TV May Have Been the Biggest Winner on Oscar Night

Regina King, Mahershala Ali, Rami Malek and Olivia Colman all have one thing (beyond their new statuettes) in common, while fellow winners Peter Farrelly and Spike Lee have new seasons of TV coming up.
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Oscar winners and TV stars Rami Malek (from left), Olivia Colman, Regina King and Mahershala Ali, many of whom will next be seen at the 2019 and 2020 Emmys.

Television may have been the biggest winner during Sunday's Academy Awards.

All four of Sunday's acting winners — Regina King, Rami Malek, Mahershala Ali and Olivia Colman — are currently juggling starring roles in TV series.

King, who took home her first-ever Oscar for her supporting turn in If Beale Street Could Talk, is tops on the call sheet for HBO's highly anticipated take on beloved graphic novel Watchmen. Already a three-time Emmy winner (American Crime and last year's Seven Seconds), King will reunite with her former The Leftovers showrunner Damon Lindelof on the drama. Lindelof celebrated her win Sunday.

Malek, who also won his first-ever Oscar for his performance as Queen's late and great frontman Freddie Mercury, next has the fourth and final season of USA Network's flagship drama Mr. Robot. Malek is also one-for-one with the TV Academy, winning his first Emmy — for lead actor in the Sam Esmail-created series — in 2016. USA has not yet set a return date for Mr. Robot's final season (though we'd expect that it'd take advantage of Malek's win and announce that soon). Esmail's production company — and USA Network — also marked Malek's Oscar victory Sunday.

Colman, too, took home her first Academy Award on Sunday — for lead actress in The Favourite. She next takes over the top of the call sheet for Netflix's Emmy darling The Crown, stepping into the role of Queen Elizabeth for Claire Foy. The role, which Colman will hold for two seasons before the part is aged up and recast, earned Foy two lead actress in a drama series Emmy nominations — and one win. The buzz has already been strong for Colman to be a contender in the same category and that is likely to build given her rapidly growing fan base thanks to her hilariously endearing Oscar speech. Colman already has one Emmy nomination — for supporting actress in AMC limited series The Night Manager. Season three of The Crown is due in late 2019 (though Colman won't be eligible for an Emmy until 2020).

Rounding out the pack is Ali, who took home the statuette Sunday for his supporting role in controversial best picture winner Green Book just as HBO was wrapping the third season of True Detective. The Nic Pizzolatto-created anthology has already earned strong reviews, and yes, Emmy buzz, for Ali's leading role. (THR's chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg called season three a "showcase" for Ali.) The actor has a strong chance to help get True Detective back on track after season two was considered a meme generator two years after original stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson each scored Emmy nominations. Ali will head into the fall TV awards season batting two-for-two in the supporting actor Oscar category after taking home gold in 2017 for best picture winner Moonlight. He became the first black actor to win two best supporting Oscars and the second black actor to win more than one Academy Award for acting. HBO, too, had strong praise for its star Sunday.

But wait, there's more! Green Book co-writer and director Peter Farrelly — the subject of controversy during awards season — next has season three of Ron Livingston-led Audience Network comedy Loudermilk in the works. In a full-circle moment, a Green Book TV series — totally separate from the Oscar-winning movie — is also in development.

Even Spike Lee — who finally (!) took home his first competitive Oscar (adapted screenplay for BlacKkKlansman) — has a TV series at Netflix: a half-hour take on She's Gotta Have It that has already been renewed for season two. 

Rounding out the winners, National Geographic also went home happy Sunday with a best documentary feature win for producing the riveting Free Solo. And we know this is a stretch, but Lady Gaga — who collected an Oscar for her original A Star Is Born song, "Shallow" — has a full season of TV under her belt (FX's American Horror Story) and three Emmy nominations (in the variety and special class categories). Lastly, even Julia Roberts — who presented best picture — will likely be up for a best drama actress Emmy in the fall for Esmail's "expertly done" Amazon drama Homecoming. (She, however, won't return for season two.)