On night two of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Jeff Probst opened the show by praising the rise of unscripted television and other formats and fields of television that didn’t previously exist. Remembering the first Emmy Awards ceremony in 1949, which had just three categories, makes this year’s field of 124, split over the course of three nights and ceremonies, feel all the more spectacular.
The large groups of tech teams that came up on the stage all exuded positivity about the collaborative process they regularly enjoy with their colleagues, and the joy of being part of an industry that has rebounded following a pandemic and two major strikes.
Night two leaned heavily into variety and reality, emphasizing editing, sound, lighting, and other technical aspects of television production. Presenters including Dancing with the Stars’ Derek and Julianne Hough, Shark Tank’s Lori Grainer, America’s Most Wanted’s John Walsh, and Padma Lakshimi. Among the best comedic bits were Kate Berlant and John Early rambling on about how God created lighting direction and Robin Thede obsessing over crime podcasts while introducing prizes for nonfiction programs.
Carol Burnett was in the audience on behalf of Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love, and was referenced many times by those onstage who saw her and had nothing but admiration for her contributions to television over the years. The show had an emotional end when that project took home the last prize of the night, for pre-recorded variety special, and a teary Burnett took the stage.
After an extremely enthusiastic reception from the audience, Burnett stopped by to tell press that she was still nervous, even at her age, and offered advice to young people looking to get into the industry. She told them not to give up and recalled a story of when she didn’t get a role she wanted early on in her career, where she realized that it wasn’t yet her turn.
Don’t get discouraged, she stressed, offering hope to those who look up to her and see someone who has had an inarguably extraordinary career.
Perseverance and success was a big theme of the night. The Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Starring Rihanna director Hamish Hamilton cited his long record of unsuccessful nominations in his acceptance speech, overjoyed at his first-ever record. The 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony lighting designer Allen Branton won his second career Emmy and humorously noted how he had forgotten to thank his wife the first time, inviting an amused audience to imagine how that went before the camera showed her face in the audience.
Voters warmly embraced Welcome to Wrexham in a number of categories, including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, and everyone involved warmly thanked the people of Wrexham for contributing to the joyous experience of making the show. Queer Eye executive producer David Collins emphasized the excitement of taking back the word “queer” and turning it into something positive as the show celebrated its sixth consecutive win for Outstanding Structured Reality Program.
After two stretches of five consecutive wins from 2010 to 2014 and 2017 to 2021, Saturday Night Live was once again victorious in the category of Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, with Liz Patrick taking home the award for Steve Martin and Martin Short’s cohosted episode. The Simpsons was honored as Outstanding Animated Program for the twelfth time, the first since 2019. For its fourth and final season, A Black Lady Sketch Show won its third trophy in a row for Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming. RuPaul won his eighth consecutive award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program, which means she has now won that prize for half the time it has existed.
There was some crossover with potential Oscar nominees in the nonfiction categories as Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, which is currently on the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, was crowned Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, winning a few additional prizes. The team conveyed that they believe the film is powerful both with a packed audience and as an intimate experience on a television. Two of last year’s Oscar-shortlisted titles that ultimately failed to garner nominations, Moonage Daydream and The Territory, both picked up Emmy wins in the sound categories and for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking, respectively.
Honoring projects that may have aired nearly a year and a half ago didn’t take the excitement out of the affair since winners were clearly pleased to see their work recognized, even at such a late date. Almost all winners were present, or at least part of the teams, to offer a speech, including juried prizes whose recipients had been previously notified. Maya Rudolph, who picked up a third win for voice-over work on Big Mouth, wasn’t in the house. When Barack Obama was announced as Outstanding Narrator for lending his voice to Working: What We Do All Day, presenters Adam Blackstone and Ricky Minor cracked themselves – and the audience – up when they stated the obvious that the former POTUS couldn’t be there.
The ceremony ran mainly on time, with just a few people choosing to go over their quick thirty-second allotment or allowing more than one member of the team to speak. For all, the concept of being honored by peers and feted within a thriving – and densely populated – television industry seemed to be most rewarding. Keke Palmer, who was crowned Outstanding Host for a Game Show for her work on Password in the category’s first-time promotion to the Primetime Emmy Awards, expressed that she has been working since she was nine years old and this Emmy win means being truly acknowledged by her industry. Fortunately, due to this delayed ceremony, TV contributions can be celebrated again soon, as the 76th Emmy Awards voting cycle begins this June ahead of planned September ceremonies.
Both nights of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be edited into a television presentation set to air on Saturday, January 13th at 8:00 PM EST/PST on FXX and be available for streaming on Hulu on Sunday, Jan. 14th. Read below for a complete list of winners.
Short Form Comedy, Drama or Variety Series: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series: Succession: Controlling the Narrative
Picture Editing for Variety Programming: A Black Lady Sketch Show
Directing for a Variety Series: Saturday Night Live
Directing for a Variety Special: The Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Starring Rihanna
Lighting Design / Lighting Direction for a Variety Special: 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Lighting Design /Lighting Direction for a Variety Series: Dancing with the Stars
Individual Achievement in Animation, Lead Character Design: Entergalactic
Individual Achievement in Animation, Character Animation: The Simpsons
Individual Achievement in Animation, Color: More Than I Want to Remember
Individual Achievement in Animation, Production Design: Star Wars, Visions
Commercial: Apple – The Greatest – Accessibility
Narrator: Barack Obama (Working: What We Do All Day)
Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program: 100 Foot Wave
Cinematography for a Reality Program: Welcome to Wrexham
Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming: Dancing with the Stars
Production Design for a Variety Special: The Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Starring Rihanna
Production Design for a Variety or Reality Series: Saturday Night Live
Costumes for Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Programming: Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration
Costumes for Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Programming: We’re Here
Unstructured Reality Program: Welcome to Wrexham
Structured Reality Program: Queer Eye
Directing for a Reality Program: Welcome to Wrexham
Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program: RuPaul’s Drag Race
Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program: Welcome to Wrexham
Casting for a Reality Program: The Traitors
Writing for a Variety Special: John Mulaney: Baby J
Makeup for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program (Non-Prosthetic): Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration
Game Show: Jeopardy!
Host for a Game Show: Keke Palmer, Password
Hairstyling for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program: We’re Here
Host for a Reality or Competition Program: RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race
Sound Mixing for a Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera): Welcome to Wrexham
Sound Mixing for a Variety Series of Special: Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium
Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera): Moonage Daydream
Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera): Moonage Daydream
Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score): Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Music Direction: Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song
Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special: Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy
Documentary or Nonfiction Special: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Documentary or Nonfiction Series: The 1619 Project
Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking: The Territory
Writing for a Nonfiction Program: The U.S. and the Holocaust
Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Directing for a Documentary / Nonfiction Program: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Animated Program: The Simpsons
Character Voice-Over Performance: Maya Rudolph
Emerging Media Program: For All Mankind Season 3 Experience
Technical Direction and Camerawork for a Series: Dancing with the Stars
Technical Direction and Camerawork for a Special: Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium
Variety Special (Pre-Recorded): Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love