix for “letting artists be artists.” He also thanked his horse, “He was Jeff Bridges‘s horse on ‘True Grit,’ and I felt he was making unfair comparisons.”
8:57pm — William Bridges and Charlie Brooker take Best Movie/Mini Writing for “USS Callister (Black Mirror).” This is the second win in a row for Brooker’s writing on “Black Mirror.” At the Creative Arts Emmys on September 8 “USS Callister” also won Best TV Movie.
9:09pm — Ryan Murphy claims Best Movie/Mini Directing for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” specifically the first episode, “The Man Who Would Be Vogue.” This is Murphy’s first directing victory since he claimed Best Comedy Directing for the “Glee” pilot in 2010. “I want to thank all the women in my life who have supported me from day one,” said Murphy. In recent years this award has tended to go to directed who helmed entire multi-episode series like “Olive Kitteridge,” “The Night Manager’ and “Big Little Lies.”
9:13pm — Undoubtedly the biggest upset of the night so far: Regina King wins Best Movie/Mini Actress for “Seven Seconds” on the only nomination for the Netflix limited series. “Really? Say word!” she said in shock upon accepting the prize, which most of us thought would go to Laura Dern (“The Tale”). In fact, none of our Experts, Editors or Top Users were betting on her to prevail. This is her third Emmy in four years, so you couldn’t blame her for feeling like “I want to curse right now … thank you Jesus!”
9:17pm — No surprise there: front-runner Darren Criss wins Best Movie/Mini Actor for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” “I am profoundly indebted to my friend, Ryan Murphy,” he said upon claiming the award for his role as serial killer Andrew Cunanan. At age 31, Criss is the second youngest winner in the history of the category. He’s also of Filipino descent, which makes him the second actor of Asian descent ever to win this award, after Riz Ahmed last year for “The Night Of.”
9:27pm — Another big surprise: John Mulaney wins Best Variety Special Writing for “Kid Gorgeous” against the likes of Samantha Bee, Steve Martin and Martin Short, Patton Oswalt, and Michelle Wolf. This is actually Mulaney’s second Emmy. He previously claimed Best Music and Lyrics in 2011 for writing “Justin Timberlake Monologue” for “Saturday Night Live.”
9:30pm — Glenn Weiss wins Best Variety Special Directing for the 2018 Oscars telecast. “It’s bittersweet. The person who would be most proud is my mom, who passed away two weeks ago … Mom always believed in finding the sunshine in things.” He then calls out his girlfriend in the audience, calls her the sunshine of his life before proposing marriage to her right there on the spot. “This is the ring my dad put on my mom’s finger,” he says. Oh, and “Thank you to the academy!” Who would have thought Best Variety Special Directing would be the moment of the night? Easy call for the best acceptance speech of the night so far.
9:49pm — The drama section of tonight telecast begins with a historic victory by Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”). This is his third victory for his role as Tyrion Lannister, which ties Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) for the most victories in the category. Dinklage is also the first acting winner of the night so far who won against a co-star (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), so vote-splitting isn’t always fatal.
9:52pm — Spoke too soon. The three Best Drama Supporting Actress nominees from “The Handmaid’s Tale” might have split the vote, opening the door for surprise winner Thandie Newton (“Westworld”), who was considered a top contender last year. “I don’t even believe in God, but I’m going to thank her tonight,” said a shocked Newton before dropping an accidental F-bomb. “I can’t believe I’m here.”
9:59pm — Squee! “The Americans” wins Best Drama Writing for its finale, “START,” by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. One of the best wins of the night — not that I’m biased. This is only the third Emmy “The Americans” has never won, and it’s the first Emmy the show has won on the telecast. The other two victories were Best Drama Guest Actress for Margo Martindale (2015-2016).
10:03pm — Stephen Daldry pulls of a big upset, claiming Best Drama Directing for “The Crown” for the episode “Paterfamilias.” In recent years the drama Emmys have tended towards sweeps, but so far four different shows have won the first four drama categories — and none of them have been “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
10:09pm — Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”) wins the first Emmy of his career: Best Drama Actor for his final season as spy Philip Jennings on the FX spy drama. He beat Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”), who seems to be the latest victim of vote-splitting tonight as he was up against his co-star Milo Ventimiglia. He thanked his co-star and romantic partner Keri Russell: “She said, if you propose to me I’ll punch you clean in the mouth.”
10:12pm — Another victory for “The Crown”: Claire Foy upsets Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) for Best Drama Actress. “I had the most extraordinary two and a half years of my life … I dedicate this to the next cast, the next generation,” says Foy about her role as Queen Elizabeth II. “The Handmaid’s Tale” still isn’t on the board tonight while “The Crown” and “The Americans” have two and “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld” each have one. Could there be a huge upset in the making for Best Drama Series?
10:28pm — “RuPaul’s Drag Race” ends the winning streak of “The Voice” for Best Reality-Competition Series. It had won four times in the last five years. RuPaul Charles accepted the award “on behalf of the 140 drag queens we’ve released into the wild” and concluded, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?” “Drag Race” is only the fourth show ever to win this prize. “The Amazing Race” won 10 other times, and “Top Chef” won once.
10:31pm — “Saturday Night Live” wins Best Variety Sketch Series for the second year in a row, bringing its all-time Emmy total to 72. But this is only its fourth top series award in its entire 43-year history.
10:38pm — “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” claims Best Variety Talk Series for the third year in a row, not a surprise as it was the overwhelming favorite to win according to our odds. John Oliver said in his acceptance speech, “I’d like to thank Glenn Weiss’s girlfriend for saying year. This could have been a really different evening.”
10:41pm — “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” is the winner for Best Limited Series. It won three awards tonight, plus four awards last week at the Creative Arts Awards, bringing its total to seven. The first season of “American Crime Story” also won the top prize in 2016: “The People v. O.J. Simpson” swept that year with nine prizes. The “ACS” anthology is now the first series ever to win multiple Emmys for Best Limited Series. “This is for Jeff and David and Gianni and all of those taken too soon,” said Ryan Murphy, accepting the award by paying tribute to the LGBT people who are the victims of hate crimes.
10:51pm — And that concludes a big night for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It takes Best Comedy Series, which is its fifth award of the night and its eighth award of the year counting the three it won last week at Creative Arts. Four of those prizes went to creator Amy Sherman-Palladino for her work as a writer, director, producer and music supervisor.
11:00pm — “Game of Thrones” upsets “The Handmaid’s Tale” for Best Drama Series. That brings the “Thrones” total to two awards for the night and nine awards for the year counting its victories at Creative Arts, making it the most awarded show of the year. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Saturdal Night Live” followed close behind with eight wins apiece, and then “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” with seven.
11:07pm — The two “Game of Thrones” victories this year bring its all-time total to 47 victories, which extends its record as the most awarded primetime drama or comedy of all time.