News

Top Emmys Moments 2020: Historic Ceremony for Black TV Talent and a Schitt's Sweep

Zendaya surprises in the Drama Actress category, Schitt's Creek is the little Canadian comedy that could, and more of the biggest moments from the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

by | September 20, 2020 | Comments

For a show produced remotely from dozens of locations across the globe — it was nearly 4 a.m. when Succession creator Jesse Armstrong accepted his series’ award for Outstanding Drama — the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards were surprisingly gaffe-free. Sure, there were a couple of Zoom lags, but ultimately this was a less catastrophic live television program than some perfectly normal years.

The Jimmy Kimmel–hosted show gave out 23 awards in three hours and only ran five or so minutes over. The tone swung appropriately between serious and silly, honoring the best in television in an incredibly chaotic year while also paying tribute to essential workers and acknowledging the difficult reality we’re all living in.

The ceremony also raised $2.3 million for No Kid Hungry, and the Television Academy pitched in another half a million, bringing the donation total to $2.8 million for charity that probably would’ve been spent on afterparties instead. (For those wondering, the Zoom afterparty Kimmel joked about as he closed the show was not real — we did check.)


There weren’t any La La Land/Moonlight moments, nor were there any outrageous oversights. There were, however, a few surprise winners — Zendaya’s trophy for Euphoria (complete with breathless, excited acceptance speech) especially — making the show a little more exciting than sure thing after sure thing winning.

Actually, even the non-winners had memorable moments: Ramy Youssef posted a video of a hazmat-suited PA waving through his window after he lost his category to Eugene Levy, proving those Kia commercials weren’t completely kidding; they really did bring Emmy trophies to the homes of nominees — in the Los Angeles area, at least.

But the biggest moments of the show included historic wins, essential workers, and literal fire. Read up on all the winners here, and read on for the biggest moments from the 72nd Emmy Awards.


1. FIRE!

THE 72ND EMMY® AWARDS - Jimmy Kimmel, Jennifer Aniston

(Photo by ABC/Image Group LA)

Award show openings are difficult in the best of circumstances, let alone when they’re produced virtually from an empty basketball arena in the middle of a global pandemic. And while Kimmel’s joke monologue started weird — why wasn’t he acknowledging that all of the celebrity reaction shots were from old ceremonies? — once he finally did, and introduced all of the technological feats the producers were performing in order to bring this remotely produced live TV show to air, things went much smoother. Well, except for the first award presentation — after bringing out pal Jennifer Aniston to assist, the duo’s Covid-precaution bit ended with Kimmel dousing the winner’s envelope in Lysol and lighting it on fire. Aniston swiftly blasted a fire extinguisher on the mini inferno, but the kindling proved to be a little TOO good — she had to blast it an extra two times when the flames continued to burn. We could hear nervous stage direction coming from off camera.


Related: 2020 Emmy Winners: Your Full List of Winners from the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards


2. SCHITT’S SWEEP

The rise of Schitt’s Creek from niche cable network Canadian import to Netflix hit to Emmys sweep is one even the writers of the kindhearted, optimistic sitcom might not have scripted. But the series’ arc — culminating in a sweep of all seven major categories (series, all four main acting categories, writing, and directing) — is ultra satisfying for a show that championed acceptance and heart above all else. The closest other shows have come to achieving this feat is Taxi‘s five wins (out of six noms) in 1981, and All in the Family‘s six wins (out of seven) in 1972.

Catherine O’Hara and Levy getting some richly deserved TV accolades was satisfying enough, but their TV children Annie Murphy and Dan Levy, too? Even better. Plus, the emotion shared between Eugene and Dan, co-creators and real-life father and son, was so genuine you could feel the love through the screen. In fact, the show’s remote celebration in Canada was filled with joy, with every cast and crew member in attendance getting emotional as the show continued to take home awards.


3. BLACK HOLLYWOOD MAKES HISTORY

Anthony Anderson was at the Staples Center to perform a whole bit with Kimmel about how this year’s Emmys in particular were the blackest yet — about 34 percent of this year’s nominees were Black — and what a shame it was that he and his cohort were not able to celebrate together. Although Anderson didn’t win himself, Regina King’s expected win (wearing a shirt that paid tribute to Breonna Taylor) kicked off a successful night for Watchmen (her costar Yahya Abdul-Mateen II took home a trophy, as did the show itself and its writing); Uzo Aduba beat several Hollywood heavy-hitters for Mrs. America while also in a Breonna Taylor shirt; and Disney star–turned–prestige cable ingenue Zendaya’s Drama Actress win for Euphoria was perhaps the biggest upset of the night. Her win makes her the second Black actress in 72 years of Emmys history to win in that category, following Viola Davis.

And let’s not forget Oprah and Chris Rock introducing Tyler Perry, the recipient of this year’s Governor’s Award, who was present at the Staples Center to accept his trophy in person (and deliver a moving speech about perseverance and his grandmother’s quilt).


4. SPACE!

Astronaut Chris Cassidy on the International Space Station for the 72nd Emmy Awards program

The existence of award shows is essentially a way for Hollywood to pat themselves on the back, and there was plenty of that in this show. But the producers also managed to pay tribute to essential workers and people doing incredibly important jobs in this time, including doctors, nurses, teachers, mail carriers, UPS guys, and even astronauts. Commander Christopher Cassidy filmed a segment from the International Space Station, though Jeremy Irons was nowhere in sight.


5. FRIENDS REUNION

(Photo by ABC)

Sorry, HBO Max — that long-awaited Friends reunion (pushed a couple times now due to Covid) will be overshadowed by Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow popping into a Zoom frame together for a bit about them living together and watching the Emmys. It was a cute moment, especially since the three women are clearly IRL friends and looked radiant as they hung out together. Jason Bateman, whose random appearances was a running gag in the show and who is known to hang out with the Friends gang, was there too.

What were your favorite Emmys moments? Share in the comments below!


Emmys: 72nd Emmys (2020)

88%


Description: The 72nd Emmy Awards were broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and produced by Done+Dusted, Reginald Hudlin and KIMMELOT. The telecast featured awards in 23 Emmy categories, plus the Governors Award, and presenters and surprise guests including Anthony Anderson, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Ty Burrell, LaVerne Cox, America Ferrera, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, and more. Singer-songwriter and Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. performed for the “In Memoriam” presentation.

Critics Consensus: What could go right? Apparently just enough to make the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards — the first and hopefully last PandEmmys — an entertaining, unusually comforting night of mostly pleasant surprises.

Air Date: Sunday, September 20, 2020

 

Tag Cloud

Character Guide romantic comedy Discovery Channel Superheroe TIFF 2020 Stephen King television Schedule TCM asian-american National Geographic crime drama Set visit Trailer Photos sitcom anthology finale DC streaming service WarnerMedia Epix sequel harry potter Lifetime Rock documentaries south america blaxploitation President Baby Yoda stop motion period drama Interview ratings Amazon Studios Food Network USA Network Tubi ABC Family TV One mission: impossible witnail Comics on TV best Warner Bros. child's play E3 zero dark thirty halloween space Hallmark Christmas movies toy story technology richard e. Grant natural history cults GIFs Hulu cops aliens Binge Guide The Walking Dead DC Comics FX ID Adult Swim Winners Funimation science fiction Superheroes See It Skip It festivals fast and furious The Witch facebook Grammys PBS First Look Musicals cancelled TV series reviews parents worst CW Seed Brie Larson movie VH1 tv talk Countdown documentary Avengers theme song nature streaming Summer franchise breaking bad Quiz hispanic Disney Plus Comedy Central CMT Starz Reality Competition TCA Winter 2020 Comedy Pop TV dark police drama sag awards Nickelodeon FXX versus psycho MTV remakes Kids & Family SXSW based on movie HBO Marvel crime thriller obituary Drama blockbuster Travel Channel jurassic park Black Mirror films Mindy Kaling Horror french cartoon Sneak Peek Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Disney Channel SDCC comiccon DGA comedies BBC One Infographic scorecard joker vampires Certified Fresh cancelled television Mary Tyler Moore stoner Marvel Television Turner YouTube Premium 007 OneApp revenge italian canceled Television Critics Association hollywood social media batman serial killer Film zombies Apple TV Plus Heroines comic BET Awards canceled TV shows discovery Mary poppins video on demand Nat Geo Musical YouTube venice TCA Awards Endgame 2017 renewed TV shows Reality TruTV Pirates classics Film Festival dramedy hist name the review Vudu screenings Country American Society of Cinematographers CBS japanese laika Spike adaptation true crime San Diego Comic-Con Tumblr Columbia Pictures LGBTQ 2018 thriller all-time Acorn TV Awards Tour video archives trailers a nightmare on elm street Awards chucky A24 Amazon GLAAD Toys TV Super Bowl The Academy zombie Rocky New York Comic Con black NBC ABC Signature political drama Fox News GoT Esquire Arrowverse The Arrangement indiana jones USA 21st Century Fox james bond Podcast rom-coms dc TCA 2017 Martial Arts Britbox IFC Films twilight Year in Review Fantasy foreign Nominations Teen Dark Horse Comics 2015 game show ghosts screen actors guild Best and Worst Extras TCA IFC Pop Action Paramount cats animated Crunchyroll VOD critics satire 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Tarantino Polls and Games Trivia australia Video Games mutant travel Tomatazos Pixar anime dragons Alien Watching Series Writers Guild of America Logo The Walt Disney Company 2019 cancelled TV shows TNT ABC FX on Hulu kids Hallmark First Reviews Holiday Christmas festival doctor who historical drama APB Pride Month Paramount Network concert Marathons Comic Book spanish language Disney streaming service Showtime book Star Trek dogs Sundance Now Family Star Wars 20th Century Fox directors TV renewals TV Land Mary Poppins Returns diversity green book latino jamie lee curtis Spring TV Shondaland justice league 4/20 AMC HBO Go YA Apple indie series 24 frames toronto unscripted Shudder Sundance TV miniseries Rom-Com ITV Disney+ Disney Plus universal monsters CNN fresh FOX Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TLC crime strong female leads MSNBC disaster Western superhero Mystery PaleyFest Lucasfilm HBO Max Ovation PlayStation mockumentary YouTube Red what to watch rt archives Universal Fall TV 99% BAFTA Election Music deadpool Turner Classic Movies Walt Disney Pictures golden globe awards cinemax Women's History Month christmas movies Oscars Cosplay Lifetime Christmas movies spider-man comic books game of thrones Song of Ice and Fire cars supernatural Captain marvel transformers Ghostbusters 71st Emmy Awards NYCC Black History Month Amazon Prime Mudbound elevated horror OWN Emmys pirates of the caribbean Spectrum Originals talk show nfl ESPN Chernobyl independent crossover die hard Apple TV+ nbcuniversal Cannes spain politics comics halloween tv Hear Us Out 72 Emmy Awards Netflix award winner boxing Television Academy adventure Trophy Talk DirecTV Cartoon Network VICE Holidays LGBT war robots composers Box Office spinoff Emmy Nominations spy thriller The Purge Valentine's Day criterion BET Amazon Prime Video cooking A&E DC Universe medical drama spanish 45 BBC Lionsgate teaser dceu Calendar singing competition CBS All Access boxoffice WGN RT21 Opinion rotten movies we love Netflix Christmas movies news sequels Crackle Sony Pictures werewolf sports Fox Searchlight slashers Sundance SundanceTV casting movies biography Elton John binge Peacock Academy Awards Ellie Kemper TBS Freeform cancelled MCU Anna Paquin E! Classic Film History Bravo Marvel Studios Rocketman Pet Sematary El Rey stand-up comedy 2016 Thanksgiving Creative Arts Emmys X-Men BBC America RT History golden globes romance psychological thriller docudrama reboot emmy awards Animation quibi Disney Winter TV Red Carpet Syfy Premiere Dates Biopics rotten free movies worst movies Sci-Fi The CW scary movies football Masterpiece children's TV