The 2023 Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held over two nights on January 7th and 8th, honoring outstanding artistic and technical achievements in television. Major winners included HBO’s acclaimed video game adaptation “The Last of Us” and comedy legend Judith Light.
“The Last of Us” Dominates with 8 Wins
HBO’s hit series “The Last of Us” was the top winner on the first night of the Creative Arts Emmys, picking up an impressive 8 awards. Based on the popular Playstation video game, “The Last of Us” led all shows with wins including:
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Storm Reid)
- Outstanding Music Composition for a Series
- Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series
- Outstanding Special Visual Effects
- 3 Outstanding Stunt Coordination awards
Storm Reid was one of several first-time Emmy winners, taking home the prize for her acclaimed guest performance as Riley Abel on the emotionally-charged episode “Long Long Time.”
Co-star Nick Offerman also won for his guest role as survivalist Bill, bringing his trademark gruff heart to the post-apocalyptic drama. Offerman told press that he was “overwhelmed with gratitude” for the award.
With its early domination at the Creative Arts ceremony, “The Last of Us” is well-positioned as a front-runner for more wins at the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on September 10th. Its total of 8 Creative Arts wins trails only “Game of Thrones” for most ever.
Comedy Legend Judith Light Wins First Emmy in 39 Years
In a major surprise, comedy icon Judith Light took home her first Emmy in 39 years for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. She was recognized for her role as mother-in-law Shelly on the freshman Peacock series “Bupkis” starring Pete Davidson.
Light has been beloved by TV audiences for decades since her starring roles on “Who’s the Boss” and “Ugly Betty,” but had not won an Emmy since her back-to-back Lead Actress prizes in 1984-85. Her return to Emmy glory after nearly four decades brought Light to tears during her emotional acceptance speech.
“I cannot believe this moment,” Light said through happy sobs. “If you stay in your own integrity long enough, maybe it pays off!”
|Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
|Judith Light, “Bupkis”
|Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
|Sam Richardson, “Ted Lasso”
Light was not the only comedy legend honored on the second night of Creative Arts. Legendary variety star Carol Burnett also finally captured her first-ever Emmy for the documentary series “Carol Burnett: Laughter & Reflection,” chronicling her groundbreaking career.
“It’s about time!” the 90-year-old Burnett quipped. “I guess dreams do come true.”
Obama, Mulaney, and Sheeran Among Other Notable Winners
Former President Barack Obama picked up his third Emmy overall, and second in a row, for Outstanding Narrator. Obama won for his narration of the Netflix documentary series “Our Great National Parks.”
Comedian John Mulaney also added another Emmy to his trophy case, winning Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for his Netflix showcase “John Mulaney: From Scratch.”
And global pop superstar Ed Sheeran was honored with the Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for his song “Celestial” from the animated film “Pokémon: A Journey Through Alola.”
What to Expect at September’s Primetime Emmy Awards
Based on the early winners from the Creative Arts categories, HBO’s “The Last of Us” enters the Primetime Emmy Awards on September 10th with huge momentum. The post-apocalyptic drama is likely to contend for top prizes like Outstanding Drama Series, Lead Actor for Pedro Pascal, Lead Actress for Bella Ramsey, and more.
However, defending champ “Succession” will put up fierce competition to hold onto its drama crown. The savage HBO series about a media empire family led the 2022 Emmy nominations and is well-positioned for more wins.
On the comedy side, past winners “Ted Lasso” and “Hacks” are squaring off against buzzy newcomers like “Abbott Elementary.” And expect “The White Lotus” to make waves in the Limited Series categories after its 20 wins at the Creative Arts Emmys for technical elements like casting, editing, cinematography and more.
The Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on September 10th is sure to be a star-studded celebration of the year’s standout television moments. Based on the early winners from the Creative Arts, we could see history made as newer critical darlings compete with returning Emmy favorites to cement their small-screen legacies.
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