Emmys 2021: Everything you need to know — when and where to watch, nominees, predictions

Emmys 2021: Everything you need to know — when and where to watch, nominees, predictions

Emmys 2021: Everything you need to know — when and where to watch, nominees, predictions

The 2021 Primetime Emmy awards ceremony are almost here, with this year’s event seeing a limited amount of nominees gather in Los Angeles to accept their prizes and celebrate the best in television.

Last year's ceremony -- held before coronavirus vaccines were available -- was an entirely virtual affair, with comedian Jimmy Kimmel standing in a deserted downtown Los Angeles auditorium as winners beamed in via video.

This time, comedian Cedric the Entertainer takes on hosting duties, with a strict guest list of 500-odd nominees gathering in the venue's outdoor section, under strict pandemic precautions including proof of inoculation.

"Making that level of celebrities ill is not on our agenda," Emmys producer Ian Stewart told Variety, nonetheless promising a "fun, ritzy party" for those who clear security.

When is the Emmy 2021 ceremony and how to watch it in India?

The 73rd edition of the Emmys will take place on Sunday, 19 September at 5 pm in the US.

The Television Academy's website has also listed out the international territories where the ceremony will be aired. In India, viewers can watch the ceremony on Lionsgate Play on 20th September 2021 at 5:30 am IST.

(Also read on Firstpost -- Emmy nominations 2021: A fact list for most nods, first-timers, surprises and snubs, and diversity)

Photo Collage via AP

Here are some of the outcomes and trends to watch for from the Emmys

Glam up but with COVID protocols in place

Constraints can breed inventiveness.

Last year’s all-virtual ceremony included a defining lockdown moment: Hazmat-suited trophy couriers who loitered outside nominees’ homes until their categories were called, either handing over the award or taking it disappointingly away.

“Somebody mentioned (the idea) in a meeting as kind of as a joke, and then it was constantly needling away at us and we decided that it could be a great way to do it,” recalled Guy Carrington, a producer for the 2020 Emmys.

This year, about 500 nominees and guests will gather under a glammed-up tent in downtown LA, with COVID-19 precautions including a vaccine requirement and testing. There are big names among the presenters, including Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Dolly Parton and Awkwafina, but at least one star, Jennifer Aniston, was candid about staying away because of virus concerns.

Instead of being confined in a theatre seat, guests will be at tables and part of what sounds like an oversized dinner party — with drinks and snacks allowed — and encouraged to mingle.

Will Netflix sweep major awards?

Netflix is tipped to finally win television's biggest prize as its critically adored British royals drama The Crown battles Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

Despite turning the entire TV landscape upside-down since its groundbreaking online platform launched in 2007, leading streamer Netflix has never won for best drama at the small-screen version of the Oscars -- nor best comedy, nor best-limited series.

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown. Netflix

“This is the year that the streamers will officially conquer Hollywood,” likely winning best drama and comedy series honours for the first time, said Tom O’Neil, editor of the Gold Derby predictions website and author of The Emmys.

The Crown does feel like it finally has come to the moment where it's going to have its moment," Variety awards editor Clayton Davis told AFP. "It's going to be the first big series win for Netflix."

As well as The Crown -- which in its fourth series depicts the ill-fated marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana -- the streaming giant is banking on the wildly popular The Queen's Gambit.

Add in nominations for wide-ranging offerings from Regency romp Bridgerton to nature documentary David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet -- plus 34 Emmys won in technical categories announced ahead of Sunday's gala -- and Netflix could be eyeing an all-time record haul.

New kid on the streaming block

If anyone can ruin the party, it will likely be Disney+, the new kid on the TV streaming block in just its second year, bringing beloved big-screen characters from Star Wars and Marvel films to the Emmys party.

Baby Yoda and a digitally de-aged Luke Skywalker helped The Mandalorian jointly top the overall nominations count alongside rival drama The Crown.

In limited series competition, quirky sitcom-inspired Marvel superhero show WandaVision has exceeded all critical expectations.

The category also features Kate Winslet's small-town detective drama Mare of Easttown, and the British break-out series I May Destroy You, which examines the aftermath of a rape -- both from traditional Emmys juggernaut HBO.

Apple TV+, which arrived the same year, could win its first top series award with Ted Lasso.

Room at the table

The push for diversity has moved at a grindingly slower pace than the digital revolution, but this year’s slate of nominees was unimaginable just a few years ago.

Of the 96 acting nods for drama, comedy and miniseries, nearly 44% — a total of 42 nominations — went to people of colour. According to 2020 Census figures, white Americans make up just under 58% of the population.

Photo collage via AP

Among this year’s groundbreakers: Mj Rodriguez of Pose, the first trans performer to be nominated in a lead acting category, and Bowen Yang of Saturday Night Live, the first Asian American to compete for best-supporting comedy actor.

The top drama acting categories are particularly inclusive, and strikingly so in comparison to a decade ago when all of the 12 nominees for best actor and actress were white, with Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) the winners.

That was 2011, this is now. Black men make up a majority of the lead drama actor nominees, four of six, including past winners Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us and Pose star Billy Porter — the first openly gay man to win the category, in 2019.

Half of the six best-actress contenders are women of colour. Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country) and Uzo Aduba (In Treatment) are Black, and Rodriguez is Afro Latina.

If the final test of inclusivity is who wins, the story could be different. The Crown stars Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin are considered frontrunners for their portrayals of ill-fated royal mates Charles and Diana.

The tumbling ratings for award shows

Ratings for the award shows, from Oscars to the Grammys, have been steadily declining in recent years and hit new depths during the pandemic. Despite honouring the TV shows that kept us company through COVID’s darkness, the Emmys weren’t exempt.

After hitting a record-low viewership of just under 7 million in 2019, last year’s telecast tumbled further to 6.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Part of it is simply awards overload, with upstart, dime-a-dozen ceremonies taking the lustre off the major ones, including the 94-year-old, grande dame Oscars and the Emmys, which turn 73 on Sunday.

Then there’s the shows’ sheer length. A leisurely, three-hour telecast, commercials included, was expected and tolerated in the old TV world. In the new one, viewers are more inclined to check out an event’s highlights online and at will.

"It's going to look different," said Davis. "Hopefully, I just cross my fingers this is the last 'hybrid' show that we see.

"I'm really just hoping it's the last one. Because I'm done with them. And I think the rest of America is."

(With inputs from agencies)