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2020 Emmys, From E! to Z: How to Watch, Who Is Nominated and More

We've got your guide to TV's biggest night of the year, including the history-making moments to look out for and how the celebs will be involved in the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted virtual Emmys.

By Tierney Bricker Sep 20, 2020 4:59 PMTags
Related: "Cheer" Star Monica Aldama Talks Exciting Journey - Emmy Confidential

This year, the 2020 Emmys are taking a new approach: For the first time in 72 years, the show is going virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And it's sure to be an unprecedented occasion as producers and public health officials decided against holding an in-person ceremony, leading them to make some unique decisions when it comes to staging the live event—including tossing out the dress code and setting up more than 100 camera feeds. NBD.

To help you fully prepare for the big night, airing live tonight on ABC, we've put together a guide of everything you need to know heading into the Emmys, including who's nominated, where to watch and which celebs are set to make appearances during the three-hour show (and hopefully give us a sneak peek inside their houses).

Plus, we've assembled all of the potentially history-making moments that could go down, compiled a list of the first-time nominees to root for and answered any burning questions you may still have before the night officially kicks off. 

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Emmys 2020: Stars React to Their Nominations

SO let's break down tonight's ceremony, from A to Z...

A-C

ABC: The channel the Emmys are airing on this year.

Binge: Want to catch up on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Handmaid's Tale, The Morning and more of this year's nominated shows? Check out how to right here.

Creative Arts Emmys: While typically a two-night affair held the weekend before the Primetime Emmys to hand out over 100 awards, 2020's ceremony is an ongoing five-night digital affair on Emmys.com that will culminate with a telecast on FXX on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Check out all the winners so far

D-G

Diversity: The 2020 Emmy nominations featured the highest percentage (more than 30 percent) of Black performers nominated in a single year.

Dime Davis became the first Black woman to be nominated in the Variety Series Directing category for her work on HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show, while Nailed It's Nicole Byer is the first Black woman to enter the Outstanding Host race. (She is also serving as the host for the Creative Arts Emmys.)

And with two nominations for Guest Star in a Comedy Series (NBC's The Good Place and Saturday Night Live), Maya Rudolph became the first Black performer to earn two nods in the same category.  

E!: Our coverage of the night kicks off on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET with Countdown to the Red Carpet. And at 3 p.m., Live From The Red Carpet: The 2020 Emmy Awards special, hosted by Giuliana Rancic and Vivica A. Fox, continues the pre-game party. 

First-Timers: The list of stars nominated for the first time include Normal People's Paul Mescal, Cate Blanchett and Ramy Youssef.

Guilty Pleasures: Some of our favorite binges like Love Is Blind and Cheer made mat, scoring nominations in the reality categories.

"We are so excited about being nominated for six Emmys," Navarro Cheer head coach Monica Aldama exclusively told E! News of Cheer's six noms. "I mean, that's something that we're not familiar with and obviously we love trophies. So any time you get a trophy, it's not really about the piece of metal that you're actually receiving, it's about being recognized for an accomplishment."

H-K

History Making Moments to Look Out For: Despite the Emmys dating back to 1949, there are still a number of "firsts" and record-breaking wins that could potentially go down. Hulu's Ramy could be the first Muslim-American sitcom to take home an award, while RuPaul could break the record for most wins in the reality TV host category and Schitt's Creek's heartwarming series finale could also set a new record for the most awards won be a single episode. Check out more potential historic wins here.

In Memoriam: H.E.R. is set to perform during the ceremony's tribute to members of the Academy we've lost this year.

Jimmy Kimmel: The late night host, who is also up for two awards, is back for his third time as the night's M.C.

Kerry Washington: The star was nominated for four separate awards, earning an acting nom for Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere and then three awards for her work as a producer on Little Fires, American Son and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times.

L-O

Live: Yes, the Emmys will still be live and hopefully full of spontaneous moments that will take over your timeline, with Kimmel telling Variety, "There's not going to be a lot of pre-tapes. We've determined that that's more trouble than it's worth. The show will be mostly what we do that night. I think if we try to do what we've done in the past, we're going to fail."

Morning Show: Apple TV+'s first major show when it launched in November 2019 is up for multiple awards, including acting noms for Jennifer Aniston, who will make her return to the Emmys after an 11-year absence, Billy Crudup and Steve Carell

Nominees: check out the full list of nominees ahead of the big night here.

Ozark: The Netflix drama starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney netted 18 nominations, including another nod for Julia Garner in the supporting actress category, which she won last year. 

P-S

Presenters: Some of the stars set to virtually hand out trophies include Oprah Winfrey, Gabrielle Union, Issa Rae, J.J. Watt, Anthony Anderson, America Ferrera, Lena Waithe and more. 

Quibi: The new platform earned 10 nominations across the short form categories, including three acting nominations for #FreeRayshawn's stars Laurence Fishburne, Stephan James and Jasmine Cephas Jones.

Roy Family Dynasty: It's official: Succession has the hottest cast in Hollywood, with all of its major stars—Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen, Sarah Snook and Nicholas Braun—earning nominations. Logan would be mildly satisfied.

Staples Center: Kimmel will be stationed here throughout the three-hour ceremony, with some celebrities likely to join him—socially distanced of course.

T-V

Tune In: The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards airs on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m.

Unorthodox: Netflix's limited series—and its breakout star Shira Haas—could end up being the dark horse at this year's ceremony, with the buzzworthy show earning eight nominations.

Virtual: Duh, how the awards are being where the awards are taking place, with over 140 camera feeds filming from various locations around the world.

"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," the producers wrote in a letter to nominees, per Variety. "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.'"

W-Z

Watchmen: HBO's drama earned the most nominations of any show, nabbing a whopping 26 nods, including a Best Actress slot for Regina King and we're thinking she should probably make room next to her Oscar. 

NetfliX Dominates: OK, we're not proud of the letter gymnastics we had to do here, but the streaming giant's whopping 160 nominations deserved recognition.

Your choice: The only rule for this year's ceremony? There are no rules as producers are encouraging celebs to wear whatever they'd like. 

Zendaya: C'mon, like we weren't going to end on the Euphoria star who earned her first Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, who will become the youngest actress to take home the trophy if her name is called. Plus, if anyone is going to bring it in the SFH (style from home, obviously) game, it's Z.

This article was originally published on Wed, Sept. 16, 2020, 6:00 a.m.