Rarely has a series left such a flashy legacy. For its fourth and final season, Succession triumphed on Monday January 15 in Los Angeles (California), during the 2023 Emmy Awards ceremony, postponed by four months due to the strikes that paralyzed Hollywood. A big favorite of this 75th edition, the series shared the honors with another highly anticipated production, The Bear. Both won six awards during the evening, and their harvest is reminiscent of that collected a week ago at the Golden Globes.

Without any suspense, the prize for best drama series therefore went to Succession, for the third time after 2020 and 2022. Dark and grating, this HBO production follows the internal quarrels of the Roys, a wealthy family at the helm of a vast media empire , which is reminiscent of the power of influence of a certain Rupert Murdoch in the United States.

“In our series, it’s true, certain things are quite close to American life and politics,” admitted the screenwriter, citing the name of the Australian tycoon, notably owner of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. The series deals with “the family but also the fact that (…) partisan coverage of the news is intertwined with right-wing politics that are a source of divisions,” he added, the same evening that Donald Trump won the Iowa Republican primaries.

The show’s cast won most of the drama awards: Best Actor for cheeky family man Kieran Culkin, Best Actress for Sarah Snook, the Roy’s only female heir, and Best Supporting Actor for her husband. on screen, Matthew Macfadyen.

Successful first season for “The Bear”

In addition to the swan song of Succession, the drama categories honored Jennifer Coolidge, best supporting actress in The White Lotus, a chic and scathing satire on the hypocrisy of the rich.

On the comedy side, The Bear: Eat in or Take Away confirmed its status as a revelation in the American cathode landscape. Its first season, which delves into the turbulent behind-the-scenes of a Chicago restaurant, won the award for best comedy, as well as those for best direction and writing. Its stars, Jeremy Allen White (best actor), Ayo Edebiri (best supporting actress) and Ebon Moss-Bachrach (best supporting actor), also won most of the acting awards in the comedy categories.

Faced with this steamroller, Abbott Elementary, a mockumentary parody on the lack of resources of a predominantly African-American elementary school in Philadelphia, has managed to exist. Her heroine Quinta Brunson received the award for best actress.

In the hotly contested category of mini-series, limited to one season, the Netflix production Acharnés dominated the debates with five awards. This series, which follows the massacre game played by two rather angry motorists after a collision in a Los Angeles parking lot, was voted best mini-series and allowed its two stars, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, to win the interpretation prize.

Paralyzed industry

The Emmy Awards, the equivalent of the Oscars for American television, usually take place in September, but strikes by Hollywood actors and screenwriters have completely disrupted their schedule. The industry was completely paralyzed for six months, with actors banned from promotion during the strike, forcing the ceremony to postpone its evening in January. A decision which did not help the organizers, who are trying to counter the decline in audiences for this high mass of American television.

For their 75th edition, the Emmys were unfortunately sandwiched between several major Hollywood awards dates, including the Golden Globes and the announcement of Oscar nominations. Not to mention that because of the postponement, they rewarded series whose nominated seasons often began eighteen months ago, an eternity in the world of entertainment.

The presenter of the evening, Anthony Anderson, nevertheless tried to redress the situation, by instructing his mother to interrupt the winners who were too long in their thanks. “I’d like to ask you all to keep these speeches succinct,” the Black-ish star joked, as US awards shows struggle to appeal to younger audiences more likely to watch a roundup of the best moments after the fact on social networks.

In 2022, the Emmy Awards were watched by only 5.9 million viewers. Which is even less than the 2020 edition, nicknamed “PandEmmys”, when the stars stayed at home due to confinement. The Emmy Awards will be back in September, this time to reward series broadcast from fall 2023.