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2020 Virtual Emmys: The Future of Award Shows

By Loren Adams

This past weekend celebrities were awarded for their excellent work in television. On Sunday, Sept. 20 the 72nd Emmy Awards were hosted virtually for the first time by comedian Jimmy Kimmel. 

This year’s nominees surrounded Kimmel in a virtual screen room and accepted their respective awards in comfort of their homes. 

Michael Starr, a writer for the New York Post expressed his feelings towards the virtual award show. 

“It was, in fact, a fun entertaining way to watch the show in a genre that usually drags with too many congratulatory speeches and cringe-worthy banter between presenters,” he said.

One of the notable highlights from the Emmys was the celebration of Schitt’s Creek.” The six season Canadian TV sitcom started the night collecting awards. The show was nominated for 15 Emmy awards. According to Marisa Dellato of the New York Post, Dan Levy, the creator of Schitt’s Creek, won the first seven awards of the evening. 

Schitt’s Creek won all of the Primetime awards for comedy including: 

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Annie Murphy
  • Outstanding Lead Actress – Catherine O’ Hara
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series -Dan Levy
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series – Andrew Cividino and Dan Levy
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series -Dan Levy
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Eugene Levy. 

Even though Schitt’s Creek took home quite a few awards, the HBO series Watchmen received 11 awards. According to Joe Otterson, a writer for Variety, Watchmen stars Regina King won an award for Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. Otterson also said Watchmen took home more Emmy’s than any other show in 2020, with HBO scoring the most wins of any network or streaming service.

Although Schitt’s Creek and Watchmen cleaned up, there were some winners who made history. Actress Zendaya Coleman won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Euphoria. She is the youngest actress to receive this award. 

In addition, RuPaul won Outstanding Host for Reality Competition Program for RuPaul’s Drag Race for the fifth year in a row. Furthermore, the renowned drag queen broke the record for the most wins in the categories’ 13-year history. RuPaul also accepted the award for Outstanding Reality or Competition Series. During his acceptance speech, he dedicated his award to a former contestant who passed away in August due to pneumonia.  

“I’d like to dedicate this Emmy to one of my girls, Chi Chi DeVanye, may you rest in power and perfection.Thank you and goodnight,” he said.

It was no doubt that the award show was filled with a sensation of success and accomplishment. However, there were a few notable stars who did not make it to see that night.  The memoriam segment of the ceremony paid tribute to prominent figures in television. Singer, H.E.R., paid tribute to the late actors Chadwick Boseman, Regis Philbin and actress Naya Rivera singing Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

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