Everything to know about the 2020 Emmys

The 2020 Emmy Awards will take place Sunday, September 20 and will air live coast-to-coast on ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. Jimmy Kimmel is set to host as he did the last two times the show was on ABC in 2012 and 2016. He will also be executive producer for television’s biggest night. However, the ceremony won’t take place as originally planned at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Instead, it will be virtual, with the whole three hours unfolding in real-time online. Scroll down for everything to know about the 2020 Emmys, including the nominees, the way winners are chosen and who is ahead  to take home TV’s biggest prize.

Will they give out all the awards during the live show?
The Primetime Emmy Awards will reveal the results in just 23 races: five for programs (comedy, drama, limited, variety and competition series), a dozen for acting, and three each for directing and writing. In addition, the prestigious Governors Award will be presented to Tyler Perry.

What about the rest of the awards?
They are part of the Creative Arts Emmys. For the past four years, these have taken place the weekend before the primetime awards. However, this year the TV academy will expand these awards to six nights, starting on September 14. These virtual ceremonies will stream on Emmys.com.

SEE 2020 Emmy nominations complete list: All the nominees for the 72nd Emmy Awards

What are the leading contenders?
The limited series “Watchmen” leads the field with 26 nominations, more than any other program in any other genre. Based on. the graphic novel of the same name, “Watchman” is set in an alternate reality where superheroes intersect with real-life historical events. It’s up for Best Limited Series, leads Regina King and Jeremy Irons, and supporting players Jovan Adepo, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Louis Gossett Jr. and Jean Smart.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” reaped 20 nominations, including Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Actress (Rachel Brosnahan), Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Alex Borstein and Marin Hinkle), Best Comedy Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown and Tony Shalhoub). That’s the same number of nominations the show received last year. For each of its first two seasons “Maisel” won eight Emmys, which is the record for the most wins for a comedy in a single year.

And in a tight race for Best Drama Series, “Ozark” and “Succession” are tied at 18 nominations each. The big surprise in this category is “The Mandalorian,” the Disney+ series set in the “Star Wars” universe; it has 15 nominations, the most of any new show from one of the streaming services.

SEE 2020 Emmy nominations: 50 most unforgivable snubs include ‘Outlander,’ Tom Pelphrey, Elisabeth Moss …

How were the nominations decided?
All 22,000 plus members of the TV academy cast nomination ballots for program nominations (save for animated documentary/nonfiction which are restricted to their peer groups.) Voters selected as many programs as they wish per category. Unlike the Oscars, Emmy voters do not rank their choices and nominees are determined by a simple tally. There are eight nominees in each of Comedy Series and Drama Series and a varying number in the rest.

How are the winners decided?
TV academy members get to vote for the winners in their respective branches as well. Beginning in 2017, there was a big shift in the way voters choose their favorites. They now pick just one nominee in each category, rather than ranking them as they’d done in the past. This change to a plurality system means that the winners will be the contenders with the most votes. Under the old preferential ballot, the winners were the nominees that survived a series of rounds of counting and elimination.

What won last year?
Last year’s big Emmy winners were HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for Best Drama Series and Amazon’s “Fleabag” for Best Comedy Series. While of these shows have signed off, some of their biggest rivals for the top prizes are back in contention.

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