July 21st, 2024

Quinta Brunson and Ayo Edibiri snag early wins at long-delayed Emmys

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

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Quinta 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 from the stage, fighting back tears. The writer-actor was among the stars with standout looks on the Emmys’ silver carpet.

Ayo Edibir i won best supporting actress in a comedy for “The Bear,” winning the show’s first award of what could be a big night for the culinary dramedy.

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.

With a major role that got her a Golden Globe as a lead actor just eight days earlier, Edibiri became the first winner to take the stage at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, claiming her first career Emmy with her first nomination at age 28.

On FX’s “The Bear,” she played Sydney Adamu, a striving chef who attempts to help Jeremy Allen White’s Carmie to turn a Chicago sandwich shop into an elite restaurant.

“This is a show about family and found family and real family,” Edibiri said from the stage,” Edibiri said in her acceptance.

“The Bear,” which had already won four Emmy Awards coming into the night after the earlier Creative Arts Emmys, is up for several more on Monday night, including best comedy actor, supporting actor and series.

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.

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.

He then got up and sang Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” in tribute to Miami Vice, with Travis Barker on drums.

The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards are arriving four months past their due date, coming after a year of historic Hollywood turbulence and upheaval.

Strikes by both actors and writers, seismic shifts toward streaming, and the dismantling of the traditional TV calendar mean the envelopes opened during the show will display winners that were decided months ago.

Succession leads all nominees with 27 nominations, but won’t come away with the most wins. That’s because “The Last of Us,” second with 24 nominations, is coming in with eight via last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys, where “Succession” won none. Those include best guest acting awards for Offerman and Storm Reid, suggesting that voters may also favor its lead actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Both could make history, with Pascal becoming the first Latino to win best actor in a drama and Ramsey the youngest to win best actress.

The elite ensemble from “The White Lotus” is all over the supporting categories. It has five women up for best supporting actress in a drama, including Jennifer Coolidge and Aubrey Plaza.

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

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