Battling it out for gold! The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards was filled with surprise wins, “Did that just happen?!” upsets and historic records.
Game of Thrones, as to be expected, dominated as the literally epic series took home three wins, including Outstanding Drama Series. The HBO series now has 38 awards in total, breaking Frasier’s record for the highest number of Emmys won by a TV series.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus made history too. The Seinfeld alum won her fifth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work as Selina Meyer on the HBO comedy Veep — and her eighth Emmy overall!
The People v. O.J. Simpson also had a stellar night. The hugely successful FX series led with five wins, including in the Outstanding Limited Series category, Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series (D.V. DeVincentis) and awards for lead stars Courtney B. Vance, Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown.
“If your show doesn’t have a dragon or a white Bronco in it, go home now,” host Jimmy Kimmel foretold of GoT and The People v. O.J. Simpson during his opening monologue.
Still, some categories weren’t as predictable. Here, Us Weekly has rounded up the biggest shocks and snubs:
1. Rami Malek
The Mr. Robot star was just as shocked as everyone when he won his first-ever Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category. He beat out Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), Kyle Chandler (Bloodline) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans).
“Please tell me you’re seeing this too,” he joked on stage during his acceptance speech. “For me to stand here as not the typical leading man and to have come home with this [Emmy] speaks a lot about where we’re headed as a country. I think we can keep going a lot further in that direction, not just in entertainment, but socially and politically, and strive to be as progressive as possible.”
2. Tatiana Maslany
Finally! The actress won her first Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category for Orphan Black, which will end next year after season 5. Maslany has been praised over the years for playing so many different characters (so many clones we can’t keep track!) on the BBC sci-fi series.
“I should have had this written down. There are so many people I feel so indebted to … [thank you to the] incredible writers’ room, beautiful cast and crew,” she said, reading from her iPhone, on Sunday night. “I feel so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the center. Thank you so much to the Academy.”
Other stars in the category included Robin Wright (House of Cards), three-time Emmy winner Claire Danes (Homeland), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), the universally lauded Keri Russell (The Americans), and Viola Davis, who won last year for How to Get Away With Murder.
3. Louie Anderson
Way to go, Louie! The Baskets actor took the top spot for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in an upset, winning against Tony Hale (Veep), Matt Walsh (Veep), Titus Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) and Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, who won in 2011 and 2014.
The veteran comedian plays the mother of Zach Galifianakis’ character in the FX series. “I haven’t always been a very good man, but I play one hell of a woman,” he said during his acceptance speech. He added backstage: “I’m playing my mom; this is her award. I’m stealing every little nuance she had. Every little thing your mother does, at some point in your life you’ll find yourself doing it. Just embrace it and realize that they won. And there’s nothing you can do about it.”
4. Kate McKinnon
The actress’ mouth dropped when she won for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for Saturday Night Live. “I’m really crying, I’m not making that up,” she said while accepting the honor, holding back tears. “Thank you to Lorne Michaels for giving me the job of my life and to the amazing crew on SNL. I’m shaking, guys!”
She added, “On a personal note, thank you, my father, who is not with us anymore, but he made me start watching SNL when I was 12. I miss you, pop.”
The Ghostbusters star even gave a shout-out to Ellen DeGeneres and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who she often impersonates on the NBC series. “Congratulations on your Emmy, Kate!” Clinton tweeted on Sunday. “Big fan of yours, too.”
Other contenders in the category were Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Allison Janney (Mom), Niecy Nash (Getting On) and Transparent stars Judith Light and Gaby Hoffmann.
5. Susanne Bier
Surprise for Susanne! The Night Manager director won for Best Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special. The AMC drama beat out helmers from All the Way, Fargo and three directors from The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Relive the biggest Emmys highlights in the video above!
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