Feel-good comedy Ted Lasso has started off on a high note at the Emmy Awards, with castmates Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein earning the evening's first honours.
An ebullient Waddingham, the winner of the best supporting actress award for a comedy, said on Sunday that series star and producer Jason Sudeikis "changed my life with this, and more importantly my baby girl's".
Goldstein, who won the counterpart award for supporting actor, said he had promised not to swear and either mimed or was muted for a few seconds, then called the show the "privilege and pleasure" of his life.
(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
The show opened with a musical number that featured host Cedric the Entertainer rapping a modified version of the Biz Markie hip-hop hit Just a Friend with lyrics like "TV, you got what I need."
LL Cool J bounded from the audience as stars like Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore and more dropped verses celebrating the breadth of television.
Seth Rogen presented the first award, throwing some cold water on the celebratory vibe by noting that the Emmys were being held in a giant tent.
"There's way too many of us in this little room," he exclaimed in what seemed to be an attempt to be funny that fell flat.
"I would not have come to this," he continued.
"Why is there a roof? It's more important that we have three chandeliers than make sure we don't kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided."
The show's producers promised the show will be a celebration for all. But it could be much more rewarding, even historic, for some.
That includes Netflix's drama The Crown and Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso. Each is considered a frontrunner Sunday for top series honours in their respective categories, and their casts received armloads of nominations.
More than the shows on streaming would benefit. Victories in both the best drama and comedy series categories would mark a first for streaming services and reinforce their growing dominance, to the dismay of competitors.
But the TV industry overall, including the broadcast networks that still field popular shows but are largely eclipsed at the Emmys, will be honoured, say those in charge of the event.
Most of The Crown cast, including stars Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin gathered in London while in Los Angeles Cynthia Erivo, Kathryn Hahn and Kate Winslet and Michael Douglas along with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones were among those walking the red carpet for Sunday's ceremony.
Fashion standout Billy Porter worked large wings attached to the sleeves of his black trouser look and Sudeikis walked the red carpet in a velvet suit of soft blue.
The producers' ultimate goal is a ceremony that is upbeat and acknowledges how much TV's importance grew during the pandemic and its lockdowns.
The top nominees include the British royal drama The Crown and the Star Wars-universe derived The Mandalorian, which received a leading 24 nominations each.
Other drama series contenders include past winner The Handmaid's Tale and Lovecraft Country, which was cancelled after a single season but yielded nods for cast members Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis and the late Michael K. Williams, who died on September 6.
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