The Game of Thrones cast and creators walked away with 12 awards, winning in the categories for best drama and best script for a drama.
With its latest haul, the HBO programme – shown on Sky Atlantic in the UK – overtook the record held by the comedy show Frasier and proved that, despite being in its sixth series, it has lost none of the momentum gained since it first appeared in 2011.
The show is a global phenomenon and its success has surpassed even that of The Sopranos, previously HBO’s biggest drama.
Based on the books by George RR Martin, the sixth season drew in an audience of 25.1m in the US, with audiences clamouring to find out the fate of the character Jon Snow.
In the UK, the latest season was the most popular programme to be broadcast on Sky, drawing an average audience of 5m.
Talking recently about the show’s popularity, Sky Atlantic director Zai Bennett described it as “insane”.
The show has been commissioned for two more seasons, concluding in 2018. The sixth season drew particular praise for its elevation of the women of Westeros to positions of power and dominance: Cersei is seen sitting on the Iron Throne; Daenerys marching to battle with the Dothraki; Sansa Stark sitting alongside her brothers as rulers of the North; and Arya on a mission for revenge.
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa, suggested that Game of Thrones looked likely to continue to dominate next year.
“I was actually speechless,” she said of the season seven script. “This season is unbelievable and I think fans are going to be really satisfied. It’s crazy.”
Another HBO series, Veep, was named top comedy for the second straight year and its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, won best comedy actress for the fifth straight time and a record-setting sixth time in her career.
Veep was created by Briton Armando Iannucci, after his success with The Thick of It.
Louis-Dreyfus said: “I think that Veep has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels more like a sobering documentary.”
FX’s dramatisation of the OJ Simpson trial, The People v OJ Simpson, won nine Emmys, including best limited series.
Rami Malek and Tatiana Maslany won the top acting in a drama awards for Mr Robot and Orphan Black.
The night was a very successful one for British talent at the Emmys, with Sherlock, The Night Manager and Downton Abbey all picking up awards.
Sherlock: the Abominable Bride beat fellow BBC show Luther to win best limited series while Susanne Bier, the Danish director of the BBC’s John Le Carré adaptation The Night Manager, won for best directing in a limited series.
However, it was not as fruitful a night for the BBC as had been hoped. Despite its 22 nominations, the corporation picked up nothing in most major categories, and leading men Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Benedict Cumberbatch all missed out.
On picking up the award for Sherlock, Steven Moffat – the show’s creator – mentioned the BBC’s recent loss of its most popular programme, The Great British Bake Off, to Channel 4.
“Thank you to the BBC who we love above all bakery. British people will get that,” he said.
Moffat hinted that his production company had also been approached by other channels wanting to buy Sherlock but, like Bake Off’s presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, his loyalty lay with the BBC.
“We have had offers, that’s not what it’s about,” he said. “I think the BBC was quite right not to reward greed. It’s wrong.”
Bier, the only woman nominated in the directing in a limited series category, hoped her win would be a step forward for women behind the camera.
“This is such a traditional men’s world, and I hope the fact a woman director has won this prestigious prize is going to mean that more non-conventional series and movies are going to be directed by women,” she said.
Maggie Smith won best supporting actress for a third time for Downton Abbey. The 81-year-old’s absence was noted by host Jimmy Kimmel.
“Maggie Smith, she’s been nominated for the Emmy nine times. She’s won the Emmy three times,” he said.
“How many times do you think she’s shown up to get the Emmy? That’s right, no times.
“We’re not mailing this to her. Maggie, if you want this, it will be in the lost and found.”
Emmys 2016: Full Winners List
“Game of Thrones” leads the pack with 23 nominations, and already won a handful of Emmys during the Creative Arts ceremony. HBO series have a total of 94 noms, and FX is in second place with 56, including five for “The Americans,” 18 for “Fargo” and 22 nominations for “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
Emmy newcomers landing their first nominations this year include Rami Malek, Keri Russell, Tom Hiddleston, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ellie Kemper.
Check out the full list of nominees — and winners in bold — below.
Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Keegan-Michael Key, “Key & Peele”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Tony Hale, “Veep”
Matt Walsh, “Veep”
Writing for a comedy series
Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, “Master Of None”
Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, “Catastrophe”
Dan O’Keefe, “Silicon Valley”
Alec Berg, “Silicon Valley”
David Mandel, “Veep”
Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, “Veep”
Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Niecy Nash, “Getting On”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Judith Light, “Transparent”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
Directing for a comedy series
Jill Soloway, “Transparent”
Aziz Ansari, “Master Of None”
Alec Berg, “Silicon Valley”
Mike Judge, “Silicon Valley”
Dave Mandel, “Veep”
Chris Addison, “Veep”
Dale Stern, “Veep”
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Laurie Metcalf, “Getting On”
Traces Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Thomas Middleditch. “Silicon Valley”
“The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Dancing with the Stars”
Writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special
D.V. DeVincentis, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Bob DeLaurentis, “Fargo”
Noah Hawley, “Fargo”
David Farr, “The Night Manager”
Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Joe Robert Cole, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie
Regina King, “American Crime”
Melissa Leo, “All The Way”
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart, “Fargo”
Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”
Directing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special
Susanne Bier, “The Night Manager”
Jay Roach, “All The Way”
Noah Hawley, “Fargo”
Ryan Murphy, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Anthony Hemingway, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
John Singleton, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Jesse Plemons, “Fargo”
Bokeem Woodbine, “Fargo”
Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”
David Schwimmer, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
John Travolta, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Sarah Paulson, “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grille”
Lili Taylor, “American Crime”
Kerry Washington, “Confirmation”
Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Bryan Cranston, “All The Way”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
Idris Elba, “Luther”
Cuba Gooding Jr., “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Tom Hiddleston, “The Night Manager”
“Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
“A Very Murray Christmas”
“All The Way”
“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
“The Night Manager”
Writing for a variety special
“Patton Oswalt: Talking For Clapping”
“Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo”
“John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid”
“Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted”
“Triumph’s Election Special 2016”
Variety Talk Series
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“The Late, Late Show with James Corden”
“Real Time with Bill Maher”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”
Directing for a variety special
Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski, “Grease: Live”
Beth McCarthy-Miller, “Adele Live In New York City”
Chris Rock, “Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo”
Louis J. Horvitz, “58th Grammy Awards”
Glenn Weiss, “The Kennedy Center Honors”
Kahlil Joseph and Beyoncé Knowles Carter, “Lemonade”
Variety sketch series
“Key & Peele”
“Inside Amy Schumer”
“Saturday Night Live”
Writing for a drama series
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, “Game Of Thrones”
Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, “The Americans”
Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey”
Robert King and Michelle King, “The Good Wife”
Sam Esmail, “Mr. Robot”
Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, “UnREAL”
Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Maura Tierney, “The Affair”
Lena Headey, “Game Of Thrones”
Emilia Clarke, “Game Of Thrones”
Maisie Williams, “Game Of Thrones”
Constance Zimmer, “UnREAL”
Directing for a drama series
Miguel Sapochnik, “Game Of Thrones”
Michael Engler, “Downton Abbey”
Jack Bender, “Game Of Thrones”
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland”
Steven Soderbergh, “The Knick”
David Hollander, “Ray Donovan”
Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Peter Dinklage, “Game Of Thrones”
Kit Harington, “Game Of Thrones”
Michael Kelly, “House Of Cards”
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
“Master of None”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
“Game of Thrones”
“Better Call Saul”
“House of Cards”