July 20th, 2024

Quinta Brunson and actors from ‘The Bear’ snag early wins at long-delayed Emmys

By Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press on January 15, 2024.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – “The Bear” was making a meal out of the early awards at Monday night’s Emmys, while Quinta Brunson scored an emotional and historic win for “Abbott Elementary.”

“The Bear,” the FX dramedy about a squabbling family and a struggling restaurant at the center of the life of a talented chef won best actor in a comedy for Jeremy Allen White, best supporting actress in a comedy for Ayo Edebiri and best supporting actor in a comedy for Ebon-Moss Bachrach. All three were first-time nominees.

“This is a show about family and found family and real family,” Edebiri said from the stage as she accepted the first trophy of the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles.

Brunson won best actress in a comedy at the Emmy Awards for the show she created, “Abbott Elementary,” becoming the first Black woman to win the award in more than 40 years and the first from a network show to win it in more than a decade.

“I love making “˜Abbott Elementary’ so much and I am so happy to be able to live my dream and act out comedy,” Brunson said during her acceptance, fighting back tears. The writer-actor was among the stars with standout looks on the Emmys’ silver carpet.

Other early winners included Matthew Macfadyen for “Succession” and Jennifer Coolidge for “The White Lotus.”

Brunson had won a writing Emmy for her mockumentary about a predominantly Black and chronically underfunded grade school in Philadelphia, but this is her first for acting. Isabel Sanford of “The Jeffersons” was the only previous Black woman to win the category in 1981.

The first hour of the show saw three Black women win major awards: Brunson, Edebiri and Niecy Nash-Betts, who won best supporting actress in a limited series for “Dahmer ““ Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

On the Netflix show, Nash-Betts played a neighbor of the titular serial killer whose complaints to authorities of his behavior go unheeded.

“I accept this award on behalf of every Black and brown woman who has gone unheard and over-policed,” she said.

All the nominees had to wait an extra four months to find out if they had won when the show was delayed over Hollywood’s writers and actors strikes. The tweaked calendar meant that Edebiri won the Emmy for the show’s first season after winning her Golden Globe for the second season.

Macfadyen won the first Emmy of the night for “Succession” and the second of his career for playing Tom Wambsgans, the son-in-law that began the HBO series as a hanger-on and ended it as the closest thing it had to a victor.

“Succession” came into the night the consensus favorite in top drama categories, including best actor, best actress and best series.

Coolidge, the only cast member among the cursed vacationers of HBO’s “The White Lotus” to return for season two, won her second Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama.

Coolidge and her character Tanya gained an even greater cult following for the second season’s Italian storyline as she did for its Hawaiian first. The role was nearly a lead this time, but all of the “White Lotus” cast members were nominated in supporting categories, including five of them in Coolidge’s category.

Emotions ran high from the start of the ceremony with first presenter, Christina Applegate, who said in 2021 that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, got a standing ovation as she came out using a cane to present the award, and was tearful as she announced the winners.

“The Bear” also won awards for directing and writing, and along with the four it had won at the previous Creative Arts Emmys, had won nine overall.

Host Anthony Anderson opened the show in Mr. Rogers mode, walking on to a living room set and changing out of a flowing fur coat into a black tuxedo coat.

“Welcome to Mr. Anderson’s neighborhood on this beautiful MLK Day,” Anderson said from the stage of the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles at the start of the Fox telecast.

He then sat at the piano and led a small choir through TV theme songs including “Good Times” and “The Facts of Life,” whose characters Tootie and Mrs. Garrett were objects of his crushes.

In honor of the 75th Emmys, several cast reunions were spread throughout the show.

Cast members including Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell from “Martin” and Ted Danson and Rhea Perlman from “Cheers” performed short bits from recreations of their sitcom sets before presenting awards.

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Associated Press Writers Krysta Fauria and Leslie Ambriz contributed to this report.

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