Hollywood stars don pajamas for pandemic-era 'virtual' Emmys
TV stars picked out their favorite pajamas ahead of Sunday's reinvented, pandemic-hit Emmys, which will see nominees accept prizes live from their homes, with dark superhero satire "Watchmen" tipped to dominate the night.
Hollywood's first major Covid-era award show will look radically different to previous editions, with no red carpet and a host broadcasting from an empty theater in Los Angeles, which remains under strict lockdown.
Winners at the 72nd Emmys -- the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars -- have been sent cameras to hook up in their own living rooms, gardens and even bedrooms.
They have also been encouraged to get creative with their acceptance speeches as well as locations, meaning even the show's producers are in for a few surprises.
"They don't know what it's going to look like -- it's a crapshoot," said Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond.
Jimmy Kimmel has been tasked with hosting the night.
The late night funnyman began presenting his own talk show from home months ago, and held together the notorious 2017 Oscars after a fiasco saw the wrong best picture winner announced.
"The executive producers at least seem very prepared for anything and more importantly everything to go wrong," said Libby Hall, IndieWire's TV awards editor.
As for the awards themselves, "Watchmen" leads the charge with a whopping 26 nominations, primarily in the limited series categories.
The timely graphic novel spin-off -- which won rave reviews from critics and audiences alike -- tackles historic US racism, police violence and even mask-wearing.
"'Watchmen' speaks so specifically in so many unprecedented ways to the moment in which we're living right now," said Hill.
"I think people will probably get pretty tired of hearing Watchmen's name getting called... it's as much of a lock as we have right now."
- 'Big momentum' -
The prestigious drama series categories promise to be more closely contested this year than in recent editions -- HBO's Emmys record-breaking "Game of Thrones" has finally mounted a dragon and soared off to Westeros.
"It's a relief for HBO that they have 'Succession' hitting at the right time," said Hammond.
The dark portrait of a powerful Murdoch-esque family's wrangling for control of a dynastic media empire has amassed 18 nominations.
It is tied with "Ozark," Jason Bateman's crime saga set in the American heartland from Netflix, which despite landing a record 160 nominations this year is still desperate to win its first major series Emmy.
Dark horses include British royals saga "The Crown" and live-action Star Wars series "The Mandalorian," which boasts lavish Thrones-esque production values and has already won multiple Emmys in technical categories for newcomer Disney+.
In the race for comedy honors, past winner "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" -- Amazon's quirky tale of a 1950s housewife who becomes a standup comic -- will battle sleeper hit "Schitt's Creek."
The latter, a Canadian comedy about a privileged family forced to live in a rundown motel, failed to earn a single nomination in its first four years, but gained attention by later airing on Netflix and signed off with a heartwarming final season.
Emmy voters "know it's the show's last chance... that's the one that's got big momentum," said Hammond.
- 'Crapshoot' -
Of the more than 100 acting nominations in the drama, comedy, limited series and television movie categories this year, more than a third of them went to black actors -- a new record
Aside from the awards themselves, the night will honor the career achievement of Tyler Perry.
The African-American entertainment mogul has championed greater diversity in Hollywood, and this year paid funeral costs for black victims of police violence including George Floyd.
The theme of tackling racism is expected to feature prominently throughout the night.
Many stars in famously liberal Hollywood are likely to have a wary eye on President Donald Trump's re-election bid -- and to express grief over the death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
And then of course there's the pandemic itself to address.
"Even if Sunday night is a complete disaster, it's at least going to be an interesting disaster," said Hill.
"And that's really all you can ask for in 2020."
List of nominees
Here is a list of the nominees in key categories for the 72nd Emmy Awards, which will be handed out in Los Angeles on Sunday.
HBO's "Watchmen" -- which is competing in the limited series categories -- leads the way with 26 nominations.
Amazon hit comedy "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" has 20 nominations.
On the drama side, dark crime thriller "Ozark" and family drama "Succession" earned 18 nominations each.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
"Better Call Saul"
"The Handmaid's Tale"
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Dead to Me"
"The Good Place"
"The Kominsky Method"
"The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"
"What We Do In The Shadows"
LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA
Jason Bateman, "Ozark"
Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us"
Steve Carell, "The Morning Show"
Brian Cox, "Succession"
Billy Porter, "Pose"
Jeremy Strong, "Succession"
LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA
Jennifer Aniston, "The Morning Show"
Olivia Colman, "The Crown"
Jodie Comer, "Killing Eve"
Laura Linney, "Ozark"
Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"
LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY
Anthony Anderson, "black-ish"
Don Cheadle, "Black Monday"
Ted Danson, "The Good Place"
Michael Douglas, "The Kominsky Method"
Eugene Levy, "Schitt's Creek"
Ramy Youssef, "Ramy"
LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY
Christina Applegate, "Dead to Me"
Rachel Brosnahan, "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"
Linda Cardellini, "Dead to Me"
Catherine O'Hara, "Schitt's Creek"
Issa Rae, "Insecure"
Tracee Ellis Ross, "black-ish"
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Nicholas Braun, "Succession"
Billy Crudup, "The Morning Show"
Kieran Culkin, "Succession"
Mark Duplass, "The Morning Show"
Giancarlo Esposito, "Better Call Saul"
Matthew Macfadyen, "Succession"
Bradley Whitford, "The Handmaid's Tale"
Jeffrey Wright, "Westworld"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Helena Bonham Carter, "The Crown"
Laura Dern, "Big Little Lies"
Julia Garner, "Ozark"
Thandie Newton, "Westworld"
Fiona Shaw, "Killing Eve"
Sarah Snook, "Succession"
Meryl Streep, "Big Little Lies"
Samira Wiley, "The Handmaid's Tale"
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
Mahershala Ali, "Ramy"
Alan Arkin, "The Kominsky Method"
Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Sterling K Brown, "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"
William Jackson Harper, "The Good Place"
Daniel Levy, "Schitt's Creek"
Tony Shalhoub, "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"
Kenan Thompson, "Saturday Night Live"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Alex Borstein, "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"
D'Arcy Carden, "The Good Place"
Betty Gilpin, "GLOW"
Marin Hinkle, "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel"
Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live"
Annie Murphy, "Schitt's Creek"
Yvonne Orji, "Insecure"
Cecily Strong, "Saturday Night Live"
OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
"Little Fires Everywhere"
OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
"Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: These Old Bones"
"El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie"
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend"
LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Jeremy Irons, "Watchmen"
Hugh Jackman, "Bad Education"
Paul Mescal, "Normal People"
Jeremy Pope, "Hollywood"
Mark Ruffalo, "I Know This Much Is True"
LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Cate Blanchett, "Mrs America"
Shira Haas, "Unorthodox"
Regina King, "Watchmen"
Octavia Spencer, "Self Made"
Kerry Washington, "Little Fires Everywhere"
Programs with most overall nominations:
"Watchmen" - 26
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" - 20
"Succession" - 18
"Ozark" - 18
"The Mandalorian" - 15
"Schitt's Creek" - 15
"Saturday Night Live" - 15
"The Crown" - 13
Top five platforms with most overall nominations: