The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards honored the best in U.S. prime time television programming from June 1, 2016 until May 31, 2017, as chosen by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The ceremony was held on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, California, and was broadcast in the U.S. by CBS. The ceremony was hosted by Stephen Colbert. The 69th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held on September 9 and 10, and was broadcast by FXX on September 16.
The nominations were announced by Anna Chlumsky and Shemar Moore on July 13, 2017. Channelwise, the freshman HBO science fiction western drama Westworld and NBC sketch comedy Saturday Night Live were the most nominated programs, each with 22 nominations.
Original programming online TV services like Hulu and Netflix upended tradition broadcast television shows in the resulting awards. Netflix shows earned 20 total Emmys, following only HBO with 29 awards, and leading NBC with 15 awards. Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale became the first online TV show to win the award for Outstanding Drama Series. Additionally, online TV also won their first Emmys in Lead Actress, Drama (Elisabeth Moss for The Handmaid's Tale), Guest Actress, Drama (Alexis Bledel for The Handmaid's Tale[note 1]), Writing, Drama (The Handmaid's Tale) and TV Movie (Black Mirror from Netflix).
The night saw several other historic firsts. Donald Glover became the first African-American to win Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. Riz Ahmed, with his win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, became the first Asian to win the category as well as the first South Asian male to win an acting award and first South Asian to win a lead acting award. Ahmed and Dave Chappelle also became the first Muslims to win acting awards, with Ahmed being the first Muslim to win a lead acting award and Chappelle the first to win for a guest role. With Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe winning Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Waithe became the first African-American female to win that award. Julia Louis-Dreyfus also won her record sixth consecutive Emmy in the same category for the same role.
The awards ceremony drew 11.4 million viewers, on par with the previous awards ceremony, but one of the lowest viewerships for the Primetime Emmys overall. Analysts attribute this to younger audiences preferring to watch clips or summaries than the entire event, and to Florida markets being affected by Hurricane Irma. Numerous sources have also reported that the political skew of the show in recent years has led to decline in viewership.
Stephen Tyrone Colbert (//, formerly //; born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, television host, actor, and writer. He is best known for hosting the satirical Comedy Central program The Colbert Report from 2005 to 2014, and hosting the CBS talk program The Late Show with Stephen Colbert beginning in September 2015.
Colbert originally studied to be a dramatic actor, but became interested in improvisational theatre while attending Northwestern University, where he met Second City director Del Close. Colbert first performed professionally as an understudy for Steve Carell at Second City Chicago, where his troupe mates included Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris, comedians with whom he developed the sketch comedy series, Exit 57. He wrote and performed on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show before collaborating with Sedaris and Dinello again on the cult television series Strangers with Candy. He gained attention for his role on the latter as closeted gay history teacher Chuck Noblet.
Colbert's work as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news-parody series The Daily Show gained him wide recognition. In 2005, he left The Daily Show to host The Colbert Report. Following The Daily Show's news-parody concept, The Colbert Report was a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows including The O'Reilly Factor, in which he portrayed a caricatured version of conservative political pundits. The series became one of Comedy Central's highest-rated series, earning Colbert an invitation to perform as featured entertainer at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2006. After ending The Colbert Report, he was hired in 2015 to succeed retiring David Letterman as host of the Late Show on CBS.
Colbert has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Peabody Awards. Colbert was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2006, and 2012. Colbert's book, I Am America (And So Can You!), listed #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2007.
The Handmaid's Tale is an American television series created by Bruce Miller based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood. It was ordered by streaming service Hulu with a straight-to-series order of 10 episodes, with the production beginning in late 2016.
The first three episodes of the series premiered on April 26, 2017, with the subsequent seven episodes added on a weekly basis every Wednesday. In May 2017, it was renewed for a second season to premiere in 2018.
Big Little Lies is an American dark comedy-drama HBO miniseries created and written by David E. Kelley, based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty. The series began filming in January 2016. The miniseries consists of seven episodes, all directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. It premiered on February 19, 2017 and concluded on April 2, 2017.