Emmy Awards 2023: Succession, Beef and The Bear win big at delayed ceremony

Irish interest in LA awards did not translate into prizes despite nominations for Sharon Horgan, Dearbhla Walsh and Declan Lowney

Beef, The Bear and the final season of Succession reigned supreme at the delayed 2023 Emmy Awards.

Succession, Jesse Armstrong’s hit HBO drama, picked up six awards, including for actors Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook and Matthew Macfadyen and the night’s biggest award for best drama series.

“This wasn’t necessarily an easy show to commission in the beginning,” Armstrong said, thanking HBO for believing in him and the series. “This is a show about family but it’s also about when partisan news coverage gets intertwined with divisive rightwing politics.”

He then joked that in the real world that’s a problem that has now been “fixed”.


Snook devoted her lead actress in a drama award to her child, whom she carried through the final season of the show. “It’s very easy to act when you’re pregnant because you have hormones raging,” she joked.

Macfadyen, winning for supporting actor, paid tribute to his on-screen wife, Sarah Snook, and his “other” on-screen wife, Nicholas Braun. “Acting with you has been one of the most wonderful things in my career,” he added.

There was an Irish interest in the Emmy’s but no awards. Sharon Horgan received two nominations for her work on Bad Sisters in the lead actress in a drama and writing categories. Dearbhla Walsh was also nominated in the outstanding directing (drama series) category for the show.

Wexford man Declan Lowney was shortlisted in the outstanding directing for a comedy series category for Apple TV’s Ted Lasso.

The first season of The Bear was another big hit with voters, also winning six awards, including for comedy series and lead actor Jeremy Allen White. Ayo Edebiri and Ebon Moss-Bachrach both picked up supporting awards for their roles in the show.

With Edebiri’s win and Abbott Elementary’s Quinta Brunson taking home the lead actress in a comedy series award, it marks the first time that Black women have won both these awards in the same year.

Host Anthony Anderson made reference to the many Black actors winning awards, saying: “Everyone having fun at the chocolate Emmys? We are killing it tonight!”

Netflix breakout Beef dominated the limited or anthology series categories, winning five awards, including for actors Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, who became the first woman of Asian descent to win a lead acting Emmy. The show’s creator, Lee Sung Jin, paid tribute to his cast for being able to “love so unconditionally” while also contributing personal stories of suicidal ideation that acted as a major theme of the show.

Jennifer Coolidge was also named best supporting actress in a drama for her role in the second season of HBO’s The White Lotus, her second Emmy for the performance after winning for the first season as well. “I wanna thank all the evil gays,” she said in her speech.

Tonight’s ceremony was delayed from last September as a result of striking writers and actors. It means that the next Emmys will take place in the same calendar year.

As with last weekend’s Golden Globes, speeches that touched on any social or political issues were mostly kept to a minimum but there were a couple of exceptions.

Niecy Nash-Betts won for supporting actress in a limited or anthology series for her role in Ryan Murphy’s Dahmer series on Netflix, and in an emotional speech she devoted the award to “every Black and brown woman who has gone unheard but over-policed” before going on to mention names such as Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor.

Accepting the award for competition program, RuPaul also said: “If a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her because knowledge is power and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you so listen to a drag queen.”

There was also a special governors award given to non-profit LGBTQ+ advocacy organisation Glaad for consulting on shows and TV movies involving queer and trans characters. Presenter Colman Domingo said that the group has been instrumental in “making sure the realities we face off screen are represented on screen”. Accepting the award, Glaad’s CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, said: “The world urgently needs culture-changing stories about transgender people” at a time when people share “cruel and harmful lies” about the community.

Other winners included Black Bird’s Paul Walter Hauser for supporting actor in a limited or anthology series, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver for scripted variety series and Elton John’s Farewell from Dodger Stadium taking best variety special (live), making the singer one of the few stars to have Egot status (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).

John wasn’t able to attend as the result of a knee injury but released a statement. “I am incredibly humbled to be joining the unbelievably talented group of EGOT winners tonight,” it read. “The journey to this moment has been filled with passion, dedication, and the unwavering support of my fans all around the world.”

Anderson kicked off the ceremony with a riff on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, going through his personal relationship with television from childhood on, culminating in a musical number accompanied by Travis Barker. “Television has shaped the world and more importantly it’s shaped me,” he said.

A nostalgic 75th edition of the Emmys also included on-stage reunions for shows such as The Sopranos, Cheers, Ally McBeal, All in the Family and Grey’s Anatomy.

Shows that went home empty-handed tonight included Ted Lasso, The Crown, The Last of Us and Wednesday. Better Call Saul also became the most snubbed show in Emmys history, winning zero awards from 53 nominations throughout its run.

The night follows last weekend’s Golden Globes, which also saw major wins for Succession, Beef and The Bear. - Guardian