‘Schitt’s Creek,’ Zendaya & Other Record-Setters at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards

Zendaya, 24, is the youngest winner ever for outstanding lead actress in a drama series.

“We’re witnessing a ‘Schittskrieg,’” Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel quipped when Schitt’s Creek swept the comedy categories at the 72nd annual Emmy Awards on Sunday (Sept. 20). Schitt’s Creek won nine awards (counting two it received at the Creative Arts Emmys), setting a new record for the most Emmys ever won by a comedy series in a single season. The old record was held by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which won eight awards in each of the last two years.

Schitt’s Creek won all seven major Emmy Awards for comedy (outstanding comedy series, the four acting awards, writing and directing), something no comedy had ever done before.

Zendaya was a surprise winner for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her role as Rue Bennett on Euphoria (HBO). The award was expected to go to either Jennifer Aniston for The Morning Show or Laura Linney for Ozark. Zendaya, 24, is the youngest winner in the category’s history. She’s only the second Black actress to win in this category. (Zendaya’s father is African-American.) Viola Davis was the first, five year ago, for How to Get Away With Murder. Zendaya rose to fame a decade ago on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up. Euphoria won two awards at the Creative Arts Emmys, one for Labrinth for outstanding original music and lyrics; the other for makeup.

Watchmen won a total of 11 Emmys, counting seven awards it won at the Creative Arts Emmys. That's more than any other show this season. Other shows that won four or more Emmys this season (combining awards from Sunday and Creative Arts Emmys)—were The Mandalorian and Succession, seven each; Saturday Night Live and Ru Paul’s Drag Race, six each; and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, four each.

Daniel Levy won four Emmys, for writing, directing, producing and acting on Schitt’s Creek. Levy, the 37-year old son of comedy great Eugene Levy, is just the third person—and the first male—ever to win four Emmys in one year.  He follows Moira Demos (Making a Murderer, 2016), and Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, 2018).

Eugene Levy won two Emmys for his work on Creek—outstanding lead actor in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series. (He was an executive producer on the series). Levy had won two previous Emmys for writing the 1980s show SCTV Network. The Levys are the second parent and child to each win Emmys this season. At Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys, Ron Cephas Jones won outstanding guest actor in a drama series for his recurring role on This Is Us. His daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, won outstanding actress in a short form comedy or drama series two nights earlier for her role on #FreeRayshawn.

Catherine O’Hara and Mark Ruffalo won their second career Emmys, but their first as performers. O’Hara won outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for Schitt’s Creek. She had previously won for writing for SCTV Network. Ruffalo won outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie for I Know This Much Is True. He previously won as a co-executive producer of HBO’s The Normal Heart, which won six years ago for outstanding television movie.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver won outstanding variety talk series for the fifth year in a row. Only two other talk shows have matched that record in this category or its forerunner category, outstanding variety series. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart won 10 years in a row (and 11 years total). Late Show With David Letterman also won five years in a row (and six years total).

Ru Paul’s Drag Race won outstanding competition program for the third year in a row. Just two shows have won more awards in the category. The Amazing Race won 10 times. The Voice won four times.

Tyler Perry received the Governors Award. Oprah Winfrey and Chris Rock presented the award. (Surprisingly, neither has received the award.)


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