It was the hot favourite going into Emmy night, and the cult comedy series Schitt’s Creek did not disappoint its fans, taking a clean sweep of the seven comedy categories: series, lead and supporting actor and actress, directing and writing.
It was a record-setting result for a show which was born in relatively modest circumstances: a co-production between the Canadian national broadcaster CBC and a small US channel called Pop TV, distributed internationally not by a major US studio but by the UK broadcaster ITV.
Everyone is a winner in Schitt’s Creek: actors Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy.Credit:Pop TV
But after six seasons of a very fine comedy, about a wealthy family whose empire crumbles forcing them to take refuge in a small town they purchased once as a joke, Schitt’s Creek popped in 2020 as one of the most talked about shows of the « lockdown » season, as audiences binged the series via the streaming platform Netflix.
In what might be the least surprising footnote to its clean sweep of categories, the series also won Emmys for casting for a comedy series and for outstanding contemporary costumes at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys.
Australia mounted its biggest Emmy campaign on record in 2020, with nominations spanning 14 categories. But our glory was shortlived. Cinematographer Greig Fraser was our solitary winner, taking home the Emmy in the cinematography for a single-camera series (half-hour) category for his work on the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
Australia’s Creative Arts Emmy Class of 2020 also included composer Antonio Gambale, costume designer Justine Seymour, comedian Hannah Gadsby, creative directors Patrick Clair and Paul Mitchell, animator/compositor Raoul Marks and sound editor Martyn Zub. Gambale, Gadsby and Zub were nominated in multiple categories.
And in the Primetime Emmys actors Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Toni Collette and Sarah Snook and screenwriter Tony McNamara were pipped at the post by their rivals Regina King, Mark Ruffalo, Uzo Aduba, Julia Garner and actor/writer Daniel Levy.
HBO’s Succession, one of the year’s most buzz-worthy shows, put in a strong showing in the drama categories, taking out drama series, lead actor, writing and direction, but other strong performers such as HBO’s Euphoria, Netflix’s Ozark and Apple TV+’s The Morning Show pushed back hard.
In the limited series categories, HBO’s politically provocative Watchmen dominated, taking out four of the seven categories, including series, writing and direction. The other awards in the limited series categories were split between Mrs America, Unorthodox and I Know This Much Is True.
The Emmy for sharpest observation goes to host Jimmy Kimmel who quipped that on the year where the awards were without both a red carpet and an audience, they finally decided to buck the prevailing trend in the genre and reinstate the role of a host.
In truth, Kimmel was an excellent host, versatile but gentle, showing off a suite of skills likely gained from the live radio career which preceded his omnipresence on American late night television as host of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
That and the effortlessly funny Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, who appeared on stage and in the auditorium with Kimmel during the opening segment, and returning later during a live cross to Aniston’s LA home, helping to strike the perfect tone for the evening.
The annual « in memoriam » segment acknowledged the death of some of Hollywood’s most prominent personalities in the last year, including actor Chadwick Boseman, actress/singer Diahann Carroll, Paramount Studios titan Sumner Redstone, talk show host Regis Philbin, broadcaster Jim Lehrer, actors Jerry Stiller, Ian Holm, and Max von Sydow and actress Dame Diana Rigg.
Despite the logistically enormous task of crossing to more than 100 locations and leaning on a variety of technologies including satellite TV trucks and the nominee’s own home Wi-Fi networks, there were no major glitches during the telecast; the only major error was in last week’s Creative Arts Emmys, where Jason Bateman was incorrectly named outstanding guest actor in a drama; the winner was Ron Cephas Jones for This Is Us.
The 72nd annual primetime Emmy awards will replay on Fox Arena and will stream via Foxtel.
Comedy series: Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)Drama series: Succession (HBO)Limited series: Watchmen (HBO)Competition program: RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)Variety talk series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)Lead actor in a drama series: Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)Lead actress in a drama series: Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)Supporting actor in a drama series: Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)Supporting actress in a drama series: Julia Garner, Ozark (Netflix)Directing for a drama series: Andrij Parekh, Succession (HBO)Writing for a drama series: Jesse Armstrong, Succession (HBO)Lead actor in a comedy series: Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)Lead actress in a comedy series: Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)Supporting actor in a comedy series: Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)Supporting actress in a comedy series: Annie Young, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)Directing for a comedy series: Andrew Cividino, Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)Writing for a comedy series: Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)Lead actor in a limited series or movie: Mark Rufalo, I Know This Much Is True (HBO)Lead actress in a limited series or movie: Regina King, Watchmen (HBO)Supporting actor in a limited series or movie: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen (HBO)Supporting actress in a limited series or movie: Uzo Aduba, Mrs America (FX)Directing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special: Maria Schrader, Unorthodox (Netflix)Writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special: Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, Watchmen (HBO)Governor’s Award: Tyler Perry
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