LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Veep" ruled this year's biggest night in U.S. television on Sunday, thanks to Emmy wins for outstanding drama and comedy series. "Big Little Lies" and "Saturday Night Live" were also big winners.
"I know the world is getting crazy, but look on the bright side -- TV is getting better," said Stephen Colbert of "The Late Show," who hosted the Emmys.
Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" was crowned best drama series, also earning Elisabeth Moss a best actress and Ann Dowd a best drama supporting actress and winning best drama directing for Reed Morano and writing for Bruce Miller. The victory is a huge win for the streaming service.
HBO's "Veep" won the Emmy Award for comedy series, while its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, took home her unprecedented sixth consecutive win for playing fictional politician Selina Meyer. No other performer has been honored with more Emmys for a single role.
"This is and continues to be the role of a lifetime and an adventure of utter joy," said Louis-Dreyfus when she took the stage.
In limited series category, HBO's "Big Little Lies" came out on top, winning for best series, for actors Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard, as well as for writing and directing.
"It's been an incredible year for women in television," said costar and producer Reese Witherspoon. "Can I just say bring women to the front of their own stories and make them the heroes of their own stories. Thank you for that opportunity and for audiences to wrap their arms around us."
Nicole Kidman, who won her very first Emmy, said the project came about because of the frustration that as women "we weren't being offered great roles." "So, now, more great roles for women please," she said.
The NBC's "Saturday Night Live" picked up wins for best variety sketch series, directing for seven-time Emmy winner Don Roy King and in acting categories for Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin.
"I suppose I should say at long last Mr. President, here is your Emmy," Baldwin said when he opened his acceptance speech for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his work impersonating U.S. President Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live."
John Lithgow, who has now won a total of six Emmys, won this year for supporting actor in a drama series for his performance in the Netflix drama The Crown.
The Emmy for outstanding variety talk series goes to "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" for the second consecutive year.
"Game of Thrones' was absent from this year's Emmys, because it wasn't eligible. To qualify for this year's ceremony, a program had to air episodes between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017.
The HBO's decision to push the recently concluded seventh season of "Game of Thrones" from its usual spring slot to the summer made the episodes ineligible for the 2017 awards.
Last year, the show had taken home 12 awards from 23 nominations. Colbert jokingly thanked "Game of Thrones" for not being eligible for Emmys this year, making room for other shows to win.
This has also been a good year for diversity in TV.
Riz Ahmed won outstanding lead actor in a limited series for his portrayal of Nasir "Naz" Khan in "The Night Of."
Ahmed is the first male actor of Asian descent to win an Emmy award for acting. The Good Wife's Archie Panjabi won outstanding supporting actress in a drama series in 2010.
"I want to say it is always strange reaping the rewards of a story based on real world suffering," Ahmed said in his Emmys acceptance speech. "But if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our societies, xenophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that is something."
Sterling K. Brown won his second back-to-back Emmy for his role in the series "This Is Us" and in his speech honored Andre Braugher, who was the last black man to claim top drama performance honors, for "Homicide: Life on the Street" in 1998.
"It does feel different but for different reasons. I'm the first African-American in 16 years nominated. That kind of blows my mind," he said.
Lena Waithe became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for outstanding writing for a comedy series, for Netflix's "Master of None," sharing the award with series co-creator Aziz Ansari, who is of Indian heritage.
Netflix's "Black Mirror" episode "San Junipero" also won a lot on Sunday. Creator Charlie Brooker won writing for a limited series or movie, and later the episode picked up the Emmy for TV movie.
"Go home, get to work, we have a lot of things to fight for," Bruce Miller closed the show with a thank you and a call to action.
The 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony was held at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday evening, and was aired on the CBS.