Emmys 2019: Winners, losers, all the results from LA

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We were promised there would be no host at this year’s 71st annual Emmy Awards and to fill that void we were instead given more presenters, presenters introducing other presenters and even a sideline commentator.

In the end there were so many people doing the job of a host that it might have been simpler just to stick to tradition and give the task to one person. Too many cooks, and all that.

Thomas Lennon and Jenny Lennon at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards.

Thomas Lennon and Jenny Lennon at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards.Credit:AP

Of them all, sideline commentator Thomas Lennon’s touches – sharp as they were – were the best, particularly his shout out to any former best actress nominees who were watching from prison. (That’s you Felicity Huffman.) "Those two weeks will fly right by," he quipped.

That said the telecast moved at a cracking pace, even if some of the elements which were intended to be funny fell somewhat flat. And there were many surprises.

Australia’s final Emmy hope this year, director Daina Reid, nominated for her work on The Handmaid’s Tale, was not victorious, with that Emmy instead falling in an incredibly tough field to Ozark actor/director Jason Bateman.

And the expected clean sweep by awards-night favourite The Marvelous Mrs Maisel was sidelined by Amazon’s Fleabag, which turned into one of the night’s big winners. "This is just getting ridiculous," creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge said as the series took out the Emmy for best comedy series.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge accepts the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series for Fleabag.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge accepts the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series for Fleabag.Credit:Invision

That didn’t hold back Mrs Maisel supporting actress Alex Borstein from a ripper speech, however, acknowledging "the strength of a woman" and thanking her grandmother, a holocaust survivor and immigrant who had survived war by "stepping out of line". "So step out of line ladies."

Michelle Williams echoed that sentiment using her acceptance speech to ask the industry to listen more to women and women of colour, the latter of whom she said would only make 52 cents in the dollar compared to her white male counterpart working in television.

And Game of Thrones was robbed at the last when Julia Garner (Ozark), Billy Porter (Pose) and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) took out key awards, leaving Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke empty-handed. A positive finishing touch: it was awarded best drama series.

Game of Thrones cast selfie by Instagram.com/alfieeallen at the 2019 Emmys.

Game of Thrones cast selfie by Instagram.com/alfieeallen at the 2019 Emmys.Credit:Instagram

A demonstration of just how brutal the game can get, an otherwise brilliant win for Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge came at the cost of an equally well deserved award for Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the final season of Veep.

Fox delivered a demographically narrow telecast of a demographically broad event, with a tough and at times unforgiving audience in the room. How many social media jokes can an audience take in three hours?

When it came to the reality competition category, introduced by Kim Kardashian West, her use of the adjective "compelling" in reference to her own family’s series Keeping Up With The Kardashians drew ripples of audible laughter from the sceptical audience.

And when presenter James Corden gave the audience the option of (a) going straight to the category or (b) scripted patter, the overwhelming shout was for (a). The people had spoken.

Then, in a curious postscript, the biggest applause for presenters on stage was given to Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, both of whom would have been obvious contenders for the hosting gig.

The "in memoriam" segment acknowledged the loss of television legend Valerie Harper (Rhoda, The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210, Riverdale), Katherine Helmond (Soap, Who's The Boss?), Peggy Lipton (Mod Squad, Twin Peaks), Doris Day (The Doris Day Show) and Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show).

This year's awards come on the whip end of a bruising and landscape-shifting year in American television, with the industry's writers at war with their agents in a legal fight over packaging fees which the writers say line agency pockets at their expense, and an intensification of the streaming wars with Disney+ and Apple TV+ launching and Warner Media's HBO Max and NBC Universal's Peacock moving into the starting gate.

Whether Fox’s decision to go "hostless" becomes a blip in history or a new trend remains to be seen. They declared from the outset the decision was motivated by pressure to keep the show running on time with 27 award categories, and to service the audience's nostalgia by marking the anniversaries of programs such as Seinfeld, Friends and ER, and the final seasons of The Big Bang Theory, Veep, Transparent and Game of Thrones. And it did that. Mostly.

"What's interesting to me this year is how many shows we're saying goodbye to," Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said ahead of the telecast. "You have to look at the trade off. If you have a host and an opening number, that’s 15-20 minutes that you don’t have to salute the shows. We've had a lot of [potential host] names on the board but the conclusion we've reached is that ... it would be a really strategic use of the Emmys to not have a host."

But this year will mark the fourth time in Emmy history the telecast has been without a host; it previously went hostless in 1975, 1998 and 2003. (The Oscars, despite the fact that this year's host-free telecast triggered an avalanche of discussion and criticism, has gone hostless six times: 1939, 1969-1971, 1989 and 2019.)

The presenters included Angela Bassett, Gwendoline Christie, Viola Davis, Adam Devine, Peter Dinklage, Jon Hamm, Kim Kardashian, Thomas Lennon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts and Bradley Whitford.

The Emmys are awarded over three nights: the two Creative Arts Emmy nights, focusing on "creative arts" disciplines such as design, editing, wardrobe, music, casting, hairstyling and stunts, and a third, the "primetime" Emmys. The primetime Emmys cover 169 nominations in 27 categories.

The awards were held at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, followed by the Governor's Ball at the adjacent LA Live Event Deck. Though three of the week's biggest parties – those held by the agencies UTA, CAA and WME – were cancelled in the wake of the writers-agencies legal stoush, but the night's most coveted after-parties, those held by HBO at the Pacific Design Centre and Amazon at Chateau Marmont, proceeded as planned.

The Emmys are given out annually by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) in recognition of excellence in television programming; there are more than 25,000 voting ATAS members who vote in categories pertaining to their specialised fields.

Full list of winners:

Outstanding drama series: Game of Thrones (HBO)
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series: Billy Porter (Pose)
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series: Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama: Julia Garner (Ozark)
Outstanding comedy series: Fleabag (Amazon Prime)
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series: Bill Hader (Barry)
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy: Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag)
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series: Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series: Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Outstanding limited series: Chernobyl (HBO)
Outstanding television movie: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (Netflix)
Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or television movie: Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us)
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or television movie: Michelle Williams (Fosse/Verdon)
Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or television movie: Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal)
Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or television movie: Patricia Arquette (The Act)
Outstanding directing for a drama series: Jason Bateman, Ozark (Netflix)
Outstanding directing for a comedy series: Harry Bradbeer, Fleabag (Amazon)
Outstanding directing for a limited series, television movie or dramatic special: Johan Renck, Chernobyl (HBO)
Outstanding directing for a variety series: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Outstanding writing for a drama series: Jesse Armstrong (Succession)
Outstanding writing for a comedy series: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag (Amazon)
Outstanding Writing for a limited series, movie, or dramatic special: Craig Mazin, Chernobyl (HBO)
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Outstanding competition program: RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
Outstanding variety talk series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Outstanding variety sketch series: Saturday Night Live (NBC)

The 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be replayed in primetime on FOX8 (Foxtel). The telecast will also be available to stream on Foxtel.