Emmys 2018: From Amy Sherman-Palladino to John Legend, All the Major Milestones and Historic Wins
By Stacy Lambe
While the 2018 Emmys was dubbed "Emmys So White," the Television Academy did make history during this year's ceremony.
Things got started with the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which were handed out Sept. 8-9, where black performers won all four guest acting categories while Yance Ford became the second openly transgender person to win a Primetime Emmy. Additionally, three EGOTs were completed when Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert won Outstanding Variety Special (Live). (Legend became the first black person to win a competitive EGOT.)
The milestones continued Monday evening, when Amy Sherman-Palladino became the first woman to writing and directing awards in the same night and Amazon became the second streaming network to win a top prize.
Here’s how the 2018 Emmys made history this year:
Black performers -- Katt Williams (Atlanta), Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us), Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Tiffany Haddish (Saturday Night Live) -- swept all four of the Guest Acting categories for the first time in Emmy history.
While Sandra Oh missed out on her historic Emmy win, Darren Criss, who is half Filipino, became the third Asian person to win an acting Emmy. He took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for portraying gay serial killer Andrew Cunanan on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Three EGOTs -- a winner of an Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony -- were awarded to Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Legend and Tim Rice when Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert won Outstanding Variety Special (Live). Legend is also the first black man to earn a competitive EGOT. Speaking with ET after his win, the singer said “it’s kind of surreal. It's something I never even thought about when I started my career.”
GLOW’s Shauna Duggins became the first woman to win a Stunt Coordination Emmy. When speaking to Deadline backstage at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, she said she was “honored” to be the first female winner, but noted that “this show, in general, breaks the mold for women.”
Yance Ford, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker and director of Strong Island, became the second openly transgender person to win a Primetime Emmy, for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. Joanna Fang previously won in 2016 for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera) for Cartel Land. “Oh, what a night!” Ford tweeted later.
Amy Sherman-Palladino, who created The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, made history as the first woman to win writing and directing Emmys in same year. She won both for the Amazon series. This year was also the first time writer-producer-director was nominated for and won an Emmy.
At 93 years old, Sir David Attenborough is now the oldest Emmy winner ever, taking home the prize for Outstanding Narrator for his work on Blue Planet II. Betty White was the previous titleholder, winning an Emmy at 88 for hosting Saturday Night Live.
Several notable Hollywood and TV veterans -- Christina Pickles (83, Break a Hip), Henry Winkler (72, Barry), Attenborough (93, Blue Planet II), Rice (73, Jesus Christ Superstar) and Webber (70, Jesus Christ Superstar) -- won their first Emmys after years in the industry and, for most, multiple past nominations.
RuPaul's Drag Race finally snatched the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program Emmy, becoming the fourth series to win in the category's 15-year history.
Last year, Hulu became the first streaming platform to win a top program prize -- Outstanding Drama Series for The Handmaid’s Tale -- and this year, Amazon rose to the occasion, winning Outstanding Comedy Series for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The Amazon series won a total of eight Emmys.
Apple -- a newbie to streaming TV -- won its first Emmy for original programming when Carpool Karaoke: The Series won Outstanding Short Form Variety Series. Apple, of course, has several high-profile scripted TV projects in the works.
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, co-hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, were handed out live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 17. Check out the full list of winners and ET’s ongoing Emmy coverage here.