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February 21, 2024

TV Fans’ Super Bowl: A Recap of the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards

Despite hitting a record-low audience of 4.3 million viewers, the 2024 Emmy Awards celebrated fan favorite series and championed diverse voices in the television industry
Out of all that were nominated, three main shows — “Succession,” “The Bear” and “Beef” — dominated the categories.

Whether your niche is film, television, music, or all of the above, entertainment fans can agree upon the excitement of the winter season as a flood of celebrations and honors occur — from the Golden Globes to the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars. On the heels of the Golden Globes, a celebration of both film and television, the Television Academy got its spotlight as the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards aired on Jan. 15. 

Unlike the Golden Globes, the Emmys solely focus on awards in television, allowing not only actors to be  recognized for their work, but directors, writers and creative teams as well. The Emmys — delayed from their original September date due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes — celebrated several wins for fan-favorite series such as “Succession” and “The Bear,” and was ranked as one of the most diverse years in the ceremony’s history.

Along with such joyous wins, however, the broadcast also hit record-low viewership, reaching an audience of 4.3 million, a significant drop from the 2022 broadcast’s reach of 5.9 million viewers. The new January date led to an unfortunate drop in viewership as the epilogue to both the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards likely led to an oversaturation of awards for viewers at home. As noted by USA Today, “The last time the Emmys reached more than 10 million viewers was 2018, when it drew in 10.2 million.” 

While the Emmys had a dip in viewership, the broadcast received critical praise for its organization and the presence of host Anthony Anderson, known for his starring role in “Black-ish,” after a controversial hosting by comedian Jo Koy at this year’s Golden Globes. Anderson, however, is no stranger to controversy, as the actor continues to face numerous sexual assault allegations from women, dating back to 2004. 

The ceremony honored past television series through cast appearances and the recreation of their iconic sets, such as, “Cheers,” “Martin” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Three shows swept the night away, dominating their respective categories in Drama, Comedy and Limited or Anthology Series. HBO Max’s “Succession,” FX’s “The Bear” and Netflix’s “Beef” took home not only “Best Series” in their respective genre categories, but also acting, direction and writing accolades for every category in which they were nominated. 

This ceremony was one of the most diverse celebrations yet, championing people of color in their remarkable performances on television.

Notable wins across the three series’ included: “Succession’s”, Kieran Culkin (Lead Actor in a Drama Series) and Sarah Snook (Lead Actress in a Drama Series), “The Bear’s” Jeremy Allen White (Lead Actor in a Comedy Series) and Ayo Edebiri (Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series), and “Beef’s” Steven Yeun (Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie) and Ali Wong (Lead Actress in a Limited Series or movie).

The dominance of these three shows, however, meant that other shows had gotten little-to-no recognition — the sixth and final season of “Breaking Bad” prequel series “Better Call Saul” set an Emmys record of receiving 53 nominations and winning none of them. This led to an upset of the show’s fans on social media, but some are coping with this loss, noting that it ranks as a show that’s “too good for the Emmys.” 

Despite the major categories of the evening being taken home by only three shows,  this ceremony was one of the most diverse celebrations yet, championing people of color in their remarkable performances on television. Two years ago, after the Television Academy failed to award any major acting trophies to people of color, “#EmmysSoWhite” began to trend on social media. This year, through historic wins by Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”), Edebiri and Wong, diverse voices in the industry were highlighted and honored. 

After making Emmys history as the second Black woman to win for Comedy Writing in 2022, Brunson took home Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the first time in over over 40 years, becoming the second Black woman to win the category, after Isabel Sanford for “The Jeffersons” in 1981. Edebiri became the third Black woman to win the Supporting Comedy Actress honor, after Jackée Harry for “227” in 1987 and fellow nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph for “Abbott Elementary” in 2022. 

The leads from “Beef” — Wong and Steven Yeun — became the first and second Asian American winners in their respective categories — Lead Actress and Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. These historic honors celebrated their outstanding performances and paved the way for generations of actors to come.

With the 75th Primetime Emmys at a close, it will be remembered as a night of historic wins, series sweeps and honoring the television that came before through tribute. Although viewership has dwindled, the craft and dedication of the television industry remain alive and well, inspiring young creatives to see themselves up on that stage one day, holding the shimmering gold trophy in their hand. 

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About the Contributors
JUJU JAWORSKI, Contributing Writer
TARA LENTELL, Creative Director
Tara Lentell (she/her), FCLC ’25, is the creative director for The Observer. She is originally from Kansas City and is majoring in international political economy on the pre-law track. When not making graphics or working on The Observer, she can be found watching television, reading a book or exploring a new museum in New York City.

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