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

Geeked Week spy thriller dark 24 frames superman Amazon Prime Video Lifetime game of thrones AMC Amazon richard e. Grant Box Office Academy Awards leaderboard golden globe awards TV Land criterion crime drama Vudu IMDb TV 73rd Emmy Awards women mockumentary superhero VOD PBS cats sequels Drama comiccon Masterpiece Acorn TV The Walt Disney Company SDCC AMC Plus Black History Month witnail Best and Worst Wes Anderson basketball Bravo Trailer space hist Columbia Pictures comic book movie Anna Paquin Tags: Comedy sopranos blockbuster king arthur Oscar 71st Emmy Awards spanish parents Mary Poppins Returns RT History Fargo Disney Channel VH1 HBO Go Netflix Christmas movies MTV cooking unscripted spain mob Premiere Dates crossover adenture stop motion video on demand Comic-Con@Home 2021 Hulu cinemax Awards Emmys TCM Adult Swim Netflix king kong scene in color series broadcast Reality zero dark thirty FXX 21st Century Fox Apple TV+ Pirates Fox News Starz TNT streamig politics Peacock best young adult Apple cops See It Skip It 2017 Sundance Now Pride Month canceled NBA finale Universal kids twilight kong die hard Sony ABC nbcuniversal Comic Book target scene in color Winter TV jamie lee curtis suspense Ellie Kemper black dexter Photos GIFs disaster HBO Max marvel cinematic universe Comedy Central Sci-Fi Pacific Islander Tubi Star Wars Sundance TV comic books Apple TV Plus Film Festival classics HBO Marvel Television Thanksgiving Arrowverse YouTube Premium talk show screen actors guild 94th Oscars discovery TruTV romance joker scary movies police drama breaking bad Set visit Year in Review docudrama international miniseries BBC America marvel comics Creative Arts Emmys Polls and Games YouTube New York Comic Con Paramount Pictures Election Freeform FOX Esquire sequel Comedy APB razzies Travel Channel Broadway independent CW Seed BBC One BBC comedies Summer The Purge Fox Searchlight MCU 45 aliens Captain marvel festival book adaptation Musicals theme song National Geographic DGA TV movies kaiju Discovery Channel pirates of the caribbean Cartoon Network nature El Rey batman genre Warner Bros. Shudder Crackle trailers Superheroes Sony Pictures Disney streaming service Family cults Video Games prank WarnerMedia spider-man HFPA DirecTV anthology History Podcast A&E french Cannes VICE supernatural mcc book TIFF DC Universe adventure boxoffice Elton John hispanic worst natural history Mudbound MGM documentary 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards mission: impossible franchise Biopics USA Network Music award winner indie Pop Musical universal monsters rt archives werewolf ABC Signature The Walking Dead godzilla SXSW American Society of Cinematographers Marathons toy story streaming canceled TV shows romantic comedy blaxploitation Nat Geo transformers Certified Fresh South by Southwest Film Festival Country diversity 90s Turner Winners Teen Quiz binge President Emmy Nominations LGBTQ CBS Martial Arts Paramount Mary poppins 2020 Dark Horse Comics Comics on TV YA television Women's History Month Lucasfilm Indigenous Sneak Peek TCA Awards Hallmark Christmas movies Syfy obi wan vampires jurassic park scary biography south america scorecard rom-coms Nickelodeon IFC TBS Holidays rotten OWN Logo scene in color news psycho First Look summer preview halloween tv facebook 93rd Oscars obituary E! Animation Christmas latino rt labs Toys doctor who Best Actor mutant reboot dceu LGBT elevated horror Mindy Kaling vs. slashers CBS All Access Heroines Chernobyl 2018 007 japan 1990s video italian medical drama justice league singing competition Britbox Extras quibi hidden camera comics San Diego Comic-Con movies Hear Us Out E3 Avengers boxing children's TV biopic Spectrum Originals sports cartoon live action Tumblr blockbusters Red Carpet NBC monster movies Spike Disney chucky Alien game show zombies child's play Marvel dc harry potter feel good The Arrangement crime comic Endgame stoner Epix interviews Image Comics Disney+ Disney Plus Trophy Talk DC Comics Television Academy FX docuseries Writers Guild of America Film slasher PaleyFest WGN Fall TV Tarantino Native Television Critics Association green book Song of Ice and Fire Rom-Com critic resources 2021 versus Marvel Studios ID dogs SundanceTV fast and furious lord of the rings serial killer Calendar posters spinoff Pixar Brie Larson satire 20th Century Fox 79th Golden Globes Awards The Academy asian-american Star Wars Celebration royal family art house wonder woman Paramount Plus strong female leads venice CMT Pop TV 2019 Tokyo Olympics Walt Disney Pictures Disney Plus Neflix critics PlayStation Superheroe comic book movies high school Cosplay FX on Hulu social media football telelvision Nominations Hallmark Exclusive Video Pet Sematary travel black comedy documentaries Turner Classic Movies renewed TV shows zombie cancelled television Funimation trophy debate TCA Winter 2020 stand-up comedy Black Mirror films Paramount Network USA 4/20 scene in color film series festivals BAFTA Universal Pictures technology Opinion Fantasy action-comedy streaming movies Grammys Lifetime Christmas movies TLC historical drama 2016 Amazon Prime revenge laika a nightmare on elm street aapi Instagram Live Rocky movie Action IFC Films fresh heist movie BET Western Sundance olympics Ovation Super Bowl Focus Features TCA target SXSW 2022 Rocketman reviews crime thriller Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trivia Rock Chilling Adventures of Sabrina new star wars movies halloween The Witch thriller BET Awards archives concert cancelled TV series cancelled TV shows First Reviews Watching Series TV renewals 99% Legendary nfl Best Picture spanish language 2015 adaptation composers tv talk dragons ABC Family Interview robots deadpool ESPN Showtime RT21 political drama popular The CW golden globes Character Guide Holiday series psychological thriller Tomatazos christmas movies free movies TV One casting rotten movies we love legend Infographic dramedy Oscars Prime Video Lionsgate OneApp james bond hispanic heritage month Baby Yoda new zealand worst movies DC streaming service Mystery all-time true crime 72 Emmy Awards Schedule Best Actress GLAAD directors cancelled Amazon Studios Kids & Family new york Food Network foreign live event Reality Competition summer TV preview rt labs critics edition summer TV dreamworks animated period drama indiana jones screenings name the review Shondaland remakes know your critic A24 sitcom Hollywood Foreign Press Association Ghostbusters cars what to watch Classic Film australia Crunchyroll YouTube Red ratings TCA 2017 based on movie NYCC war Mary Tyler Moore Stephen King ITV ghosts Valentine's Day Awards Tour Countdown Spring TV japanese science fiction Horror CNN GoT MSNBC gangster Star Trek ViacomCBS TV anime Best Director sag awards teaser emmy awards saw toronto X-Men spider-verse hollywood Binge Guide