'Game of Thrones,' 'Fleabag" take top Emmy honors on night of upsets

71st Primetime Emmy Awards – Show – Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 22, 2019. Cast members from “Game of Thrones” take the stage. REUTERS/Mike Blake

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Medieval drama “Game of Thrones” and British comedy “Fleabag” took top honors at the Emmy awards on Sunday on a night of upsets that often rewarded newcomers over old favorites.

“Pose” star Billy Porter, who is openly gay, was named best dramatic actor, while British newcomer Jodie Comer took the Emmy for her lead actress role as a psychotic assassin in quirky drama “Killing Eve.”

In an upset, “Fleabag” actress and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge also took the trophy for best comedy actress, beating frontrunners Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep” and Rachel Brosnahan for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Waller-Bridge also won the Emmy for comedy writing on the Amazon Studios show.

Bill Hader won his second Emmy for playing a hitman who turns to acting in comedy “Barry,” while Peter Dinklage took home the only acting trophy for “Game of Thrones” for his supporting role as Tyrion Lannister.

Already the most-awarded series in Emmy history with 38 wins, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” went into Sunday’s awards show as the clear front runner, despite a fan uproar over the conclusion of the series.

In the closely contested limited series category, the Television Academy spread its honors among wrenching social justice drama “When They See Us,” Soviet nuclear accident tale “Chernobyl” and “Fosse/Verdon,” starring Michelle Williams as Broadway singer and dancer Gwen Verdon.

Newcomer Jharrel Jerome was named best actor for “When They See Us,” the Netflix dramatization of the men known as the Central Park Five who were wrongly accused and imprisoned for rape in 1980s New York.

Jerome dedicated his honor to “the men we know as the exonerated five,” and the five men, seated in the audiences, stood and pumped their fists.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Will Dunham

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