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Awards News
September 09, 2018

NBC Leads with 11 Awards at Sunday Night 2018 Creative Arts Emmys: 6 for SNL, 5 for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

CNN takes eight, including five for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and two for United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell; Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and John Legend join EGOT club

Juan Morales
  • Lydia Tenaglia

    Lydia Tenaglia accepts the award for outstanding writing for a nonfiction program on behalf of Anthony Bourdain.

    Phil McCarten/Invision/AP
  • Rick McGuinness, left, and Phil Hymes

    Rick McGuinness, left, and Phil Hymes accept the award for outstanding lighting design/lighting direction for a variety series for Saturday Night Live .

    Phil McCarten/Invision/AP
  • Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore accepts the award for outstanding choreography for So You Think You Can Dance.

    Phil McCarten/Invision/AP
  • Don Roy King

    Don Roy King accepts the award for outstanding directing for a variety series for Saturday Night Live - Host: Donald Glover.

    Phil McCarten/Invision/AP
  • Joslyn Barnes and Yance Ford

    Joslyn Barnes (center) and Yance Ford (right) accept the Emmy for Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking

    Phil McCracken/Invision/AP

NBC topped the Sunday-night installment of the 2018 Creative Arts Emmys with 11 awards, followed by CNN with eight and Netflix with six.

The Sunday-night show was the second of the two Creative Arts Emmys shows held at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles.


Read the recap of the Saturday Night event. See Photos and Videos from both Creative Arts Emmy Awards Shows


The emphasis on Saturday was scripted programming; Sunday honored unscripted and documentary programming.

NBC’s pace-setting tally included six for Saturday Night Live and five for Jesus Christ Superstar Live. CNN’s total included five for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown; the Netflix haul included three for Queer Eye.

At Sunday’s Creative Arts Emmys the spotlight was on key technical disciplines and behind-the-scenes crafts, such as production design, casting, cinematography, hairstyling, makeup, lighting design, music, picture editing, sound editing, sound mixing and more.

In addition, the Sunday show included several programming, writing and directing categories, as well as the award for outstanding reality-competition host.

Saturday Night Live’s seven wins included a variety series directing Emmy for Don Roy King (the eighth of his career), as well as awards for lighting; production design; non-prosthetic makeup; technical direction, camerawork and video control; and original music and lyrics.

The latter recognized the song “Come Back Barack,” performed on the show by Chance the Rapper. Winning Emmys were composer Eli Brueggemann and co-lyricists Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd and Will Stephen.

It was a bittersweet night for CNN. The cable news network garnered an impressive number of awards for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown — writing, picture editing, sound editing, sound mixing and outstanding informational series or special — as well as short-form program for the offshoot Anthony Bourdain: Explore Parts Unknown. But the joy was tinctured with sadness over the passing of Bourdain, the Emmy-winning writer, producer and host who took his own life in June. The impact of his loss was palpable, and several winners spoke movingly of his talent, generosity and humanity.

Similarly conflicted emotions surrounded NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live, which won awards for lighting, production design, sound mixing, technical direction and outstanding variety special. For those involved with the musical production, the exhilaration of winning multiple Emmys was tempered by grief over the passing of one of its producers, Craig Zadan, who died unexpectedly on August 20.

On a more upbeat note, Sunday night minted three new members of the so-called EGOT club — those who have received the four most prestigious awards in entertainment: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. When Jesus Christ Superstar Live scored the final award of the night, for outstanding live variety special, composer-producer Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyricist-producer Tim Rice and performer-producer John Legend all attained EGOT status. The achievement expanded the total number of EGOT winners ever by 25 percent — from 12 to 15.

Not long afterward, Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, posted a photo of the three men with their Emmys, accompanied by the caption “EGOT GOATS” — the latter an acronym for “greatest of all time.”

Other programs prevailing in multiple categories included VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, which took home four Emmys — for costumes (Zaldy Goco), hairstyling (Hector Pocasangre and Gabriel Villareal), directing (Nick Murray) and outstanding reality host, which went to series star RuPaul Charles for the third consecutive year.

The three Emmys for Netflix’s Queer Eye were awarded for casting, picture editing and outstanding structured reality program.

Also taking home three Emmys was HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — writing, picture editing and interactive program.

In addition to its five for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and one for Anthony Bourdain: Explore Parts Unknown, CNN won two Emmys for United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell — picture editing for an unstructured reality program and outstanding unstructured reality program.

Another two-time winner was National Geographic’s Jane, about the renowned primatologist Jane Goodall: directing (Bret Morgen) and cinematography for a nonfiction program (Ellen Kuras and Hugo van Lawick). The award for cinematography for a reality program went to another National Geographic title, Life Below Zero.

Other awards included:

Outstanding choreography — Mandy Moore, So You Think You Can Dance, Fox

Outstanding documentary or nonfiction series — Wild, Wild Country, Netflix

Outstanding documentary or nonfiction special — The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, HBO

Exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking — Strong Island, Netflix

Outstanding pre-recorded variety special — Dave Chappelle: Equanimity, Netflix

Outstanding short-form variety series — Carpool Karaoke: The Series, Apple Music

The short-form win for Carpool Karaoke: The Series was noteworthy because it marked Apple’s first Emmy for original content. The tech giant is preparing a slate of programming for release next year.

Bob Bain was executive producer of the Creative Arts Emmys for the fourth consecutive year. The other executive producers were Jonathan Murray, chair of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Committee, and vice-chair Bob Bergen.

The other members of the Creative Arts Committee are Bob Boden, Jeffrey A. Calderon, Keiren Fisher, Terry Ann Gordon, Monte C. Haught, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg and Steven Spignese.

FXX will air an edited version, with highlights from both shows, on Saturday, September 15, at 8:00 p.m (ET/PT).

The remaining Emmys will be announced at the 70th Emmy Awards telecast on Monday, September 17. Hosted by Michael Che and Colin Jost, the show will air live coast-to-coast on NBC from the Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles. The executive producer are Lorne Michaels and Ian Stewart.

A complete list of winners is available here.

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