Stranger Things, Westworld and SNL all win big at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Season 1 of Stranger Things
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things on Netflix, which won five Creative Arts Emmys

The leaders of the pack at the Television Academy’s annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards came from all ends of the TV spectrum — with NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Westworld on HBO and Netflix’s Stranger Things each picking up five awards.

HBO’s criminal melodrama The Night Of; Netflix documentary 13th about racial injustices in the country’s prison system; and Cartoon Network’s animated series Samurai Jack followed with four wins apiece.

Nabbing three Emmys were Big Little Lies, Hairspray Live!, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Handmaid’s Tale and Veep.

Don’t miss: Exclusive interview with Veep’s Set Decorator Kimberly Wannop

This year for the first time the event was spread over two ceremonies at LA’s Microsoft Theater on Saturday and Sunday nights to accommodate a bounty of Creative Arts Emmys in 93 categories that were handed out.

The Creative Arts Emmys are a curtain raiser and often a bellwether for the better-known Primetime Emmys where topline kudos for best actors and scripted series are the focus. The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards will take place this Sunday September 17.

For the most part, the Creative Arts Emmys highlight achievements in production design, camerawork, music and other key behind-the-scenes crafts. They also include awards for best guest acting as well as for animation, documentary and reality-shows.

Alexis Bledel won the Emmy for guest actress in a drama series for her performance as Ofglen, in Hulu’s dystopian series The Handmaid’s Tale.

Alexis Bledel as Ofglen in The Handmaid's Tale
Alexis Bledel in her powerful performance as Ofglen in The Handmaid’s Tale

The award for outstanding guest actor in a drama series went Gerald McRaney for playing a benevolent pediatrician in the pilot episode of NBC’s haunting hit series This Is Us, about a group of people who share the same birthday and whose paths mysteriously cross.

Best guest actors in comedy awards were conferred on two memorable SNL hosts, Dave Chapelle, winning his first Emmy, and Melissa McCarthy, her second.

Premium cable service HBO, the perennial top dog when it comes to Emmys, came in first again winning 19 Creative Arts Emmys, although Game of Thrones, its dependable powerhouse, was not even up for awards this year. (This summer’s 7th season of GOT will be in the running in 2018.) HBO Emmy winners included Westworld, The Night Of, Veep and Big Little Lies.

Netflix, the dominant streaming service, was an impressive second with 14 Emmys, including multiple awards for Stranger Things Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th, and The Crown, a docu-drama about the ascension to the British throne by a young Queen Elizabeth.

Third place went to NBC with nine wins led by the five awards for SNL, its long-time comedy-variety-show hit that had one of its most successful seasons ever, scoring big with its scorching political send-ups of the 2016 election and the presidency of Donald Trump.

Besides the awards to Chapelle and McCarthy, whose inimitable spoof of former press secretary Sean Spicer went viral around the globe, SNL won two technical Emmy awards as well as a makeup trophy for Alec Baldwin’s spot-on parody of Trump.

Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer in her Saturday Night Live send-up

Stranger Things, the offbeat sci-fi series set in the 1980s, received its five Emmys for casting, main title design, main title theme music, picture editing and sound editing.

Westworld, about a past and future fantasy realm where untamed desires get fulfilled, won Emmys in the interactive media, sound mixing, special visual effects, hairstyling and makeup categories.

James Marsden as Teddy Flood and Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy in Westworld
James Marsden as Teddy Flood and Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy in Westworld

James Corden repeated as winner for best variety show for the Carpool Karaoke special, a spin-off of the popular feature on the Late Late Show that he hosts. He won a second Emmy for hosting the 2016 Tony Awards ceremony, which received the “special class program” award.

RuPaul also encored as Reality Host Emmy Winner.

FXX won four Emmys including a pair for hairstyling and makeup for the acclaimed series Feud: Bette and Joan. Susan Sarandon who starred as Bette Davis and Jessica Lang who played Joan Crawford will be vying for the award for best actress in a limited series at the upcoming Primetime Emmys.

A&E Network’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath was recognized for informational series or special. The star was emotional as she dedicated her win to those who were willing to recount their experiences with Scientology.

BBC America’s six-part Planet Earth II got the Emmy for documentary or nonfiction series. And Shark Tank achieved its fourth win in the structured reality category.

FXX will air an edited version, with highlights from both shows, on Saturday, September 16, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

The remaining 27 Emmys will be announced at the 69th Emmy Awards ceremony this Sunday. Hosted by Stephen Colbert, the show will air live coast-to-coast on CBS.

A select list of this year’s Creative Arts Emmys winners:

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Gerald McRaney (This Is Us)

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Dave Chappelle (Saturday Night Live – Host)

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Melissa McCarthy (Saturday Night Live — Host)

Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series

Kim Estes (Dicks)

Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series

Jane Lynch (Dropping the Soap)

Casting for a Drama Series

Carmen Cuba, Tara Feldstein Bennett & Chase Paris (Stranger Things)

Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or Special

David Rubin (Big Little Lies)

Casting for a Comedy Series

Dorian Frankel & Sibby Kirchgessner (Veep)

Variety Special

Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2017 (CBS)

Structured Reality Program

Shark Tank (ABC)

Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program

RuPaul Charles (RuPaul’s Drag Race)

Documentary or Nonfiction Special

13th (Netflix)

Documentary or Nonfiction Series

Planet Earth II (BBC America)

Animated Program

Bob’s Burgers (FOX)

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