By Lauren Huff
September 20, 2020 at 10:36 PM EDT
Emmy Awards
Credit: ABC

Watchmen added to its impressive Emmy haul when it took home the award for Outstanding Limited Series on Sunday night. It also made history, as it became the first comic-book adaptation to take home a top prize at the annual awards show.

The nine-episode series, which stars Regina KingJeremy IronsJean Smart, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and more, was the most nominated show going into the evening, with a whopping 26 nods. It won seven of those at the Creative Arts Emmys earlier in the week. Before winning the Limited Series prize Sunday, it also took home Best Actress in a Limited Series, Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, and Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series.

Upon accepting the award, showrunner Damon Lindelof said, "I knew this was never my story to tell. The only reason I am standing here now is because of the people who are standing alongside me, who are zooming and zapping in from around the world who told their stories."

He poignantly went on to share some things he said he's learned from working on the show. "History is mystery," he said. "It's broken into a million puzzle pieces, and many are missing. We know where those pieces are, but we don't seek them out because we know finding them will hurt. Sometimes we cause that hurt, maybe we even benefited from it, but we have to name it before we can repair it.  Be careful, be clumsy, run hot, stay cool. Be the bull in the china shop, but pick up what you broke and glue it back together. Don't stop until it's great. Affirm it's never great enough. Dissent. Be consistent and embrace paradox. Never contradict yourself. And finally, stop worrying about getting canceled and ask yourself what you're doing to get renewed."

Lindelof then dedicated the win to the victims of the Tulsa race massacre of 1921. "The fires that destroyed Black Wall Street still burn today. The only way to put them out is if we all fight them together," he said, adding, "God bless, stay safe, I'm going to go throw up."

Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen takes place in Oklahoma 34 years after the original story. It follows King's Angela Abar, a detective who takes on the alias Sister Night, and fights racists while dealing with the decades-long legacy of the original story's vigilantes.

In the virtual press room, Lindelof continued to insist that the show is indeed a limited series, and won't receive a second season with him at the helm. "It would feel like a huge betrayal of winning limited series to come back and say, 'Well, it was only limited series dot dot dot,'" he said. "Watchmen is something that I’ve loved since I was 13 years old, and someone else created it, and I feel like this was my run on it."

He added, "I’ve invited any other artists who want to take the baton, I’ll teach them everything that I know. But I’m so much more excited about seeing what someone else does with it than what I would do with it. And I think it makes the experience so much more special having been just these nine episodes."

HBO's dystopic superhero drama beat out Little Fires Everywhere, Mrs. America, Unbelievable, and Unorthodox for the win.

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Watchmen (TV series)

  • TV Show
  • 1
  • Damon Lindelof
  • HBO