Skip to content

​The Emmys Are in and These Are the Winning Shows You Need to Watch​

​Make sure you’re catching all the TV gold with our results and watch list​

RuPaul, Jean Smart and Kate Winslet each holding their trophies from the 73rd Emmy Awards

Rich Fury/Getty Images; Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images; Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

(Left to right) RuPaul, Jean Smart and Kate Winslet

The big winners in the 73rd Emmy Awards, which concluded last night, were two shows much beloved by viewers over 50: The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit each won 11 golden trophies. Both are on Netflix, which was propelled by pandemic binge-watching to a startling 44 Emmy wins — tying the record set by CBS in 1974. In a sign of the times, CBS (long known as the high-quality “Tiffany network”), which broadcast the Emmys, got zero Emmys. Ted Lasso won Apple TV+ its first best-comedy Emmy, so the top three categories were swept, for the first time ever, by streaming channels. Streaming channels are taking over prestige TV. ​​And the Emmys remain a handy guide for what to watch, or catch up on. Here are the grownup-powered shows you should click to watch now while the Emmy glow is still hot​.​


The night’s most tear-inducing triumph was the standing ovation for Jean Smart, who won her first lead acting Emmy, at age 70, for playing a tart-tongued Vegas stand-up comic forced to mentor an up-and-coming comic (Hannah Einbinder, who’s as good as her mom, SNL’s Laraine Newman). ​"That's the good thing about being an actor,” Smart told AARP. “They always need older actors. You can act until you are 100." ​

Watch it hereHacks, on HBO

DON’T MISS THIS: Jean Smart Is on Top of Her Game

​​​The Crown

The show even Britain’s royal family watches ruled the Emmys, with wins including best drama and writing, and for the actors playing royals Elizabeth II and Philip (Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies), Charles (Josh O'Connor) and Margaret Thatcher (X-Files’ Gillian Anderson, 53). Historical drama doesn’t get much better, and it was gratifying to hear directing winner Jessica Hobbs thank the founder of her family TV dynasty: “I would particularly like to pay tribute to my mum, who at 77 is still directing.”​

Watch it hereThe Crown, on Netflix

Mare of Easttown

At 45, miniseries lead-actress winner Kate Winslet struck a blow for grownups in her brilliant performance as Mare, a middle-aged detective hunting a killer of young women. She made the director keep her “bulgy bit of belly” in a sex scene and insisted on crow’s feet in the show’s poster, saying, “Guys, I know how many lines I have by the side of my eye. Please put them all back.” She thinks viewers are starved for authentic older characters — say, Emmy winner Julianne Nicholson (50) as Mare’s friend, Jean Smart as her tough-love ma, and Guy Pearce (53) as her professor-suitor.​

Watch it here: Mare of Easttown, on HBO

The Queen’s Gambit 

​Anya Taylor-Joy got all the glory as an orphan with a genius for chess. But what gives this high-IQ show its biggest emotional wallop is the champ’s relationship with her childhood chess instructor, played by genius character actor Bill Camp (56) — he’s ubiquitous in grownup arthouse hits like 12 Years a SlaveLincoln and The Night Of, which earned him an Emmy nomination.​

Watch it here: The Queen’s Gambit, on Netflix

AARP Membership -Join AARP for just $12 for your first year when you enroll in automatic renewal

Join today and save 25% off the standard annual rate. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life. 

Ted Lasso

The feel-good comedy about an American football coach hired to coach an English soccer team got us through pandemic days by making us believe that anything is possible. And it won best comedy, best comedy actor for Jason Sudeikis (46) and six other Emmys. Apple TV+ earned a total of 11 Emmys this year.​

Watch it here: Ted Lasso, on Apple TV+


Ewan McGregor (50) won his first Emmy for a role even more mythical than his Obi-Wan Kenobi: poor, lonely Indiana lad Roy Halston Frowick, who reinvented himself as the fashion designer of Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat and eye-popping costumes for Liza Minnelli, and blew it all on blow, rent boys, orchids, overreaching greed and way too many wee-hours of reveling with bold-faced names at Studio 54. Accepting his Emmy, McGregor got emotional over the many female winners this year, like Winslet. Women could use some wins: Actresses only take up 38 percent of TV screen time, and after 50, their share shrinks to 8 percent.​

Watch it here: Halston, on Netflix

RuPaul’s Drag Race

When the stylish drag show of RuPaul Charles (60) won for outstanding competition program (not to mention editing, casting and directing), the impresario’s lifetime Emmy wins now total 11 — making him the most-awarded Black artist in Emmy history. It was bittersweet, though, because except for him and Michaela Coel, best-writing winner for the must-see sexual-assault drama I May Destroy You, Black artists didn’t win many Emmys this year, and they took zero acting wins. ​​

Watch it here: RuPaul's Drag Race, on VH1

DON’T MISS THIS: The 9 Most Fabulous TV Shows and Movies About Drag Queens​

Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square

Dolly Parton (75) won the best television movie at last week's Creative Arts Emmy Awards for her campy, irresistible musical, starring her as a homeless angel who tries to convince the Scrooge-like Regina Fuller (Christine Baranski, 69) not to sell her hometown's land to a mall developer. Black-ish matriarch Jenifer Lewis, 64, costars as the beauty shop owner, Margeline. Emmy usually looks down on holiday movies, so this is the first one to win since Ed Asner's The Gathering from 1977. No one can resist Dolly, nor the show’s director-producer-choreographer Debbie Allen (71), who was honored at last night's Primetime Emmys with the television academy’s Board of Governors Award. “It feels good to know that I’m for sure still in the game,” Allen said.

Watch it here: Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square, on Netflix​

All the Emmy nominations and winners 2021:​​


Limited Series

I May Destroy You
Mare of Easttown
The Queen's Gambit — WINNER
The Underground Railroad

Direction for a Limited Series

Barry Jenkins (The Underground Railroad)​
Craig Zobel (Mare of Easttown)​
Thomas Kail (Hamilton)​
Matt Shakman (WandaVision)​
Michaela Coel and Sam Miller (I May Destroy You)
​Sam Miller (I May Destroy You)​
Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit) — WINNER​​

Writing for a Limited Series or Movie

Brad Ingelsby (Mare of Easttown)
​Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron (WandaVision)​
Jac Schaeffer (WandaVision)
​Laura Donney (WandaVision)​
Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) — WINNER
Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit)​​

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Ewan McGregor (Halston) — WINNER
Hugh Grant (The Undoing)​
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)​
Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton)​
Paul Bettany (Wandavision)​​

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit)​
Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha)
​Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision)​
Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown) — WINNER
Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You)​​

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

​Anthony Ramos (Hamilton)​
Daveed Diggs (Hamilton)
Evan Peters (Mare of Easttown) — WINNER 
Jonathon Groff (Hamilton)
​Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You)​
Thomas Brodie-Sangster (The Queen’s Gambit)

​​Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Kathryn Hahn (WandaVision)​
Jean Smart (Mare of Easttown)​
Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown) — WINNER
Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit)​
Phillipa Soo (Hamilton)​
Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton)​​

Television Movie

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square — WINNER
Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia
Sylvie’s Love
Uncle Frank​​


Drama Series

Lovecraft Country​
The Crown — WINNER
The Boys​
The Handmaid’s Tale​
The Mandalorian​
This Is Us

Directing for a Drama Series

​Benjamin Caron (The Crown)​
Jessica Hobbs (The Crown) — WINNER
​Jon Favreau (The Mandalorian)​
Julie Anne Robinson (Bridgerton)
​Liz Garbus (The Handmaid’s Tale)​
Steven Canals (Pose)​​

Writing for a Drama Series

Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian)
​Jon Favreau (The Mandalorian)​
Misha Green (Lovecraft Country)​
Peter Morgan (The Crown) — WINNER
Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys)​
Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Our Lady J and Janet Mock (Pose)​
Yahlin Chang (The Handmaid’s Tale)​​

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

​Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)​​​
Billy Porter (Pose)
Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country)
Josh O’Connor (The Crown) — WINNER
Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason)
​Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton)

​​Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Emma Corrin (The Crown)
Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country)​
MJ Rodriguez (Pose)​
Olivia Colman (The Crown) — WINNER
Uzo Aduba (In Treatment)​​

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale)
​Chris Sullivan (This Is Us)​
Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian)​
John Lithgow (Perry Mason)
Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale)
​Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country)​
O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Tobias Menzies (The Crown) — WINNER​​

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)​
Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country)​
Emerald Fennell (The Crown)
Gillian Anderson (The Crown) — WINNER
Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown)
​Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)​
Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)​​

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Carl Weathers (The Mandalorian)​
Charles Dance (The Crown)​
Courtney B. Vance (Lovecraft Country) — WINNER
Don Cheadle (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)​
Timothy Olyphant (The Mandalorian)​​

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Claire Foy (The Crown) — WINNER
McKenna Grace (The Handmaid’s Tale)​
Phylicia Rashad (This Is Us)​
Sophie Okonedo (Ratched)​


Comedy Series

​Cobra Kai​
Emily in Paris​
The Flight Attendant​
The Kominsky Method​
Ted Lasso — WINNER​​

Directing for a Comedy Series

​Declan Lowney (Ted Lasso)
​James Burrows (B Positive)
​James Widdoes (Mom)​
Lucia Aniello (Hacks) — WINNER
M.J. Delaney (Ted Lasso)​
Susanna Fogel (The Flight Attendant)​
Zach Braff (Ted Lasso)​​

Writing for a Comedy Series

​Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly (Ted Lasso)
​Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly (Ted Lasso)​
Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky (Hacks) — WINNER
Maya Erskine (Pen15)​
Meredith Scardino (Girls5eva)
​Steve Yockey (The Flight Attendant)​​

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)​
Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso) — WINNER
Kenan Thompson (Kenan)
​Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)​
William H. Lacy (Shameless)​​

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Aidy Bryant (Shrill)​
Allison Janey (Mom)
Jean Smart (Hacks) — WINNER
Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant)
​Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)​​

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

​Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso)
​Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso) — WINNER
Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live)​
Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks)
​Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso)​
Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)​
Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso)
​Paul Reiser (The Kominsky Method)​​

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live)
​Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live)​
Hannah Einbinder (Hacks)​
Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) — WINNER
​Juno Temple (Ted Lasso)​
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)​
Rosie Perez (The Flight Attendant)​​

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live)​
Daniel Kaluuya (Saturday Night Live)
​Dan Levy (Saturday Night Live)​
Dave Chappelle (Saturday Night Live) — WINNER
Morgan Freeman (The Kominsky Method)​​

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

​Bernadette Peters (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist)
​Issa Rae (A Black Lady Sketch Show)
​Jane Adams (Hacks)​
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)​
Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) — WINNER
​Yvette Nicole Brown (A Black Lady Sketch Show)


Host for a Reality or Competition Program

​Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye)
Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary (Shark Tank)​
Nicole Byer (Nailed It!)​
Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons (Top Chef)​ 
RuPaul (RuPaul’s Drag Race) — WINNER​​

Structured Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow
Property Brothers: Forever Home
Queer Eye — WINNER
Running Wild With Bear Grylls
Shark Tank​​

Unstructured Reality Program

Below Deck
Indian Matchmaking
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked! — WINNER
Selling Sunset​​

Competition Program

Nailed It!
RuPaul’s Drag Race — WINNER
The Amazing Race
The Voice
Top Chef​​


Variety Talk Series

Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver — WINNER
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert​​

Variety Sketch Series

A Black Lady Sketch Show
Saturday Night Live — WINNER​​

Variety Special (Prerecorded)

Dave Chappelle: 8:46
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote

Bo Burnham: Inside
David Byrne’s American Utopia
Friends: The Reunion
Hamilton — WINNER​​


Animated Program

Big Mouth
Bob’s Burgers
Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal — WINNER
South Park: The Pandemic Special
The Simpsons

Tim Appelo covers entertainment and is the film and TV critic for AARP. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at Amazon, video critic at Entertainment Weekly, and a critic and writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, The Village Voice and LA Weekly.