Amidst the bejeweled dresses, plunging necklines, and quirky bow ties, this year’s Emmy Awards were filled with, well, awards. There were a few standout winners, surprise losers, fun moments, and bittersweet speeches in between that made it an all-around entertaining night. If you didn’t get a chance to watch, here’s the highlight reel.
Big winners, surprise losers
One of the biggest winners of the night was VEEP, which finally collected on its potential by taking home awards for Lead Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss), and Supporting Actor (Tony Hale), as well as knocking the mighty Modern Family out of its spot to win for Outstanding Comedy Series.
But, for many reasons, the two biggest awards were for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama. Viola Davis gave an elegant and moving acceptance speech after winning for her role in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder. She is the first African American woman to win in Best Actress in a Drama, and Davis addressed the racial elephant in the room with grace. “African American women can’t win for roles that aren’t there,” she declared. Clearly, that’s changing. Indeed, her fellow nominee Taraji P. Henson (Empire) was a favorite to win in the category, but there is also much work to be done when it comes to diversity in Hollywood.
Meanwhile, Jon Hamm has been nominated for his role as Don Draper for every year Mad Men has run, but never won until last night. The actor crawled up on stage to humbly accept his award for the role that came to its conclusion this year, and received a standing ovation for it. It felt like some much needed closure for both Hamm and the troubled character he played for so long.
HBO (surprise, surprise) was really the biggest TV titan of the night, taking home awards (and many thanks) for a number of its programs, including VEEP, the miniseries Olive Kitteridge, and, of course, Game of Thrones. The latter broke records, in fact, bringing in a total of 12 awards. Through its run to date, Game of Thrones has received a total of 83 Emmy nominations, including 24 from this year alone.
There were plenty of expected winners as well, like Alison Janney for Oustanding Actress in a Comedy Series for Mom (her 10th Primetime Emmy), the great Bill Murray for his supporting role in in the miniseries Olive Kitteridge, and Amy Schumer’s new sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, which took home a trophy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.
But a few surprises as well, like Uzo Aduba (aka Crazy Eyes), who bested the competition to win Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy for her role in Orange is the New Black for the second year in a row, and gave one of the most emotional speeches of the night.
Jon Stewart got a nice send-off for The Daily Show winning a trio of awards, including Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, and Outstanding Variety Talk Series.
The Walking Dead was a serious omission from the event. While AMC got its kudos via a few Better Call Saul nominations, the show was shut out from the awards, along with Empire – both shows that broke ratings records in their first seasons. Homeland was also shut out, along with House of Cards, save for Reg E. Cathey’s win as a guest actor. Downton Abbey was also noticeably absent from the winner’s list. And while die-hard fans lobbied for Tatiana Maslany to get nominated for her multiple roles in Orphan Black, she lost out to some serious competition.
Other big winners included Jeffrey Tambor for his lead role in the comedy Transparent, Game of Thrones for Outstanding Drama Series, Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a drama, and Bessie for Outstanding TV movie. You can view the full list of winners here.
Follow us to the next page for video clips and must see moments from the big night.