LOS ANGELES — The dystopian vision of "The Handmaid's Tale," the deeply cynical Washington comedy "Veep" and the ever-topical "Saturday Night Live" won top series honors Sunday in an Emmy Awards ceremony that took almost nonstop aim at President Donald Trump in awards and speeches.
"Go home, get to work, we have a lot of things to fight for," producer Bruce Miller said in accepting the best drama trophy for "A Handmaid's Tale," which also won best drama writing and directing awards and a best actress trophy for Elisabeth Moss. A beaming Margaret Atwood, the Canadian author whose 1985 novel is the show's source, was onstage.
Sterling K. Brown, whose role in "This Is Us" earned him the top drama series actor trophy, paid tribute to the last African-American man to win in the category, Andre Braugher in 1998 for his role as a police detective in "Homicide: Life on the Street."
"Nineteen years ago, Detective Frank Pemberton held this joint," Brown, hoisting his Emmy and calling it his "supreme honor" to follow Braugher. He was good-natured as the orchestra cut into his speech, but it seemed a glaring misstep on a night in which the TV academy reveled in signs of the industry's increasing diversity.
Earlier, Nicole Kidman spoke uninterrupted for 2 minutes and 45 seconds, while Brown got 1 minute, 58 seconds, before he was played off, a significant difference given the short time winners get to say their piece.
Moss captured her first Emmy and thanked her mother in a speech that was peppered with expletives, while Ann Dowd won supporting actress honors for "A Handmaid's Tale."
Donald Glover won the best comedy actor for "Atlanta," which he created and which carries his distinctive voice, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus was honored for a sixth time for her role as a self-absorbed politician in "Veep," named best comedy for the third time.
"I want to thank Trump for making black people No. 1 on the most oppressed list. He's the reason I'm probably up here," Glover said, acknowledging the entertainment industry's and the Emmys' increased tilt toward the nonstop political under Trump. He also won a directing trophy for his FX Networks show.
Combined with Emmys that Louis-Dreyfus has won for "Seinfeld" and "New Adventures of Old Christine," her latest trophy tied her with Cloris Leachman as the most-winning Emmy performer ever. She called "Veep" an "adventure of utter joy," but first made a sharp-edged joke about the show's direction next season, its last.
"We did have a whole story line about an impeachment, but we abandoned that because we worried that someone else might get to it first," Louis-Dreyfus said.
Host Stephen Colbert's song-and-dance opening — with help from Chance the Rapper — included the song "Everything Is Better on TV," which, among other Trump digs, mentioned his alleged ties to Russia and included the lyric "even treason is better on TV."
The ceremony was also smartly free-wheeling under Colbert's sure hand, including a taped bit in which the nude comedian — carefully shown seated and from the back — was being "reprogrammed" by "Westworld" star and nominee Jeffrey Wright to correct a glitch in the host mechanism.
"Saturday Night Live" triumphed for a season of skewering Trump.
"I remember the first time we won this award," creator Lorne Michaels said in accepting the show's trophy for best variety sketch series. "It was after our first season in 1976. And I remember thinking ... there would never be another season as crazy, as unpredictable, as frightening, as exhausting, or as exhilarating. Turns out I was wrong."
2017 Primetime Emmy Award winners
Outstanding drama series
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Outstanding comedy series
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” (NBC)
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
Donald Glover, “Atlanta” (FX)
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series
John Lithgow, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series
Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or a movie
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” (HBO)
Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a movie
Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of” (HBO)
Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or a movie
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies” (HBO)
Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or a movie
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” (HBO)
Outstanding TV movie
“Black Mirror” (Netflix)The winners below were announced at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.
Outstanding limited series
“Big Little Lies” (HBO)
Outstanding variety talk series
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
Outstanding variety sketch series
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Outstanding reality-competition program
“The Voice” (NBC)
Outstanding writing for a drama series
Bruce Miller, “The Handmaid’s Tale” for the episode “Offred (Pilot)” (Hulu)
Outstanding directing for a drama series
Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Outstanding writing for a comedy series
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, “Master of None” for the episode “Thanksgiving” (Netflix)
Outstanding directing for a comedy series
Donald Glover, “Atlanta” (FX)
Outstanding writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special
Charlie Brooker, “Black Mirror” for the episode “San Junipero” (Netflix)
Outstanding directing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special
Jean-Marc Vallée, “Big Little Lies” (HBO)
Outstanding writing for a variety series
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO)
Outstanding directing for a variety series
Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Outstanding guest actress in a comedy series
Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Outstanding guest actor in a comedy
Dave Chappelle, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Outstanding guest actress in a drama series
Alexis Bledel, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Outstanding guest actor in a drama series
Gerald McRaney, “This Is Us” (NBC)
Outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program
RuPaul Charles, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Logo)
Outstanding structured reality program
“Shark Tank” (ABC)
Outstanding unstructured reality program
“United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell” (CNN)
Outstanding variety special
“Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2017” (CBS)
Outstanding special class program
“70th Annual Tony Awards” (CBS)
Outstanding documentary or nonfiction special
Outstanding documentary or nonfiction series
“Planet Earth II” (BBC America)
Outstanding informational series or special
“Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath” (A&E)
Exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking
“LA 92” (National Geographic)