Emmys 2017: The Winners and the Standout Moments

Emmys 2017 Winners
The cast and crew of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ accepts the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards (Photo by Trae Patton © 2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc)

The 2017 Emmy Awards host Stephen Colbert kicked off the September 17th live broadcast on CBS with a song about how the world’s a little better on TV. Global warming, politics, and the general craziness of the world are all made better by television, suggesting even treason’s better on TV as he sat in a car with The Americans stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. Colbert did not steer away from politics, and much of his opening monologue featured jabs at Trump who has stated/tweeted that he believes he deserved an Emmy for The Apprentice. Colbert also used the opening bit to thank first responders, caring neighbors, and nuns with chainsaws for all they’ve done to help those affected by the recent hurricanes.

Judging by reactions on Twitter, viewers were split over the surprise Emmy Awards appearance by ex-Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer appeared on the stage during Colbert’s opening monologue, complete with a podium, declaring, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period.” A quick cut to Melissa McCarthy in the audience found her indicating his impersonation was on point. However, Colbert did follow Spicer’s appearance up a few minutes later with a jab at the former Trump Press Secretary, pointing out Robert De Niro and saying his Wizard of Lies film is actually the Sean Spicer Story.

Among the more memorable moments of the 2017 Emmys was The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Ann Dowd’s reaction to hearing her name read as the winner in the Supporting Actress in a Drama category. Dowd appeared genuinely shocked and overcome with emotion when her name was announced and she tearily made her way through her acceptance speech. Emmy winner This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown proclaimed himself first and foremost a fan, claimed his co-stars were the best white TV family a brother has ever had, and was in the middle of delivering one of the better speeches of the night when he was cut off, while Nicole Kidman’s acceptance speech for Big Little Lies, which touched on female driven projects and domestic abuse, was allowed to continue despite being over the designated limit. John Oliver lightened the mood a bit when he was on stage to collect his two Emmys, following up presenter Dave Chappelle’s shout-out to DC Public Schools by asking fans to tweet the #DCPublicSchools hashtag to get it trending. Oliver also thanked Oprah, simply because he felt like he should given that she was seated in the front row.

Dolly Parton joked about a vibrator, something no one expected to ever hear referenced by Parton at the Emmys, while on stage with her 9 to 5 co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Tomlin and Fonda recalled how in the film they were not going to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot, adding that also applies to 2017.

More importantly, history was made during the 2017 Emmys as Atlanta‘s Lena Waithe became the first African American woman to win as a comedy writer for her work on Master of None. Donald Glover’s Emmy win for directing the comedy series Atlanta made him the first African American to win in that category. And Riz Ahmed broke new ground as the first Asian man to earn an acting Emmy for his incredible performance in HBO’s The Night Of.

Overall, Saturday Night Live, Big Little Lies, and The Handmaid’s Tale were 2017’s big winners. Westworld, Stranger Things, and Feud were snubbed, although each won awards during the Creative Arts portion of this year’s Emmys.

2017 Emmys Nominees and Winners

Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Crown
WINNER: The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us

Comedy Series
Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Limited Series or TV Movie
WINNER: Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Night Of

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder
Claire Foy – The Crown
WINNER: Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale
Keri Russell – The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
WINNER: Sterling K Brown – This Is Us
Anthony Hopkins – Westworld
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys – The Americans
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson – Black-ish
Aziz Ansari – Master of None
Zach Galifianakis – Baskets
WINNER: Donald Glover – Atlanta
William H. Macy – Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Lead Actress in a Comedy
Pamela Adlon – Better Things
Jane Fonda – Grace and Frankie
Allison Janney – Mom
Ellie Kemper – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
WINNER: Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish
Lily Tomlin – Grace and Frankie

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
WINNER: Riz Ahmed – The Night Of
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock
Robert De Niro – Wizard of Lies
Ewan McGregor – Fargo
Geoffrey Rush – Genius
John Turturro – The Night Of

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Carrie Coon – Fargo
Felicity Huffman – American Crime
WINNER: Nicole Kidman – Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange – Feud
Susan Sarandon – Feud
Reese Witherspoon – Big Little Lies

Supporting Actor in a Drama
Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul
Ron Cephas Jones – This Is Us
David Harbour – Stranger Things
Michael Kelly – House of Cards
WINNER: John Lithgow – The Crown
Mandy Patinkin – Homeland
Jeffrey Wright – Westworld

Directing for a Drama Series
“Witness,” Better Call Saul – Vince Gilligan
“Hyde Park Corner,” The Crown – Stephen Daldry
“The Bridge,” The Handmaid’s Tale – Kate Dennis
WINNER: “Offred (Pilot),” The Handmaid’s Tale – Reed Morano
“America First,” Homeland – Lesli Linka Glatter
“Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers,” Stranger Things – 
The Duffer Brothers
“The Bicameral Mind,” Westworld – Jonathan Nolan

Writing for a Drama Series
“The Soviet Division,” The Americans – Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg
“Chicanery,” Better Call Saul – Gordon Smith
“Assassins,” The Crown – Peter Morgan
WINNER: “Offred (Pilot),” The Handmaid’s Tale – Bruce Miller
“Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers,” Stranger Things – The Duffer Brothers
“The Bicameral Mind,” Westworld – Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan

Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Louie Anderson – Baskets
WINNER: Alec Baldwin – Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Tony Hale – Veep
Matt Walsh – Veep

Supporting Actress in a Drama
Uzo Aduba – Orange Is the New Black
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things
WINNER: Ann Dowd – The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz – This Is Us
Thandie Newton – Westworld
Samira Wiley – The Handmaid’s Tale

Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Vanessa Bayer – Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky – Veep
Kathryn Hahn – Transparent
Leslie Jones – Saturday Night Live
Judith Light – Transparent
WINNER: Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live

Directing a Comedy Series
WINNER: “B.A.N.,” Atlanta – Donald Glover
“Intellectual Property,” Silicon Valley – Jamie Babbit
“Server Error,” Silicon Valley – Mike Judge
“Blurb,” Veep – Morgan Sackett
“Groundbreaking,” Veep – David Mandel
“Justice,” Veep – Dale Stern

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Bill Camp – The Night Of
Alfred Molina – Feud
WINNER: Alexander Skarsgard – Big Little Lies
David Thewlis – Fargo
Stanley Tucci – Feud
Michael Kenneth Williams – The Night Of

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Judy Davis – Feud
WINNER: Laura Dern – Big Little Lies
Jackie Hoffman – Feud
Regina King – American Crime
Michelle Pfeiffer – The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley – Big Little Lies

Variety Talk
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
WINNER: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Outstanding Television Movie
WINNER: Black Mirror
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Wizard of Lies

Directing for a Variety Series
“Hamilton,” Drunk History – Derek Waters, Jeremy Konner
“The (RED) Show,” Jimmy Kimmel Live – Andy Fisher
“Multi-Level Marketing,” Last Week Tonight With John Oliver – 
Paul Pennolino
“Episode 0179,” The Late Show With Stephen Colbert – Jim Hoskinson
WINNER: “Jimmy Fallon,” Saturday Night Live – Don Roy King

Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
WINNER: “San Junipero,” Black Mirror – Charlie Brooker
Big Little Lies – David E. Kelley
“The Law of Vacant Place,” Fargo – Noah Hawley
“And the Winner Is …,” FEUD: Bette And Joan – Ryan Murphy
“Pilot,” FEUD: Bette And Joan – Jaffe Cohen, Michael Zam, 
Ryan Murphy
“The Call of the Wild,” The Night Of – 
Richard Price, Steven Zaillian

Reality Competition Series
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef
WINNER: The Voice

Writing for a Comedy Series
“B.A.N.,” Atlanta – Donald Glover
“Streets on Lock,” Atlanta – Stephen Glover
WINNER: “Thanksgiving,” Master of None – Aziz Ansari, Lena Waithe
“Success Failure,” Silicon Valley – Alec Berg
“Georgia,” Veep – Billy Kimball
“Groundbreaking,” Veep – David Mandel

Writing for a Variety Series
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
WINNER: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Late Night With Seth Meyers
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Saturday Night Live

Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
WINNER: Big Little Lies – Jean-Marc Vallée
“The Law of Vacant Places,” Fargo – Noah Hawley
“And the Winner Is …,” FEUD: Bette And Joan – Ryan Murphy
“Einstein: Chapter One,” Genius – Ron Howard
“The Art of War,”The Night Of – James Marsh
“The Beach,”The Night Of – Steven Zaillian

Variety Sketch Series
Billy On The Street
Documentary Now!
Drunk History
WINNER: Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show