The 2021 Emmy Awards

By Lisa Respers France, Marianne Garvey, Chloe Melas, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 1:46 AM ET, Mon September 20, 2021
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12:04 a.m. ET, September 20, 2021

Big wins and lots of laughs: Here's what happened at this year's Emmys

From CNN's Chloe Melas

Cedric the Entertainer hosts the 73rd Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 19, in Los Angeles.
Cedric the Entertainer hosts the 73rd Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 19, in Los Angeles. (Cliff Lipson/CBS/Getty Images)

First off, Cedric the Entertainer should host the Emmys every year. Heck, I nominate him right now to host the Oscars. He was just the right bit of funny, snarky and the skits were smart. I think it's safe to say that the opening number put us all in a good mood.

Now, although the show felt an hour too long — most of us have leaned on television during the Covid-19 pandemic. So it feels like this year especially, we've all seen pretty much everything that's nominated. At least I do!

The two shows that took home the most awards over the past two weekends were "Ted Lasso," which won seven, and "The Crown," who won 11. If you aren't watching those, you need to start binging. When it comes to one of the most coveted categories, outstanding limited series, the award went to one of my favorite shows, "The Queens Gambit."

It was a big night for Netflix who took home a total of 44 Emmys, tying an all-time record for a single year, according to CNN's Brian Lowry.

Also, major props to RuPaul Charles, who made Emmy history by becoming the most-awarded person of color in the show's history with 11 wins.

Kate Winslet accepts her award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie at the Emmy Awards, on September 19.
Kate Winslet accepts her award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie at the Emmy Awards, on September 19. (Cliff Lipson/CBS/Getty Images)

Bravo to Kate Winslet who took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie for her role in "Mare of Easttown." Well deserved.

Much love to Jean Smart who won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role in "Hacks." I've been rooting for her since her days on "Designing Women."

An emotional moment was when Debbie Allen received a standing ovation as she was awarded the Governors Award at the Emmys.

Lastly, best speech of the night went to "I Will Destroy You" star Michaela Coel, who dedicated her Emmy win for outstanding writing for a limited or anthology series or movie to survivors of sexual abuse.

11:39 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

"The Crown" sweeps the night with 7 Emmy Awards

“The Crown”
“The Crown” (Des Willie/Netflix)

It was a royal night for Netflix drama "The Crown."

The show was the big winner of the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards taking home seven awards tonight.

The show won in the following categories:

  • Outstanding drama series
  • Lead actor in a drama
  • Lead actress in a drama
  • Best supporting actor
  • Best supporting actress
  • Outstanding directing for a drama
  • Outstanding writing in a drama

This is in addition to the show's four awards already announced last weekend for:

  • Outstanding single-camera picture editing for a drama series
  • Outstanding guest actress in a drama series
  • Outstanding cinematography for a single-camera series (one hour)
  • Outstanding casting for a drama series

The drama takes home a total of 11 Emmys this year.

11:19 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

"The Queen's Gambit" wins for outstanding limited series

“The Queen’s Gambit”
“The Queen’s Gambit” (Charlie Gray/Netflix)

"The Queen's Gambit" just won the Emmy for outstanding limited series.

The hit Netflix show follows the story of fictional child prodigy Beth Harmon, who rises to become a grandmaster in the male-dominated world of chess.

11:09 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

"The Crown" wins outstanding drama series

From CNN's Chloe Melas

“The Crown”
“The Crown” (Des Willie/Netflix)

One of the most important categories of the night is outstanding drama series.

This year's winner was Netflix's hit show "The Crown."

The cast erupted into cheers from their off site location in London. The show won numerous awards throughout the night including Olivia Colman walking away with an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series.

11:09 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

"Ted Lasso" wins outstanding comedy series

From CNN's Lisa Respers France

“Ted Lasso”
“Ted Lasso” (Colin Hutton/AppleTV+)

"Ted Lasso" took home the Emmy for best comedy series.

The win topped an excellent night for the Apple TV+ series that has stolen many a heart this year and snagged several Emmys Sunday night.

In the words of Coach Ted Lasso: "As the man once said, the harder you work, the luckier you get."

11:02 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

"Hamilton" wins Emmy for outstanding pre-recorded variety special

"Hamilton" (Disney+)

"Hamilton" just won an Emmy in the outstanding variety special (pre-recorded) category.

Actress Renée Elise Goldsberry said the award represented "the synergy between the medium of television and theater."

"What a gift we can be to each other. What a gift you gave us last year when we were dark and dispersed. Television provided the platform for us to come together to put on a show," she said.

"Look around, look around! The curtains are going back up. And the lights are coming back on," Goldsberry added in a nod to Broadway reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic.

11:00 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

Stephen Colbert thanks team for "amazing" work producing "Election Night 2020" special during pandemic

(Scott Kowalchyk/CBS/Getty Images)
(Scott Kowalchyk/CBS/Getty Images)

Stephen Colbert's "Election Night 2020" just won the Emmy for variety live special.

He commended his team for pulling off producing the show during the pandemic.

"The most amazing thing is that these people did this show, not just in their own little zoom rooms, like everybody in this industry did over the past year, they did a live show in their own zoom rooms," Colbert said.

He continued: "And it meant everybody on the show had to be their own leader and ask everything of themselves and do more than I could ever have expected."

Conan O'Brien crashed the stage and acted overly excited. Colbert joked about O'Brien's bit, saying, "most of the people behind me, most of the people behind me really deserve this Emmy right now."

10:47 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

"The Crown" star Josh O'Connor wins lead actor in a drama series: "I'm an absolute wreck"

From CNN's Lisa Respers France

Josh O’Connor in “The Crown.”
Josh O’Connor in “The Crown.” (Alex Bailey/Netflix)

Josh O'Connor won the lead actor in a drama Emmy for his role as Prince Charles in "The Crown."

"I'm an absolute wreck," O'Connor said in accepting the award.

"Making 'The Crown' has been the most rewarding two years of my life," he continued before thanking the cast, crew and others involved in the production as well as his parents, siblings and girlfriend.

"And finally to my grandparents, my grandmother who passed a few months ago and my grandfather Peter O'Connor, who hopefully will watch this in the morning, your kindness and loyalty has been the greatest gift," he said. "Thank you so much."

10:40 p.m. ET, September 19, 2021

Olivia Colman wins Emmy for "The Crown"

From CNN's Chloe Melas

Olivia Colman in “The Crown.”
Olivia Colman in “The Crown.” (Ollie Upton/Netflix)

Olivia Colman has done it, she took home the coveted award for lead actress in a drama series for her role as Queen Elizabeth in Netflix's hit series "The Crown."

She accepted the award from a separate Emmys set in London and became emotional talking about her father who passed away during the pandemic.

Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson presented Colman with the award.