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Monday, October 26, 2020

Watchmen, Schitt’s Creek, pajamas and alpaca take stage for 2020 Emmys

The coronavirus pandemic has meant no red carpet and no physical audience for the three-hour show. Instead producers have sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, who are choosing how and where they want to be seen.

By: Reuters | Los Angeles | September 20, 2020 7:39:29 pm
regina king one night in miami, one night in miamiRegina King's One Night in Miami is an adaptation of Kemp Powers' 2013 stage play. (Photo: Reuters/Monia Almerida)

Television shows Succession, Watchmen and Schitt’s Creek look set for multiple wins at 2020 Emmy awards, but the biggest buzz may be around the virtual ceremony and its potential for pajamas, alpacas, and designer Hazmat suits.

Jimmy Kimmel hosts television’s highest honors in a live awards show that promises to be full of surprises around the challenges of linking up in real time with nominees in 125 places around the world – in their homes, backyards, bedrooms or anywhere else.

“This year people will be watching for different reasons. Are they (the celebrities) dressed up in their living room? Are they wearing sweats? It’s going to be very different,” said Michael Schneider, senior editor with Variety.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant no red carpet and no physical audience for the three-hour show. Instead producers have sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, who are choosing how and where they want to be seen.

Some of the winners may get their trophies delivered by a person dressed in a custom black and white Hazmat suit, designed to look like a tuxedo, producers said.

“What could possibly go wrong? It’s sort of like walking a tightrope,” said Emmy co-producer Ian Stewart. “It’s not stuffy. It’s not staged. We know that people, for instance, are having their own Emmys pajamas made.”

Producers say children and pets are expected to pop up. There’ll even be a guest appearance by an alpaca in a cheeky nod to the exotic animals popular in Zoom backdrops during pandemic shutdowns.

For the awards themselves, HBO’s alternative reality show Watchmen, infused with racial themes, is the favorite to take the best limited series, along with actress Regina King.

“I think it’s Watchmen all the way on Sunday,” said Gerrad Hall, senior TV editor at Entertainment Weekly. “It was a monumental series from the writing, performing, directing and technical aspects.”

Comedy Schitt’s Creek is expected to be another of the night’s big winners with its quirky tale of a wealthy family forced to move to a rundown motel.

In drama, Netflix, which dominated nominations with a record 160 total nods, is hoping thriller Ozark will bring the streaming platform its first best drama series Emmy.

HBO’s Succession, the wickedly juicy saga of a fractious media family, may thwart Ozark, despite not having been on the air since late 2019.

“People couldn’t stop talking about Succession last year,” said Schneider. “It would be a shoo-in if there had been a Season 3, but because its been off the air for so long that may give a leg up to Ozark.”

2020 Emmy predictions: Outstanding Limited Series | Outstanding Drama Series | Outstanding Comedy Series | Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

One of the night’s biggest cliffhangers looks to be between Ozark star Laura Linney and Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show) for best drama actress, awards pundits say.

Other Emmy nominees include Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter for The Crown, Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Issa Rae (Insecure), Billy Porter (Pose), Cate Blanchett (Mrs. America), and Ted Danson (The Good Place).

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