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75th Primetime Emmys sets records, brings nostalgia

Commonly known as the "biggest night in television," the 75th Primetime Emmys premiered Monday, Jan. 15, after a four-month delay due to the 2023 Hollywood strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA. 

The ceremony honors excellence in writing, directing, acting and producing in primetime television. Comedian Anthony Anderson took the stage as this year's host. 

Along with the show's first all-Black production team at the helm, the 75th ceremony saw a number of historic wins, suspected trends and heartwarming callbacks to some of television's most-defining shows. Let's take a look at some of the night's biggest moments:

“The Bear,” “Beef” and “Succession” win big

In one of the ceremony's least surprising moments, three of the year's most-talked-about shows went home with the most awards of the night.

FX's restaurant dramedy "The Bear," set in Chicago, and HBO's satirical Roy family drama "Succession" won the most awards of the evening with six wins apiece.

The first season of "The Bear" won one of the biggest awards of the night, Outstanding Comedy Series, and beat out Emmy favorites like "Ted Lasso," "Barry" and "Abbott Elementary." The trio of Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edebiri and Ebon Moss-Bachrach all took home an Emmy for their roles in the series. Additionally, the show's creator, Christopher Storer, won two awards for his directing and writing work in the first season.

"Succession" swept most of the drama performance categories, earning huge wins for Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook and Matthew Macfadyen in the show's final season. "Connor's Wedding," the show's shocking third episode of its fourth season, earned two awards for its excellent directing and writing. The show, overall, secured the win for Outstanding Drama Series.

In the realm of limited or anthology series, Netflix's "Beef" earned the second-most wins of the night with five Emmys. It earned the coveted title of Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series and co-leads Ali Wong and Steven Yeun earned Emmys for their captivating performances. Lee Sung Jin, the show's creator, also won two awards for his direction and writing on the series.

75th awards make history

It was a night of many record-breaking and history-defining moments, most notably in the performance categories. The show was a night of diverse wins; five performers of color won their categories which hasn't happened since the 1991 ceremony.

Quinta Brunson, who won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for "Abbott Elementary," became the second African-American actress to win in the category after Isabel Sanford in 1981.

Ali Wong made Emmy history by becoming the first Asian woman to win a lead role, while Trevor Noah became the first African and Black winner in the Outstanding Talk Series category. An Outstanding Variety Special (Live) went to "Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium," securing John with his final win to achieve EGOT status.

Outside of these historic wins, "Better Call Saul" became the first show with the most nominations with zero Emmy wins after it lost every category at Monday's show. With 53 nominations and the show's final season in contention at the 75th ceremony, it was an unfortunate night for fans of the beloved "Breaking Bad" spinoff.

Nostalgia was all the rave Monday night

The show paid homage to some of television's biggest shows throughout the years.

Actors from shows like "Martin," "Cheers," "Grey's Anatomy," "Ally McBeal," "The Sopranos" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" all reunited to present awards. Many of the cast members from "Martin" and "Always Sunny," poked fun at the lack of nominations their respective shows earned.

Host Anthony Anderson also honored historic shows throughout the night, opening the show with a throwback to "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" and a musical number before hopping into a latex suit to reference the first season of "American Horror Story." Another cheeky reference came from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who parodied "Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update" before presenting Outstanding Variety Special (Live).

Many of the ceremony's presenters were also picked to honor television, including Christina Applegate, Arsenio Hall and Marla Gibbs.

Memorable speeches steal the show

The evening was filled with many memorable speeches from performers commemorating their long-awaited wins.

Quinta Brunson gave an emotional speech after earning her second Emmy win, noting that the "Carol Burnett of it all" had moved her. Paul Water Hauser rapped his way through his speech, Jennifer Coolidge thanked the "gays" in her supporting Emmy win for "The White Lotus“ and Kieran Culkin used his win to jokingly ask his wife for more children.

RuPaul utilized his win to address the growing topics surrounding drag queen story hours at libraries, asking viewers to "listen to a drag queen" and stating that "knowledge is power."

In the show's most memorable speech, Niecy Nash took the stage to thank her supporters for her long-awaited Emmy win for her work in "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story." In the speech, Nash went on to pay respects to Black women who are overpoliced before going on to thank herself, saying, "Go on, girl, with your bad self. You did that."

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