Plenty of history was made at the Emmys Sunday night.
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her sixth consecutive Emmy as Best Comedy Actress for “Veep.” She stands alone in that category and tied Cloris Leachman for the most acting Emmys ever.
• Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for writing (for “Master of None.”)
• Hulu became the first streaming service to win a Best Drama Emmy for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
The series did well in other categories, too, picking up acting prizes for Elisabeth Moss, Ann Dowd and Alexis Bledel. It also won writing and directing awards, making it one of the night’s biggest winners.
Another big winner: “Big Little Lies,” which won Best Limited Series, Best Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Supporting Actor (Alexander Skarsgard), Best Supporting Actress (Laura Dern) and Best Director.
While Sterling Brown (“This is Us”) had one of the best acceptance speeches of the night, he was played off by the orchestra and kept talking – even though no one could hear. Moss was bleeped when she started swearing and Aziz Ansari didn’t get to say a word, even though he shared the writing prize with Waithe.
As host, Stephen Colbert did a great job, mixing pretaped bits (with RuPaul as Emmy, with the cast of “Westworld” as a malfunctioning robot host) with live gags (many aimed at his “Late Show” target Donald Trump). He was calm, quick and able to turn a loss to John Oliver (for Variety Talk Series) into a great bit with Jimmy Kimmel (they drank a John Oliver, which was made with bitters).
HBO roared back, too, winning that Talk Show award, Best Limited Series and Best Comedy (“Veep”), topping the field with 29 wins.
“Saturday Night Live” was a rebounder, too, winning Best Variety Sketch series and acting prizes for Kate McKinnon, Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy and Dave Chappelle.
If there was a surprise it was in the number of series that went home without any Sunday hardware: “Fargo,” “Feud,” “Better Call Saul,” “The Americans,” “House of Cards,” “Transparent,” “Stranger Things,” “Westworld,” “Silicon Valley,” “Modern Family,” “black-ish” and “Genius.”
Donald Glover got two prizes for his new series, “Atlanta” (Best Director and Best Comedy Actor), and Riz Ahmed topped a tough field for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for “The Night Of.”
While producers tried to give the broadcast a glitzy moment as winners left the stage (there was a flank of photographers greeting them), their best move was hiring Jermaine Fowler (from “Superior Donuts”) to serve as the announcer. He looked like a deejay spinning the results and, at times, he seemed genuinely excited to greet the recipients.
While it was probably a given that someone from the Trump administration would appear, former press secretary Sean Spicer didn’t quite live up to Melissa McCarthy’s standard. He tried to riff with Colbert, but it was another one of those cases of too little, too late.
The evening’s best thrill: Hearing “Bruce Miller” announced as the winner of best drama writing for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Nope, that wasn’t me, but I did meet him years ago and he totally deserved the trophy.