"Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys," said host Jimmy Kimmel, opening the 72nd Emmy Awards, which had multiple skits and jokes about life under lockdown.
Watchmen, Succession and Schitt's Creek were the big winners of the ceremony on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Traditionally one of the most glittering events in the showbusiness calendar, the event looked very different.
The Covid-19 “new normal” meant that the red carpet was in the imagination and the auditorium of the Staples Centre in the heart of Los Angeles was pretty much empty rather than brimming with celebrities dressed up to the nines.
In fact, the dress code was strictly informal with many of the nominees watching the proceedings from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.
Producers sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who chose how and where they wanted to be seen in their improvised studios.
In a nod to fashion, costume designer Katja Cahill and executive producer Guy Carrington created a bespoke “hazmat tuxedo” for trophy presenters who delivered awards in person.
There was a raft of British nominees including Olivia Colman for her portrayal of the Queen in The Crown, Helena Bonham Carter, for her performance as Princess Margaret in the same series, and Thandie Newton for her performance in Westworld.
Scottish actor Brian Cox was among the nominees for best actor for his performance in the HBO series Succession.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator of Fleabag, was shortlisted for best guest actress in a comedy series for hosting an episode of the long-running US comedy series Saturday Night Live.
But it was a disappointing night for British and Irish stars, with Colman, Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Cox, Jeremy Irons (Watchmen), Bonham Carter and Paul Mescal (Normal People) all ending up empty handed in the individual categories.
On the otherwise underwhelming night for UK talent, Jesse Armstrong won for his writing on Succession while John Oliver was recognised for his work on his Last Week Tonight show.
The biggest win of the night, outstanding drama series, was won by Succession.
Armstrong accepted the award from London, describing it as "such a very nice moment and it's very sad not to be with the cast and some of the crew".
Armstrong's speech was interrupted by a phone ringing. He then listed a number of "un-thank yous" and targeted Donald Trump and Boris Johnson for their respective responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schitt's Creek, a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network about a wealthy family that is forced to live in a rundown motel, won seven Emmys, including best comedy series and acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy.
It was the first time in the Emmy Awards' 72 years that a comedy won all seven categories in the same year, organisers said.
HBO's alternative-reality show Watchmen, infused with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress Regina King won for her performance as the show's kick-ass police detective and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II took best supporting actor. Watchmen also won for writing.