Nothing is stopping the Television Academy from honoring the best in television, especially not a pandemic or California wildfires. Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Boss Baby) will host the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, which are slated to take place remotely from the Staples Center in Los Angeles where it will air on ABC at 5 pm PCT. The ceremony will also be available to stream on Hulu. Meanwhile, ABC’s streaming channel, ABC News Live, is airing a 90-minute pre-show, entitled Countdown to the Emmys, at 3:30 PCT. It is set to be hosted by Good Morning America Weekend co-anchors Eva Pilgrim and Whit Johnson as well as ABC News correspondent Janai Norman. While news of some Emmy winners have already been released, such as the Primetime Emmy Governors Award to Tyler Perry (Madea’s Witness Protection, Madea’s Family Reunion) and Outstanding Television Movie to Bad Education, most other winners are yet to be announced.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) September 20, 2020
3:50 pm: When asked about her first Emmy nomination in Netflix’s first series filmed primarily in Yiddish, Unorthodox, Shira Haas (The Zookeeper’s Wife) stated, “I’m very very excited for the ceremony to begin….It’s unbelievable. People want to see different cultures and languages and I think this show brought us another community and language…It connects us as people.” Regarding her co-stars, some of which she’s known for years, Haas excitedly reports that “We have a lot of jokes in between takes and we have such amazing chemistry… even though some materials and topics were a bit tough.” Haas also spoke on shaving her head for her role in Unorthodox, where she felt “scared and very excited,” describing it as “empowering and liberating.”
4:03 pm: Addressing the newfound increase in diversity of Emmy nominees, with more minorities being represented in nominations than ever, journalist Kelly Carter discussed that racial disparities are still present: “We need to see more shows like Ramy but for other communities… We need to look at what’s been successful….These shows represent universal truths that everyone can relate to. Once people who have the power to make these shows happen understand that these shows are needed and wanted, then we move past it,” she continued, “It’s great to be invited to the show. But we really want to see people walk home with one of those shiny bobbles…We need to see more diverse winners collect the awards and walk away with big wins.”
4:14 pm: On receiving her first Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in The Good Place, D’Arcy Carden exclaimed, “It’s still shocking. I still can’t believe it,” still excited for her nomination, she said, “I think I’ll celebrate no matter what…I really do feel like the nomination was such an honor. Winning or not, I really do truly feel that I won.”
4:17 pm: On the Emmy red carpet, Irish actor Paul Mescal (The Deceived) discusses his television debut with Hulu’s Normal People, a romance series that aired earlier this year for which he was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series. He discusses his character, Connell Waldron on the red carpet: “[Connell] struggles with his identity in the world,” he said, “…He’s kind of obsessed with how people think of him and he’s constantly playing a game of chess with how he sits in society.”
4:35 pm: Discussing one of the most talked about series of the year, The Mandalorian, star Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos) states, “It’s really great storytelling within a world that we already know and challenging that world with a bunch of originality, unexpected personality, and an edge.” He jokes that the Disney+ series is “setting the bar too high.” He states, “Not only is it challenging Star Wars, it’s challenging what can be done on TV… it’s too good and no one will ever be the same.”
5:01 pm: 2020 Emmy host Kimmel kicked off the ceremony with joking about the pitfalls this year had to offer and television’s importance in our everyday lives now more than ever, “It’s been a year of division, injustice, disease, Zoom school, disaster, and death. We’ve been confined to our homes like prisoners in a dark and lonely tunnel. And what did we find in that dark and lonely tunnel? A friend. Our old pal television,” he continues to acknowledge that “The world may be terrible but TV has never been better. And tonight we are paying tribute to the great shows and the history making nominees.”
5:12 pm: Jennifer Aniston (Friends) and Kimmel announced the winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – after extinguishing a fire brought on by “burning off the germs” from the winner’s envelope – from nominees Christina Applegate (Dead To Me), Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Issa Rae (Insecure), Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish), Linda Cardellini (Dead to Me), and Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek), to be Catherine O’Hara for her role in Schitt’s Creek. O’Hara expressed her gratitude towards her co-stars in her acceptance speech: “I will forever be grateful to Eugene and Daniel levy for bestowing the opportunity upon me to play a woman of a certain age –my age – who gets to fully be her ridiculous self.” O’Hara was nominated twice before for Emmys, in the categories of Supporting Actress in a Limited Series in 2010 for Temple Grandin and Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2019 for Schitt’s Creek.
— Joey Nolfi (@joeynolfi) September 21, 2020
5:27 pm: Kimmel announced the winner of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series from nominees Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Don Cheadle (Black Monday), Ted Danson (The Good Place), Anthony Anderson (black-ish), Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method), and Ramy Youssef (Ramy), to be Levy. Accepting his Emmy, Levy joked “I guess it’s kind of ironical that the straightest role I’ve ever played lands me an Emmy for a comedy performance so now I seriously have to question just what I’ve been doing for 50 years.” He continued to thank his wife, production team, and co-stars, namely O’Hara, for their support. After losing the Emmy, Youssef took to Twitter to joke about the person in a hazmat suit, standing outside his home and rubbing an Emmy in his face.
when you lose the emmy pic.twitter.com/ECkbGcoHBA
— ramy youssef (@ramy) September 21, 2020
5:32 pm: Announcing the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, Tracee Ellis Ross stated the nominees: David West Read (Schitt’s Creek), Tony MacNamara (The Great), Daniel Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Michael Schur (The Good Place), Paul Simms (What We Do In The Shadows), Stefani Robinson (What We Do In The Shadows), and Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil (What We Do In The Shadows). Daniel Levy won, accepting his Emmy by excitedly stating that “Getting to tell these stories has been the most greatest most cathartic experience of my life.”
5:39 pm: Joking about the current controversial USPS issues within the United States mail-in voting system, Kimmel was handed the nominees for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series by a Russian mailman. The nominees were announced as Amy Sherman (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Matt Shakmin (the Great), James Burrows (Will & Grace), Ramy Youssef (Ramy), Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Gail Mancuso (Modern Family), and Daniel Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). Cividino won his first Emmy with Levy for their directing of Schitt’s Creek. Upon accepting their award, Cividino mainly thanked his cast: “Thank you so much to our incredible cast and crew….A special thank you to Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy….Their grace, genius, and generosity bubbles through the entire set.”
5:44 pm: Nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actors in a Comedy Series were announced as Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), William Jackson Harper (The Good Place), Alan Arkin (The Kominsky Method), Sterling K. Brown (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Tony Shaloub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Mahershala Ali (Ramy), Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), Daniel Levy (Schitt’s Creek). Levy won yet another Emmy Award. He thanked Eugene Levy and O’Hara during his acceptance speech: “They led without ego and with excitement…As actors, we were given the safety and security to do what we wanted and to try and experiment and grow.”
5:53 pm: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series were announced as Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place), Betty Gilpin (GLOW), Marin Hinkle (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Yvonne Orji (Insecure), Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live), and Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek). Schitt’s Creek won yet another Emmy with Annie Murphy. In her acceptance speech, still starstruck, she exclaimed, “The six years I spent working on this show have been the best six years of my life….I’m so proud to be a part of a show that stands for love and kindness and inclusivity and acceptance because those four things are what we need more than every right now.”
5:59 pm: While jokingly being tested for COVID-19, Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso), with the help of stars Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Gabrielle Union (Bring It On), and others, they announced the nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series as Dead To Me, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Good Place, Insecure, The Kominsky Method, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Schitt’s Creek, and What We Do In The Shadows. Schitt’s Creek won over yet another Emmy category. Accepting the award, Daniel Levy described the show as showcasing “the effects of love and acceptance,” stating that it is something we need more of now than we ever had before.” He then urges viewers to participate in the 2020 elections, “For those of who that haven’t registered to vote, please do then go out and vote.” So far, Schitt’s Creek has swept Emmy nominations with 7 total wins.
6:13 pm: Presenting the Emmy nominations for Outstanding Variety Talk Series: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, David Letterman announced the winner to be Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. After joking about his Emmy’s shocking resemblance to a bomb, Oliver thanked his staff, HBO, and family for their support. This was Oliver’s 5th Emmy, one of which he’s one each year since 2016.
6:16 pm: Kimmel then announced the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie as Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere), Cate Blanchett (Mrs. America), Octavia Spencer (Self Made), Regina King (Watchmen), and Shira Haas (Unorthodox). King won her fifth Emmy in this category. Accepting her award from her home, she stated, “I truly love being a thespian. Thank you Television Academy for choosing me to represent the thespian community,” she then urged her viewers to vote and mentioned the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “[Voting] is very important. Be a good human. Rest in power RBG.” Watchmen gained recent popularity with its main subject being racism and oppression against Black Americans after several Black Lives Matter protests spurred activism and change across the nation. On Twitter, King was congratulated by several fellow artists, including rapper COMMON:
Regina. Been. King. https://t.co/9QHFX6oDNx
— COMMON (@common) September 21, 2020
6:21 pm: Halfway through the ceremony, the nominees and winner for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie were announced, including Paul Mescal (Normal People), Mark Ruffalo (I Know This Much Is True), Hugh Jackman (Bad Education), Jeremy Pope (Hollywood), and Jeremy Irons (Watchmen). Ruffalo won his first Emmy for his role in I Know This Much Is True. He gave his acceptance speech from home, explaining the significance of his series’ message: “Our story is about family, a man who’s living with his brother who’s living with mental illness. It’s a story that’s so common in the United States and the world today. It asks a big question: how are we going to deal, and honor, and take care of each other and our most vulnerable people? We do that with love and compassion…If you have privilege you have to fight for those that are less fortunate and more vulnerable.” He then urges more unity and less division among Americans.
6:29 pm: The category, Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie, was presented by Randall Park (Always Be My Maybe). Nominees included Sally Rooney, Alice Birch (Normal People), Susannah Grant, Michal Chaban (Unbelieveable), Anna Winger (Unorthodox), Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson (Watchmen), and Tanya Barfield (Mrs. America). Watchmen, who led Emmy nominations with 26 total nominations, won another Emmy for this category. Lindelof and Jefferson accepted their Emmy from their homes, thanking their families and colleagues.
6:38 pm: Kimmel then announced the nominees for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Movie as Lynn Shelton (Little Fires Everywhere) Lenny Abrahhamson (Normal People), Maria Schrader (Unorthodox), Stephen Williams (Watchmen), Nicole Kassell (Watchmen), and Steph Green (Watchmen). Maria Schrader won her first Emmy Award, stating “Being nominated for the Emmys already felt like a coronation and now this.” She thanked the cast, Netflix, and her colleagues. Unorthodox was nominated for 5 total Emmys.
6:41 pm: Kimmel announced the nominees for Outstanding Supportive Actor in a Limited Series or Movie to be Dylan McDermott (Hollywood), Jim Parsons (Hollywood), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen), Jovan Adepo (Watchmen), Lous Gosset Jr. (Watchmen). With Watchmen ultimately dominating this category, it came as no surprise that Mateen won his first Emmy for his role on Watchmen. He thanked his family, HBO, and co-stars. He stated, “It was a story about police corruption and brutality but in the midst of all that it was also about a God who came down to Earth to reciprocate to a Black woman all the love she deserved.” Holding up a celebratory glass of champagne, he dedicated his award to the Black women in his life.
6:44 pm: In a skit, stars such as Mindy Kaling (The Office, The Mindy Project), Joe Exotic (Tiger King), Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor), and an animated Rick and Morty shared what they’d been doing in the months since quarantine began. Some had taken up embroidering, sky diving, hiding from family, and others, like Exotic, had been imprisoned.
6:55 pm: Presenting the next nominees, Anthony Anderson (black-ish) shared the news of a record number of Black Emmy nominees in 2020, however expressed his disappointment that the winners wouldn’t be able to enjoy it together due to COVID-19. He then chanted, “Black Lives Matter.” He then announced the nominees for Best Limited Series as Unorthodox, Watchmen, Unbelievable, Mrs. America, and Little Fires Everywhere. Watchmen won over yet another category. Accepting their Emmy via online video chat, the cast and crew dedicated the award to the Tulsa Massacre of 1921.
7:02 pm: As a tribute to the many lives lost this year, including Regis Philbin (The Joey Bishop Show), Naya Rivera (Glee), Robert Forester (El Camino, Jackie Brown), Ken Osmond (Leave It To Beaver), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), and Bill Macy (Maude, The Jerk), among several others, singer H.E.R. performed at the start of the final hour of the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards.
7:11 pm: In another skit, Jennifer Aniston (Friends, The Morning Show) was joined by Courtney Cox (Friends), Lisa Kudrow (Friends, The Boss Baby), and Matthew Perry (Friends), alluding to when their characters lived together in the popular 1994 sitcom Friends.
The One with the Mini #Friends Reunion 👏👏👏👏
— IMDb (@IMDb) September 21, 2020
7:14 pm: Kimmel then announced the nominees for Outstanding Competition Program to be Nailed It, Rupaul’s Drag Race, Top Chef, The Masked Singer, and The Voice. Rupaul’s Drag Race won their third Emmy tonight, following 4 total nominations since 2017.
7:16 pm: Announcing the Governors Award, Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, Frank Scherma, introduced Tyler Perry (Madea’s Witness Protection, Madea’s Family Reunion) as the winner, stating that “Few have done more to widen the scope of television than Tyler Perry, this year’s recipient of the Governors Award. The award is only given out when there is a recipient or organization who has far exceeded the expectations of our medium.” Oprah Winfrey (The Oprah Winfrey Show) and Chris Rock (Madagascar, Everybody Hates Chris) spoke on Perry’s behalf. Winfrey stated, “[Perry] is a man of deep faith. He is a businessman who bet on himself and in doing so, showed the world that there is a different path to ultimate success…Tyler ensured that Black people would be represented in front of and behind the camera.” In his acceptance speech, Perry thanked his foundation and the Television Academy. Recalling his teen years, he told a story of his grandma gifting him a quilt and the lack of respect he had for it, until he saw a similar quilt in a store sown by a former slave who sewed a different patch for the monumental moments in her lifetime. He used this metaphor to state that we each have different quilts representing the important parts of our lives. He then recalls a story where his mother told him after his father failed to receive payment for his work, “Don’t you ever stand by a door and wait for white folks to do nothing for you.” He then stated, “In her quilt, she couldn’t imagine a world where her son was not waiting by the door for someone. In her quilt, she couldn’t imagine me actually building my own door and holding that door open for thousands of people.” He continues to thank his business and supporters, stating, “Thank you to all of the people who are celebrating and know the value of every patch, and every story, and every color that makes up this quilt that is our business, this quilt that is our lives, this quilt that is America.”
7:20: Kimmel then announced the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series as Brian Cox (Succession), Jeremy Strong (Succession), Jason Bateman (Ozark), Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Billy Porter (Pose), Steve Carell (The Morning Show). With Succession being one of series with the most Emmy nominees, it won over this category. Strong won his first Emmy tonight, thanking The Academy, HBO, his family, and co-stars, mentioning fellow nominee Cox.
7:36 pm: Kimmel then announced the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Zendaya (Euphoria), Laura Linney (Ozark), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Olivia Colman (the Crown), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), and Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show). Zendaya won her first Emmy for her role in HBO’s Euphoria. “This is pretty crazy…Thank you to my family and my team…To the incredible cast and crew of Euphoria I’m so lucky to go to work with you everyday, I’m inspired by everything you do.” Her speech was followed by roaring applause from her family. Zendaya made history tonight as the youngest person to win an Emmy for this category, at the age of 24. She was praised by fellow artists and influencers such as Yara Shahidi (black-ish, grown-ish) and singer SZA.
If you think Zendaya winning an Emmy is bout have me finally binge watch euphoria for the first time .. ur absolutely right 🤝
— SZA (@sza) September 21, 2020
— Yara shahidi (@YaraShahidi) September 21, 2020
7:39 pm: Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) presented the nominees for Writing for a Drama Series as Peter Morgan (The Crown), Jesse Armstrong (Succession), Gordon Smith (Better Call Saul), Thomas Schnauz (Better Call Saul), Miki Johnson (Ozark), John Shiban (Ozark), and Chris Mundy (Ozark). Succession won yet another Emmy tonight with Armstrong accepting his award from his home in London.
7:44 pm: Kimmel then announced the nominees for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series to be Benjamin Caron (The Crown), Jessica Hobbs (The Crown), Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland), Mimi Leder (The Morning Show), Alik Sakharov (Ozark)m Ben Semanoff (Ozark), Andrij Parekh (Succession), and Mark Mylod (Succession). Yet again, Succession won over another category. On his birthday, accepted his first Emmy from his home, where he thanked “HBO, Jesse Armstrong, Tony Roach, and Adam McKay the entire ensemble cast.” He described working on Succession as a “professional dream.” He then dedicated his award to “hyphenated Americans,” stating that this was proof that we all belonged.
7:49 pm: Kimmel announced the nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series to be Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul), Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale), Billy Crudup (The Morning Show), Mark Duplass (The Morning Show), Nicholas Braun (Succession), Kieran Culkin (Succession), Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), and Jeffrey Wright (Westworld). Crudup won his and The Morning Show’s first Emmy, thanking his fellow actors, colleagues, and Apple TV+ for his opportunities.
7:51 pm: The next category’s nominees were announced, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series including Laura Dern (Big Little Lies), Meryl Streep (Big Little Lies), Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale), Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Julia Garner (Ozark), Sarah Snook (Succession), and Thanide Newton (Westworld). Garner won Ozark’s first Emmy of the night. She thanked “the Television Academy for this award,” as well as her colleagues and family. Garner won her first Emmy in 2019 for Ozark.
8:00 pm: This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown presented the final Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series as The Handmaid’s Tale, Better Call Saul, Killing Eve, Succession, The Crown, The Mandalorian, Ozark, and Stranger Things. Succession won yet another category. They expressed sadness for not being able to celebrate this win with the rest of the cast and crew.
8:04 pm: Before closing out the 72nd Annual Emmys Awards, Kimmel acknowledged that the Television Academy had raised $2.3 million during the show for “No Kid Hungry.” However, the Academy is adding another $500,000 to raise the funds to $2.8 million. He encourages viewers to donate as much as they can through www.nokidhungry.org/emmys.