Another Emmy season is in the books, and what a memorable one it was.
As the 70th anniversary of our marquee event, the Primetime Emmys of 2018 was always going to be momentous — and it did not disappoint.
In the lead-up, it was a pleasure to receive congratulatory tributes from the television community.
One of my favorites was a video compilation with renditions of “Happy Birthday” and kudos from such stars as James Corden, Stephen Colbert, Samira Wiley, Darren Criss and John Legend, and cast members from such shows as The Good Place, One Day at a Time, GLOW, Stranger Things and The Voice. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to look for it at Emmys.com.
This year, between the two Creative Arts shows and the 70th Primetime telecast, the Television Academy gave awards in more than 120 categories — encompassing more than two dozen programming genres, crafts and technical disciplines — and notched several milestones along the way.
As I stated in my remarks during the telecast, the Academy is committed to expanding inclusion. Although there is surely room for improvement, several of the breakthroughs at this year’s Emmys were encouraging in that regard.
Among them: With her Emmys for Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show’s creator, became the first woman to win for both writing and directing a comedy series in the same year.
In addition, RuPaul Charles was named outstanding reality-competition host and RuPaul’s Drag Race was named outstanding reality-competition program — the first time a reality-competition series and its host won Emmys in the same year.
Also for the first time, all four awards for guest actor and actress went to African-American performers. For comedy, Tiffany Haddish (Saturday Night Live) and Katt Williams (Atlanta); for drama, Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us).
And, of course, a highlight of the Creative Arts weekend came on Sunday night, when NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert prevailed in the category of outstanding variety special.
With that win, three of the show’s executive producers — Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and John Legend — achieved EGOT status, as recipients of the four most prestigious awards in entertainment: the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. The achievement expanded the total number of all-time EGOT winners to date by 25 percent — from 12 to 15.
With so much content being produced today, and so many ways to watch it, it was gratifying, with regard to industry representation, that the top four positions in terms of total wins included premium cable (HBO), streaming (Netflix), basic cable (FX) and a national broadcast network (NBC).
As always, this month’s special issue of emmy includes a full photo retrospective from the Creative Arts shows and the Primetime telecast. This includes the always-stunning portfolio from our annual portrait studio. Be sure to check it out.
For their collaboration on the telecast, all of us at the Television Academy thank our dynamic hosts, Michael Che and Colin Jost, as well as executive producers Lorne Michaels and Ian Stewart. Thanks as well go to this year’s broadcast partner, NBC, and our show committee, led by chair James Pearse Connelly, vice-chair Peter Golden and digital vice-chair Chris Thomes.
For the Creative Arts, we thank Bob Bain, who once again steered the two shows with the Creative Arts show committee, headed by chair Jonathan Murray and vice-chair Bob Bergen. And thanks to FXX, for again bringing highlights from the Creative Arts shows to a national audience.
In closing, we are also grateful for the contributions of the Academy staff, and we extend special thanks to the Academy’s more than 25,000 members. That number keeps growing, thanks to the creativity, passion and talent that fuel the outstanding work we honor at the Emmy Awards each year.
Chairman and CEO Television Academy