The 2020 Emmys took place on the night between Sunday and Monday, with this year’s proceedings taking place virtually for the first time in the award show’s 72-year history.
Jimmy Kimmel was back on hosting duties for the third time. The ceremony was partially distanced, with most nominees tuning in remotely with trophies being delivered straight to their homes.
Kimmel, however, hosted from the Staples Centre in Los Angeles – in front of a minimal audience, of course. He was joined by occasional in-person contributors, such as Jennifer Aniston and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Schitt’s Creek emerged as the big winner of the night, sweeping the comedy categories. Watchmen and Succession also fared well, with four wins each.
Here are the main talking points from the evening:
Schitt’s Creek for the win
Schitt’s Creek emerged early on as the star of the evening, with Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, and Dan Levy scoring wins, respectively for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Dan Levy and Andrew Cividino then took Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. Dan won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Annie Murphy took Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and the show itself was crowned Outstanding Comedy Series. The Canadian sitcom, co-created by father-son duo Dan and Eugene, just wrapped up after a sixth season, so it was now or never to reward the cast that has brought to life the Rose family over the past five years. Congratulations, Schitt’s Creek, on officially making TV history.
The remote format surprisingly works
Putting on a remote ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic undeniably sounds like a tall order, with a strong potential for technical glitches. But the format is surprisingly efficient – and if you’re nosy, it’s always a little bit intriguing to see the nominees tuning in from home. The 2020 Emmys ceremony was a mix of in-person and remote interactions: Jimmy Kimmel hosted from an actual stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, while most nominees attended via video link. Awards ceremonies can easily drag on, but there was something leaner – but still fun – about the Emmys this year. Kudos to the producers.
Watchmen had a solid night
It wasn’t a sweep of Schitt’s Creek proportions, but Watchmen, which went into the evening leading the nominations, had a good evening. Regina King won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson took Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series, and Watchmen itself was crowned Outstanding Limited Series. Fans of the show will wish it had scored an extra win or three, but all in all, this is nothing to blush at. And it’s a pleasure to see King and Abdul-Mateen’s work rewarded in this way.
Succession does well
The satire was not far behind Watchmen in terms of nominations, but it didn’t score quite as many wins as it could have – especially for a show that has managed to establish itself as a seminal part of the TV landscape in just two seasons. Jeremy Strong was a deserving winner in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category. Andrij Parekh won Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and Jesse Armstrong took Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. But the series scored the final win of the night by taking Outstanding Drama Series, defeating Better Call Saul, The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, Killing Eve, The Mandalorian, Ozark, and Stranger Things.
Is it time to mix up the genres?
Currently, the Emmys are being announced by genre – meaning, all the comedy categories together, all the drama categories together, etc. This means that when a series sweeps all categories across its own genre, as Schitt’s Creek did for comedy tonight, things can get a smidge… repetitive. Switching it up would keep things fresh, and it would also give the winners of multiple awards time to recover from one win before launching into a new acceptance speech. Just an idea to ponder.
Follow the ceremony as it happened with our live blog: