“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu’s series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel about a dystopian near-future, wins big at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards. Picture: Instagram

LOS ANGELES — It was inevitable that a streaming service would win an Emmy for best drama at some point. But no one expected Hulu to get there first.

Hulu’s dystopian adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale” won TV’s most prestigious prize on Sunday night, beating out competitors from HBO, NBC and Netflix.

Even though Hulu has a smaller programming budget than competitors like Netflix and Amazon, “Handmaid’s” is the first streaming service to land a best drama victory. Elisabeth Moss, formerly of “Mad Men,” finally won her first Emmy for her portrayal as Offred in the show.

😎 #emmys #handmaidstale

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The success of “Handmaid’s'’ came during a ceremony that was decidedly political. “Saturday Night Live” also stormed the Emmys, winning the best variety sketch category, the first time it has taken an Emmy for top show in more than two decades.

The show’s feature players swept the supporting comedy acting awards, with acting wins from Alec Baldwin, for his portrayal of President Donald Trump, and Kate McKinnon, who played Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (among other characters).

Trump was top of mind all night long. In his opening monologue, the host Stephen Colbert declared Trump the biggest story of the year in television and then introduced a surprise guest, the former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The win by “Handmaid’s” is a blow to Netflix, which spent millions marketing its shows before Emmy voters, and once again fell short of winning best drama despite the fact it claimed nearly half of the nominated shows in the category.

And it was also a huge blow to NBC, which finally hit pay dirt in the ratings with its hugely popular family drama, “This is Us.” A broadcast network was in its first viable position to win the drama award for the first time in more than a decade but a streaming service stood in the way.

Here are the highlights from Sunday’s ceremony:

“Saturday Night Live” has never been a favourite of Emmy voters. It has not won the variety show category in more than two decades, and its cast members have rarely found the winner’s circle.

This year is different. After pummeling Trump nearly every week and scoring some of its highest ratings in years, “SNL” took home many awards, including for best variety sketch show.

Accepting that Emmy, the longtime executive producer of “SNL,” Lorne Michaels, said that he thought the show would never have a season as “crazy, as unpredictable, as frightening, as exhausting or as exhilarating” as the show’s first in the mid-70s.

“Turns out I was wrong,” he said.

Alec Baldwin, as expected, won as best supporting actor in a comedy for his portrayal of Trump. “I should just say, at long last Mr. President, here’s your Emmy,” he quipped.

McKinnon repeated as best supporting actress in a comedy. The NBC late-night show had already swept the two best guest actor categories at the earlier Creative Arts Emmys (one for Melissa McCarthy and another for Dave Chappelle).

Don Roy King added another award for “SNL” later in the show, winning for best direction of a variety series.

See full winners list from 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards below:

Outstanding Drama Series:
The Handmaid's Tale
 
Outstanding Comedy Series:
Veep
 
Outstanding Limited Series:
Big Little Lies
 
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
 
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
 
Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
 
Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
 
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
 
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Donald Glover, Atlanta
 
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
 
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
 
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
John Lithgow, The Crown
 
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie:
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
 
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie:
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
 
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series:
Gerald McRaney, This Is Us
 
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series:
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid's Tale
 
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:
Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live
 
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
 
Outstanding TV Movie:
Black Mirror: San Junipero
 
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series:
Saturday Night Live
 
Outstanding Variety Talk Series:
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
 
Outstanding Reality Competition Program:
The Voice
 
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series:
Donald Glover, Atlanta
 
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series:
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Master of None, 'Thanksgiving'
 
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:
Reed Morano, The Handmaid's Tale
 
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series:
Bruce Miller, The Handmaid's Tale, 'Offred'
 
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special:
Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies
 
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special:
Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: San Junipero
 
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series:
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
 
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series:
Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live

New York Times