Emmys 2020 LIVE: A virtual awards show. What could possibly go wrong?

What we know so far

  • This year’s event will be entirely virtual, with nominees ‘attending’ from home 
  • In its sixth and final season, Schitt’s Creek is a sentimental favourite 
  • Nine Australians are nominated this year, in a total of 11 categories
  • This is day six of the Emmys. The first were given out last Tuesday (AEDT)
  • Hannah Gadsby missed out on a repeat of her Nanette success on Sunday

The Emmys as you've never seen them before

Welcome to the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, coming to you live from … well, lots of different places actually.

This is a televised awards show the likes of which we haven't seen before, though we may be seeing a lot more like this if the dreaded rona stays in our lives for a while yet.

It's not the first virtual awards show of course, but it is the biggest. And for US broadcaster ABC, it's a trial run for the biggest televised awards show of all, the Oscars, which are scheduled for April 2021 (much later than the usual late February/early March slot).

How do you run a live virtual televised awards show? Well, you give the gig to Jimmy Kimmel, who is one of the most experienced and fleet-footed hosts around. The man eats curveballs for breakfast.

Kimmel has sought to keep expectations low, predicting things will almost certainly go wrong. "So if the worst happens and it all breaks down," he told The Hollywood Reporter last week, "there will definitely be a part of me that is amused by it."

We're a bit torn, to be honest. We wouldn't want to wish a disaster upon them or anything … but gee, it would make for great television. And isn't that what it's all about?

If you want to watch in Australia, the ceremony is on Arena (on Foxtel's platforms), and also on the official Television Academy channel on youtube.

Jason Bateman wrongly announced as winner. Whoops

Ozark star Jason Bateman was wrongly announced as the winner of the award for best guest actor at the last of the Emmys' so-called "creative arts" events on the weekend.

In a gaffe that has echoes of the infamous Oscars stuff-up that saw La La Land wrongly announced as winner of the best picture award in 2017 (Moonlight actually won), Bateman – who is nominated in three categories this year (the others are as best actor and producer for Ozark) – was named instead of the actual winner, Ron Cephas Jones for This Is Us.

Technical difficulties saw Jason Bateman, pictured here in the show Ozark, wrongly awarded an Emmy over the weekend.

The error occurred during Saturday's (US time) online creative arts Emmys, the fifth of six ceremonies in this year's Emmys season.

Saturday's show was the only one of the creative arts presentations to be televised, making the error more glaring. In a voice-over announcement, Bateman was declared the winner for his guest appearance on HBO's The Outsider, which stars Aussie Ben Mendelsohn, while the screen displayed Jones' name.

The confusion wasn't addressed until after a commercial break, with an on-screen message that read, “Our apologies, an incorrect winner has been announced. We're fixing it now,” followed by the repeated display of Jones' name but without an announcement.

There was no immediate explanation for the mistake.

It was Jones's second Emmy for This Is Us, and he and actor-singer Jasmine Cephas Jones made history by becoming the first father and daughter to win in the same year after she won outstanding actress in a short for her Quibi series #FreeRayshawn earlier in the week.

With AP

Emmy 2020's hot ticket: Schitt's Creek

The hot favourite going into television's night of nights is Schitt's Creek. The relatively low-profile series popped into 2020, in part due to its popularity as a pandemic binge watch – it was originally aired on a tiny channel, Pop TV, but is available now on Netflix in the US and Australia – and last week scooped two Emmys at the Creative Arts ceremony from seven nominations.

The key win was the Emmy for casting for a comedy series, as the show still has eight nominations at today's Emmys, including comedy series, lead actor (Eugene Levy), lead actress (Catherine O'Hara), supporting actor (Dan Levy) and supporting actress (Annie Murphy).

TV darling Schitt’s Creek is a hot favourite at today’s Emmys ceremony.Credit:

Pyjamas, but make it fashion?

Without an official red carpet this year, it will be interesting to see which celebrities dress up at home, and who opts for the unofficial "pyjamas, but make it fashion" dress code.

One stylist friend even told me her actor client said to just send the top half of his look… because Zoom dressing.

Jennifer Aniston, nominated for Morning Wars (known as The Morning Show in the US), posted a photo on her couch in a robe, face mask (the beauty kind) and a glass of Champagne.

Meanwhile, Zendaya's stylist has shared a post of her in a stunning Christopher John Rogers dress. Each to their own, I guess!

The ones to watch

This is actually the sixth straight day of awards. At the outset of this long Emmy week there were 124 awards (including the technical categories) up for grabs. Today we're down to the final 24, including the Governors Award.

HBO’s Watchmen was nominated for 26 Emmys this year. Credit:AP

When it all kicked off last Tuesday (our time) some shows were in the running for a huge swag of honours, among them:

Watchmen: 26
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: 20
Ozark: 18
Succession: 18
The Mandalorian: 15
Saturday Night Live: 15
Schitt's Creek: 15
The Crown: 13
Hollywood: 12
Westworld: 11
The Handmaid's Tale: 10
Mrs. America: 10
RuPaul's Drag Race: 10

This is the public-facing bit of the Emmys, the glamorous bit, with the actors, directors and writers are in line for honours. Plus the shows themselves, of course, in categories including drama, comedy, limited series and all the other ways the Television Academy and its 25,000 or so members have found to skin a cat.

E! host tests positive to COVID-19, will not appear at Emmys

Just a few minutes into the "virtual" red carpet and there is breaking news. The E! channel's Giuliana Rancic, who was expected to be one of the co-hosts of the channel's Emmy pre-show, has confirmed she will not appear in the wake of a positive Covid-19 test.

"I have to say I do not take missing an award show lightly," she said, confirming a routine pre-broadcast test had come back positive. "Now as much as I didn’t want to hear that, I'm very thankful I heard it before I travelled and possibly could have exposed other people."

Rancic said her husband and son had also tested positive. "We're all doing well and taking care. Take good care and I’ll see you on the next red carpet."

The Emmys as you've never seen them before

Welcome to the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, coming to you live from … well, lots of different places actually.

This is a televised awards show the likes of which we haven't seen before, though we may be seeing a lot more like this if the dreaded rona stays in our lives for a while yet.

It's not the first virtual awards show of course, but it is the biggest. And for US broadcaster ABC, it's a trial run for the biggest televised awards show of all, the Oscars, which are scheduled for April 2021 (much later than the usual late February/early March slot).

How do you run a live virtual televised awards show? Well, you give the gig to Jimmy Kimmel, who is one of the most experienced and fleet-footed hosts around. The man eats curveballs for breakfast.

Kimmel has sought to keep expectations low, predicting things will almost certainly go wrong. "So if the worst happens and it all breaks down," he told The Hollywood Reporter last week, "there will definitely be a part of me that is amused by it."

We're a bit torn, to be honest. We wouldn't want to wish a disaster upon them or anything … but gee, it would make for great television. And isn't that what it's all about?

If you want to watch in Australia, the ceremony is on Arena (on Foxtel's platforms), and also on the official Television Academy channel on youtube.

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