Producers of the Emmy Awards on Sunday are relying on winners to keep the show interesting as they react live on-camera from their homes in Los Angeles and around the world. (Sept. 18)
Maya Rudolph was honored for her portrayal of Sen. Kamala Harris and Eddie Murphy won his first-ever Emmy during the virtual Creative Arts Emmys telecast on Saturday night.
The awards ceremony, emceed by “Nailed It!” host Nicole Byer, came the night before Sunday’s main TV awards ceremony at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. Saturday’s Emmys for technical and other honors featured a mix-up reminiscent of the 2017 Oscars ending, but proved to be less dramatic given the lack of onstage presenters and theater audience.
“This is Us” actor Ron Cephas Jones was meant to be named winner for guest actor in a drama, though “Ozark” star Jason Bateman’s name was announced instead. A correction was made after a commercial break, though no explanation for the mistake was given. Jones was good-natured about the gaffe.
Emmy history was made at the 2020 Creative Arts Emmy Awards when Ron Cephas Jones and his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones both won, becoming the first father-daughter duo to win Emmys in the same year. (Photo: Invision for the Television Acad)
The actor, winning his second Emmy for the NBC drama, focused on his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, who won her own Emmy earlier this week for acting in a short-form series on Quibi’s “#FreeRayshawn.” The two became the first father-daughter pair to win Emmys in the same year.
“My heart just explodes when I think about her and watch her and the success that she’s had,” Jones said.
Other major wins Saturday included Murphy’s first Emmy win for his guest actor in a comedy role hosting “Saturday Night Live” (he was previously nominated four times) and Maya Rudolph winning for guest actress in a comedy role playing Kamala Harris on Murphy’s episode of “SNL.”
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Sen. Kamala Harris will likely get the “SNL” treatment during the 2020 election. Will Maya Rudolph reprise her impression? (Photo: NBC/AFP)
Rudolph, also nominated in the comedy category for her guest role on “The Good Place,” paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg after the telecast. The robe worn by Rudolph’s judge character was modeled on that of the Supreme Court associate justice, who died Friday.
“When you think of a judge, when you think of all-knowing, when you think of powerful, when you think of all good, yeah, we modeled her robe after RBG, so that was pretty cool,” she said.
HBO’s “Bad Education” won for best TV movie and RuPaul Charles won a record fifth Emmy in the reality host category for “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
The Creative Arts Emmys were awarded over five days with winners from 29 outlets spanning cable channels, streaming services and broadcast networks. HBO and Netflix each won 19 awards and Disney+ and NBC took eight each.
Sunday’s main awards show will look very different this year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic: There’ll be no gushy pre-show with red carpet fashions, and host Jimmy Kimmel will be largely alone in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, surrounded by just a small crew but no nominees and no audience. Instead, 125 award hopefuls will appear live from their homes in 20 cities – including London, Toronto and Tel Aviv – using laptops, cameras, ring lights and microphones sent to them by the TV Academy. The Emmys promise “special appearances” by Oprah Winfrey, Gabrielle Union, Lin Manuel Miranda and Count von Count, among others.
“I don’t want it to go smoothly, to be totally honest with you,” Kimmel told USA TODAY last week. “There’s nothing more boring than smooth. I want it to be a little chunky. We’ll see what happens. My big concern is that we maintain a strong WiFi signal.”
Contributing: Gary Levin, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press
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