Big winners include Adele: One Night Only, The Beatles: Get Back and the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show. RuPaul Charles named outstanding host for a reality or competition series for seventh consecutive year, Queer Eye wins outstanding structured reality program for fifth year in a row, Life Below Zero makes it five in a row for reality cinematography.
Music struck a chord with Emmy voters this year.
That was one big takeaway at the Saturday-night edition of the 74th Creative Arts Emmy Awards, where the two top winners, with five awards each, were CBS’s Adele: One Night Onlyand The Beatles: Get Back, from Disney+.
Adele: One Night Only, a concert performance special in which the superstar vocalist performed her first new material in six years, scored victories for Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special, Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special, Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Special and Directing for a Variety Special.
The Beatles: Get Back, a three-part, seven-plus-hour docuseries assembled by director Peter Jackson and his New Zealand-based production team from archival footage shot for the Fab Four’s 1970 film Let It Be, won for Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program (Jackson), Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera), Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera) and Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program.
Not far behind these iconic British artists, with three Emmys, was a production powered by a cadre of elite American musical stars: The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent. The hip-hop opus won for Music Direction, Production Design for a Variety Special and Variety Special (Live). This was the first time a Super Bowl halftime show had won in the latter category.
Another musical artist with a program that garnered key awards was Lizzo, whose Prime Video series Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls won Emmys for Directing for a Reality Program and Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program.
Among other significant victories, RuPaul Charles won for the seventh time in a row as host for a reality or competition series, for RuPaul’s Drag Race. The winning streak resulted in the twelfth Emmy of Charles’s career.
Also keeping winning streaks alive were Netflix’s Queer Eye, which took the award for structured reality program for the fifth year running, and National Geographic’s Life Below Zero, which won its fifth straight Emmy for cinematography for a reality program.
A notable first-ever Emmy went to former President Barack Obama for his narration of Netflix’s Our Great National Parks, and a poignant posthumous Emmys went to Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in 2020. Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted his award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for an episode of the Disney+ animated series What If?, in which he played Star Lord T’Challa, the role he originated in the 2018 film Black Panther.
Early in the show, as a presenter, Judd Apatow, an executive producer of HBO’s George Carlin’s American Dream, which won for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, noted with comedic bitterness that he won his first Emmy in 1993, for The Ben Stiller Show— which had been canceled shortly before that year’s Emmys. A similarly bittersweet situation arose at the Saturday-night Creative Arts show when Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents: Once Upon a Time in Late Night won the Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series shortly after TBS canceled Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the program of which it was an offshoot.
In addition to Adele: One Night Only, The Beatles: Get Back, the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show and Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrls, other shows with multiple awards included Arcane, the Netflix animated series from videogame producer Riot Games, which took four (including outstanding animated program) and Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum U.S. with three.
Several programs won two Emmys: Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots; HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and We’re Here; Prime Video’s Lucy and Desi; and VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The evening’s presenters were: W. Kamau Bell (We Need to Talk About Cosby); Judd Apatow (George Carlin’s American Dream); Mary Fitzgerald, Emma Hernan, Chelsea Lazkani and Chrishell Stause (Selling Sunset); RuPaul Charles (RuPaul’s Drag Race); Monica Aldama and Morgan Simianer (Cheer); Randy Rainbow (The Randy Rainbow Show); Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance); Nicole Byer (Nailed It!); Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye); Jon Gabrus and Adam Pally (101 Places to Party Before You Die); Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead; @midnight); Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka and Shangela (We’re Here); Bill Nye (The End is Nye); Christine Chiu and Kevin Kreider (Bling Empire); Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin (Sherman’s Showcase; South Side); and Chip and Joanna Gaines (Fixer Upper: Welcome Home).
The Saturday Creative Arts show focused primarily on reality, unscripted and documentary programming. The Sunday show will bestow awards for scripted programming and includes several performance categories.
Bob Bain is executive producer of the Creative Arts Emmys for the eighth time. The Television Academy’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards Committee is led by chair Rich Carter.
FXX will broadcast edited highlights from the Saturday and Sunday Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, September 10, at 8:00 PM ET/PT.
The 74th Emmys telecast will air live Monday, September 12, on NBC and Peacock.
A complete list of the Saturday-night winners is available here.