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UPDATE 5-'Watchmen,' 'Schitt's Creek' rule at virtual Emmys with pandemic and political twists

Mon, 21st Sep 2020 00:34

* Emmys broadcast was live but mostly remote

* HBO biggest network winner

* 'Watchmen' wins most Emmys, with 11
(Recasts to update with end of show, adding quotes, other
winners)

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Media family saga
"Succession," dystopian drama "Watchmen" and feel-good comedy
"Schitt's Creek" dominated the Emmy Awards on Sunday in a show
sprinkled with jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, political
jibes and appeals for racial justice.

"Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys!," said host Jimmy
Kimmel, opening the show, where most celebrities took part
remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of
gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.

"It seems frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a
global pandemic," Kimmel said as he opened the live show from
Los Angeles.

"What's happening tonight is not important. It's not going
to stop COVID. It's not going to put out the fires, but it's
fun. And right now we need fun. ... This has been a miserable
year. It's been a year of division, injustice (and) disease," he
added.

HBO's "Succession," the wickedly juicy tale of a
fractious media family, was named best drama series, while
Jeremy Strong won best actor for his role as a downtrodden son.
"Succession's seven-Emmy haul included writing and
directing.

In one of the most pointed acceptance speeches of the night,
"Succession" creator Jesse Armstrong made a series of what he
called "un-thank yous."

"Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this
year. Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and
uncoordinated response. Un-thank you to (British Prime Minister)
Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my
country. Un-thank you to all the nationalist and sort of
quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the
opposite of what we need right now," said Armstrong.

HBO's alternative-reality show "Watchmen," infused
with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress
Regina King won for her lead performance as the show's kick-ass
police detective.

"Watchmen" was the night's biggest winner with a total of 11
Emmys, including technical awards handed out last week. HBO was
the biggest overall winner, with 30 Emmys, followed by Netflix
with 21.

"Watchmen" creator Damon Lindelof dedicated his Emmy to the
victims and survivors of the 1921 massacre of the Black
community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which partly inspired the series.

BLACK LIVES

Several celebrities, including King, presenter Sterling K.
Brown, and "Mrs. America" supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba,
wore Black Lives Matter-themed t-shirts or urged viewers to vote
in the Nov. 3 U.S. elections.

"Schitt's Creek," a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network
about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown
motel, won a total of nine Emmys, including best comedy series
as well as acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O'Hara,
Eugene Levy, his son Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy.

The coronavirus pandemic meant no red carpet and no physical
audience. Instead, producers sent camera kits and microphones to
all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who
chose how and where they wanted to be seen.

The "Schitt's Creek" winners got their trophies delivered to
them in a restaurant-style setup in Ontario, Canada, by a person
dressed in a custom hazmat suit, designed to resemble a tuxedo.

The biggest shock of the night came when former Disney
Channel actress Zendaya, 24, was named best drama actress for
playing a teen drug addict in HBO's "Euphoria," beating presumed
favorites Laura Linney ("Ozark") and Jennifer Aniston ("The
Morning Show.")

"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" was named best variety
talk series for the fifth successive year, and the British
comedian accepted wearing a red Liverpool soccer shirt in honor
of his favorite British team.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine and Nichola Groom;
editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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