‘Ted Lasso’, ‘The Crown’ dominate early Emmy Awards

September 20, 2021 - 10:18 AM
Actor Jason Sudeikis poses with the award for outstanding lead actor in comedy series, for "Ted Lasso", at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, U.S., September 19, 2021. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

LOS ANGELES — TV comedy “Ted Lasso” and the drama “The Crown” clinched multiple Emmy Awards on Sunday for the heart-warming tale of a struggling English soccer team and the lavish saga of the British royal family.

Jason Sudeikis, the star and co-creator of “Ted Lasso,” was named best comedy actor and the show also brought statuettes for Britons Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein for their supporting roles as the club owner and ageing star player.

“This show is about family. This show’s about mentors and teachers and this show’s about teammates. And I wouldn’t be here without those three things in my life,” Sudeikis said on accepting the award.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing. “Ted Lasso” lost the comedy writing and directing awards to “Hacks,” about a fading stand-up female comedian played by Jean Smart, who got a standing ovation when she was named best comedy actress.

The early wins poised “Ted Lasso” to take one of the top prizes – best comedy series – at the end of the ceremony after winning over audiences with its optimism and folksy humor during the dark days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Crown” also looked set for its first best drama series Emmy after a season that focused on the unhappy marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. “The Crown” brought wins for supporting actors Gillian Anderson (as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) and Tobias Menzies (the late Prince Philip), as well as for writing and directing.

“We’re all thrilled. I am very proud. I’m very grateful. We’re going to party,” said Peter Morgan, creator of “The Crown,” at a gathering in London for the cast and crew.

A best drama series win for “The Crown” would mark a milestone for Netflix, while Apple TV+ would enter streaming’s big league with a comedy series win for “Ted Lasso.”

Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer got Sunday’s ceremony off to a rousing start with a musical rap, helped by the likes of Billy Porter, LL Cool J and Billy Porter on the theme of “TV – you got what I need.”

Concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus forced Sunday’s ceremony to move to an outdoor tent in downtown Los Angeles, with a reduced guest list and mandatory vaccinations and testing.

But the Los Angeles red carpet looked much like pre-pandemic days, with stars posing maskless in plunging gowns and bold colors.

In the closely contested limited series category, Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters won for supporting roles as a housewife and detective in “Mare of Easttown” about a murder in a small Philadelphia town.

“Mare of Easttown” is also nominated for best limited series in a closely contested category that includes harrowing British rape drama “I May Destroy You,” innovative superhero dramedy “WandaVision,” and chess drama “The Queen’s Gambit.”

The popular and satirical “Saturday Night Live” won for best variety sketch series

One of television’s most popular shows – 1990s comedy “Friends” – could make an Emmys comeback. The “Friends” reunion special that saw the six main actors reminisce earlier this year about their days playing 20Something New Yorkers is competing against the filmed version of Broadway musical “Hamilton” for best variety special.

—Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine and Steve Gorman; Editing by Peter Cooney and Howard Goller