Emmys 2020: How to Watch, Who’s Nominated, Celebrity Guests, and More


While many award shows have been disrupted due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards are scheduled to air live Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c on ABC. However, like everything this year, they’ll be a little different than what you’re normally used to. Hollywood is still figuring out best practices for returning to production, so this year’s Emmy Awards will be virtual. 

Jimmy Kimmel is hosting this year’s telecast for the third time, and while the third time might be the charm, this will certainly look different than any of his previous years on the Emmys stage. Now that the list of Emmy nominees is here, let’s look forward to what TV’s biggest night has in store for us. Read on to find out everything we know so far about the 2020 Emmys.  

Who are the 2020 Emmy nominees?

Netflix dominated this year’s Emmy nominations with a whopping 160 nods across categories, including 18 nominations for Ozark, 13 for The Crown, and 12 for Hollywood. Meanwhile, HBO’s Watchmen was the most-nominated program of all, with 26 nods. 

There were also some major snubs, including the fact that Rhea Seehorn was again overlooked despite a stellar showing in Better Call Saul‘s penultimate season, and other stars who were highly prolific this year were somehow also omitted from the list. On the bright side, there’s a lot more diversity to be found in this year’s nominations. Check out the full list of Emmy nominees here.

When are the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards?

This year’s Emmys are set to air on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c on ABC. Instead of being held in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the show will be taken virtual. In a letter to nominees, this year’s Emmy executive producers informed actors that the show would go on, just from the safety of their homes. 

“We are assembling a top notch team of technicians, producers and writers to work closely with Jimmy Kimmel and with you and your team, to make sure that we can film with you (and loved ones or whomever else you choose to be with) at your home, or another location of your choice,” Variety reports the letter said. “We’re going to make you look fabulous – we’re exploring the cutting edge of technology to allow to use good cameras and lighting and look forward to working with you to produce your unique ‘on screen’ moments.'”

What channel are the Emmys on this year?

After airing on Fox in 2019, the 2020 Emmys telecast will return to ABC.

How can you watch the Emmys?

In addition to the live TV broadcast, those with cable subscriptions can tune in via ABC’s siteThe Emmys website typically hosts a backstage livestream during the show, though there’s no telling yet how that will be impacted by the potential changes to the ceremony.

When are the Creative Arts Emmys?

The Television Academy announced that the Creative Arts Emmys are going virtual this year. Originally set to air over two nights on Sept. 12-13, Deadline now reports the Creative Arts Emmys will be spread across the entire week, beginning Monday, Sept. 14. They will span the course of six days, with the first five nights streaming on Emmys.com, and the final night of awards airing on FXX on Saturday, Sept. 19. While the producers are aiming to keep the show as live as possible, all of the acceptance speeches will be pre-taped in an effort to streamline the event.

Who is hosting the Emmys?

After last year’s host-less Emmys, Jimmy Kimmel is set to host and executive produce this year’s broadcast. He previously emceed the awards in 2012 and 2016. Upon announcing his return, Kimmel appeared to be just as confused as anyone about what the job will entail this year, writing in a tweet, “I don’t know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this, but we are doing it and I am hosting it.” 

What will the virtual production look like?

According to Variety, Kimmel will be hosting the telecast live from the Staples Center with no red carpet or audience. Some presenters of categories will be joining him in the Staples Center while others will be remote. This year’s production will also include camera operators at most of the nominees’ locations — as many as they can have participate while following social distancing and safety guidelines — which means at many as 140 live feeds will be wired through the Staples Center’s massive production facility. The move for broadcast crews (which in some cases means members inside the nominee’s COVID bubbles will be operating the equipment with remote technical help) is an effort to avoid teleconferencing platforms (Zoom, Skype, etc.) which might affect video or sound quality. 

“This will all depend on the comfort level of the people at the other end, but we’ve got to go and find them,” Ian Stewart, whose company is involved with production, said. “They might be at home, they might be in the garden, might be in a hotel, they might be standing on the side of the street. It doesn’t really matter, wherever they feel comfortable. But we want to bring every nominee that we can logistically, live into the show.”

Kimmel also told Variety that this year’s show would, “pay tribute to the people who are leading us through this pandemic.” Kimmel also indicated that while many participants will be doing so from a distance, there may be some socially distanced audience members at the Staples Center.

Which stars will be part of the show? 

Without a red carpet or a star-studded audience, you might be wondering how you will get your yearly dose of TV celebs all in one place? It turns out some stars will be making “special appearances” during the show, and a few names of said celebs have been announced already. Participants in the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards include Anthony Anderson, America Ferrera, Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union, J.J. Watt, Lena Waithe, and Oprah Winfrey. Additionally, singer-songwriter and Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. will make her Emmy debut for a special “In Memoriam” performance. More stars will be announced closer to the air date. 

The 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c on ABC.

  Jimmy Kimmel  Jimmy Kimmel

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