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Emmy Awards 2020: Schitt's Creek and Succession win big

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media captionSchitt's Creek wins first of six awards at the Emmys

Schitt's Creek, Succession and Watchmen were the big winners at this year's Emmy Awards, which were held virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Schitt's Creek won nine prizes - breaking the Emmys record for most wins in a single season for a comedy.

It was a glowing send-off for the Canadian series, which broadcast its sixth and final season this year.

Succession took home the night's top prize, best drama series, as well as best actor for Jeremy Strong.

The HBO series also won prizes in the drama categories for best writing and best directing during the virtual ceremony.

"This is such a very nice moment," said the show's British creator Jesse Armstrong from London. "But it's sad not to be with the cast and crew to share it."

Armstrong listed a number of "un-thank yous" during his acceptance speech, criticising President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson for their respective responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

image copyrightEPA
image captionEugene Levy received his best comedy actor award from a presenter in a hazmat suit

Another HBO series, Watchmen, won best limited series, as well as acting gongs for its stars Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Zendaya, 24, became the youngest ever winner of best drama actress for her performance in Euphoria, a teen drama which follows a group high school students as they grapple with issues of love, sex, drugs and identity.

It was a significantly lower-key event this year, with most winners dialling in to make their acceptance speeches from home.

image copyrightEPA
image captionJimmy Kimmel hosted the show, with the nominees dialling in from home

The ceremony was presented from an eerily empty Staples Center in Los Angeles by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, with only a few guest presenters joining him in the studio.

Schitt's Creek won the best comedy series prize, with the show's creators, father and son Eugene and Daniel Levy, picking up best comedy actor and best supporting comedy actor respectively.

Catherine O'Hara was named best comedy actress, with Annie Murphy winning best supporting actress in a comedy series.

The show, which is on Netflix in the UK, follows the wealthy Rose family, who are forced to move to a motel in a small town after losing their fortune.

image copyrightEPA
image captionCatherine O'Hara won best comedy actress for Schitt's Creek

It launched on CBC in 2015 but developed a strong fan following around the world after later being added to Netflix.

Its wins also included outstanding directing for a comedy series for Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy, with the latter also winning outstanding writing for the finale episode Happy Ending.

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"Our show, at its core, is about the transformational effects of love and acceptance, and that is something we need more of now than we've ever needed before," said Dan Levy as he accepted the prize for best comedy series.

Paying tribute to his son, Eugene Levy added: "I want to thank this young man who took our fish-out-of-water story and transformed it into a story of inclusivity, a castigation of homophobia, and a declaration of the power of love, so thank you Daniel."

image copyrightABC/Shutterstock
image captionRegina King wore a T-shirt with a picture of Breonna Taylor

Zendaya beat stiff competition from the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Laura Linney and Olivia Colman in her category.

Regina King was named best actress in a limited series for her performance in Watchmen.

"This is freakin' weird!" joked the star as the Emmy was presented to her at her home.

In her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died over the weekend, and encouraged viewers to register vote in the forthcoming presidential election.

King wore a T-shirt bearing the image of Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot and killed by police in Kentucky in March.

Uzo Aduba, who won best supporting actress in a limited series for Mrs America, also wore a shirt displaying Taylor's name during her speech.

King's co-star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was also named best supporting actor for his performance in the show.

Watchmen, an innovative reimagining of a superhero graphic novel that tackled racism in America, scored the most nominations this year.

It won a loyal following and critical acclaim last year during its nine-episode run.

Elsewhere, Ozark's Julia Garner won best supporting drama actress while Billy Crudup won in the male category for his portrayal of a conniving network executive in Apple TV's The Morning Show.

image copyrightHBO
image captionSuccession's Jeremy Strong was named best drama actor for his portrayal of Kendall Roy

Succession's creator Jesse Armstrong also won best writing for a drama, while Andrij Parekh won best directing.

"I want to dedicate this award to all the kids whose names, like mine, are difficult to pronounce," Parekh said in his acceptance speech.

"To those who don't look like their classmates, and are defined as outsiders... This is proof that you belong, and this Emmy is ours."

Several winners used their acceptance speeches to encourage Americans to register to vote in November's election, including Mark Ruffalo, who won best actor in a limited series for I Know This Much Is True.

"Get out and vote, and vote for love and compassion and kindness," the Hollywood star said.

After the huge success of Fleabag in 2019, this year's ceremony was a disappointing night for British and Irish talent.

Olivia Colman, Jodie Comer, Brian Cox, Jeremy Irons, Helena Bonham Carter and Paul Mescal all ended up empty handed in their respective acting categories.

Emmy Awards 2020: The biggest winners

11 - Watchmen

9 - Schitt's Creek

7 - Succession

7 - The Mandalorian

6 - RuPaul's Drag Race

6 - Saturday Night Live

Includes Creative Arts Emmys

This year marked Kimmel's third time hosting the Emmys, after he fronted the ceremony in 2012 and 2016.

The in memoriam section honoured stars including Chadwick Boseman, Naya Rivera, Caroll Spinney, Kirk Douglas, Sir Ian Holm and Dame Diana Rigg.

The Creative Arts Emmys took place earlier this week, with winners announced in categories such as casting, hair, make-up, lighting and sound design.

More than 25,000 members of the Television Academy vote for the awards, which were first presented in 1949.

The name Emmy derives from an early piece of TV equipment called the image orthicon camera tube - or the Immy.

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