LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Ted Lasso” took a dark turn and ended up with another bright and shiny Emmy.
The show won its second straight Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series on Monday night.
The Apple TV+ series starring Jason Sudeikis as the fish-out-of-water coach of an American soccer team managing a soccer club in England focused on the mental health and pain of its characters in its second season, and was recognized for it by Emmy voters.
“Ted Lasso” beat competitors such as “Barry”, “Hacks”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “Abbot Elementary”, “Only Murders in The Building” and “What We Do in the Shadows.”
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.
Zendaya, Jason Sudeikis and Jean Smart were Emmy recipients on Monday as the ceremony also honored several early winners, including Lizzo, Lee Jung-jae of “Squid Game” and Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph of “Abbott Elementary.”
“Thank you for creating such a safe space to make this show very difficult,” said Zendaya, two-time winner of “Euphoria,” the drama series about teens and their difficult transition to adulthood.
“My biggest wish for ‘Euphoria’ was that it could help heal people. Thank you to everyone who shared your story with me. I carry them with me and carry them with me,” also said Zendaya, her character, Street.
Sudeikis won his second straight trophy for football comedy “Ted Lasso,” with Smart matching that haul for stand-up-centric comedy “Hacks.” Sudeikis presented a rare TV consumer awards ceremony.
“Thank you to the people who watch this show and dig it as much as we make it,” he said.
Ralph stopped the Emmy Awards show by accepting the best supporting actress comedy award for “Abbott Elementary” with a brief but catchy affirmation song.
“I’m an endangered species, but I don’t sing any victim songs. I am a woman, I am an artist and I know where my voice belongs,” she said. She then encouraged anyone doubting her dream “I’m here to tell you what belief is like.”
The audience, including Lizzo and many TV stars, stood up to cheer on Ralph.
When Lizzo herself accepted the Best Competition Series trophy award for “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” she offered another emotional pep talk.
“When I was little, all I wanted to see was me in the media. Someone fat like me, black like me, beautiful like me,” the musical artist said.
“Ted Lasso” co-star Brett Goldstein won comedy supporting actor honors, while “Succession”‘s Matthew Macfadyen and “Ozark”‘s Julia Garner won supporting actor honors.
“It’s such a pleasure and privilege for me to play this crazy gift of a role on this wonderful show,” Macfadyen said as he accepted the trophy for his role as an intriguing member of a media empire family.
Garner was among the winners who took advantage of covering all the bases by thanking her husband and others in an on-screen message.
“The White Lotus” garnered several accolades, including Best Limited or Anthology Series.
Host Kenan Thompson kicked off the Emmys with a tribute to television, dismissing Tik-Tok as “little vertical TV” and a musical number hailing the show’s theme songs from “Friends” to “The Brady Bunch” to “Game of Thrones.”
After the music stopped, Thompson provided a drop-off moment from the mic – announcing Oprah Winfrey as the first presenter. Winfrey strutted onstage holding an Emmy statuette, declaring the night “a party!” The first prize of the evening was awarded to Michael Keaton for his role in “Dopesick”. Winfrey and Keaton hugged before she presented him with her trophy.
“It means something,” Keaton said of the award for playing a caring doctor trapped by addiction to his patients. He then recalled the “magic” of being featured on TV when his father won a set in a raffle and thanked his parents for not making fun of his young acting attempts.
Amanda Seyfried won the limited series lead actress trophy for “The Dropout,” in which she played Elizabeth Holmes, the hapless Silicon Valley prodigy. She thanked a list of family members and co-workers and even her dog, Finn.
Murray Bartlett won Best Supporting Actor for the limited series of “The White Lotus,” a tragicomedy set in a Hawaiian resort. Jennifer Coolidge, who won Best Supporting Actress honors for the show, thrilled the audience as she jiggled to the music meant to interrupt her acceptance speech.
The award for best variety talk show went to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” with the stand-up special “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel” winning for best writing for a comedy special.
“Good night everyone. I’m going home. I’m not like a bad winner, but I’m going to go home because I can’t do better right now,” a defeated Carmichael said at the audience.
Monday’s show’s dynamic start was very different from top drama contenders, including the violently dystopian “Squid Game,” the dark workplace satire “Severance” and “Succession,” about a powerful and fierce family. Even comedy contestant “Ted Lasso,” the reigning champ, took a dark turn in the storytelling.
The Emmys air live on NBC and stream on Peacock.
The first arrivals on the golden carpet of the living room took on a fun and upbeat tone despite temperatures in the 80s with unusual humidity in downtown Los Angeles. The glamor was back with a metallic sheen and lots of bright colors as otherworldly Britt Lower, Old Hollywood Elle Fanning and fellow stars posed for photographers.
Although HBO’s “Succession,” which won Best Drama Series of 2020, and Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” are considered favorites for Best Series honors, there is potential for surprises. Global sensation Netflix’s “Squid Game” would be the first non-English language drama series to win an Emmy.
On the comedy side, ABC’s Acclaimed Newcomer “Abbott Elementary” could become the first TV show to win Best Comedy since the network’s “Modern Family” in 2014. It’s also one of the few contenders this year, along with “Squid Game,” to field a significant number of nominees of color.
At Creative Arts Emmy Awards held earlier this month, the mockumentary-style show about educators at an underfunded school in Philadelphia, took home the trophy for outstanding comedy series casting. “Succession” won the drama series casting award.
“The Crown,” last year’s big winner, was out of contention this time around because it missed the Emmys eligibility period. The dramatized account of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and family life will return for its fifth season in November, as Britain mourns the loss of its oldest monarch died Thursday at the age of 96.
AP Writer Beth Harris contributed to this report.
For more on this year’s Emmy Awards, visit: www.apnews.com/EmmyAwards