Cedric the Entertainer, star and executive producer of the CBS hit comedy The Neighborhood, marks his first time as master of ceremonies for the 73rd Emmy Awards.

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS 2021.

By Nate Millado

Hazmat-suited messengers had to deliver last year's Emmys to winners at home—or at small, socially distant soirees—amid COVID-19 lockdown. Rejoice: This year, the stars (and a live audience) are coming back for the 2021 Emmy Awards! Get ready for TV's biggest night with our ultimate cheat sheet to the three-hour telecast.

The 73rd Emmy Awards airs Sunday, Sept. 19, (8-11 p.m. ET/5-8 p.m. PT live) on CBS and Paramount+.

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Who's hosting television's biggest night?

Cedric the Entertainer holding up an Emmy Award

Cedric the Entertainer, of the CBS comedy The Neighborhood, will be the master of ceremonies for the Emmy Awards this year.

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS 2021.

Meet your host with the most—Cedric the Entertainer!

"Since I was a little boy huddled up next to my grandmother, television has always been my reliable friend, so it is an enormous honor for me to host this year's Emmy Awards," said the star and executive producer of CBS' hit sitcom The Neighborhood.

"Throughout the roller-coaster of a year that we have all lived through, television has helped us stay connected as a society like never before. It not only entertained us, but as it always has, it helped to open our eyes, educate us, and hopefully brought about a better understanding of who we are as a people. I can't wait to take the stage to celebrate all of the great shows and performances that made us laugh, cry, dance, and sing over the past year." Well said, Ced!


The Neighborhood returns on Monday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

Who's nominated?

Nick Mohammed next to Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt in a scene from Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso's Nick Mohammed, Jason Sudeikis, and Brendan Hunt are all vying for Emmys.

Photo: AppleTV+.

Apple TV+'s feel-good, fish-out-of-water comedy Ted Lasso hauled in a whopping 20 Emmy nominations, the most ever for a freshman series. And just about everyone in the roster scored a nod, including Jason Sudeikis (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series) as the titular charming and uber-optimisic soccer coach. But the most-nominated series are Netflix's The Crown and Disney Plus' The Mandalorian—tied at 24.

Vying for the top prizes are:

Outstanding Drama: The Boys (Amazon Prime Video), Bridgerton (Netflix), The Crown (Netflix), The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu), Lovecraft Country (HBO), The Mandalorian (Disney Plus), Pose (FX), and This Is Us (NBC)

Outstanding Comedy: Black-ish (ABC), Cobra Kai (Netflix), Emily in Paris (Netflix), Hacks (HBO Max), The Flight Attendant (HBO Max), The Kominsky Method (Netflix), Pen15 (Hulu), and Ted Lasso (Apple TV Plus)

In terms of Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, all due respect to I May Destroy You and The Underground Railroad, but it's a three-horse race between Mare of Easttown (HBO), The Queen's Gambit (Netflix), and WandaVision (Disney Plus).

Who are the favorites? Any upset alerts?

Courtney B Vance with Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett in the woods in a scene from Lovecraft Country

The stars of Lovecraft Country: Courtney B. Vance, Jonathan Majors, and Jurnee Smollett.

Photo: Eli Joshua Ade/HBO.

The Crown could reign supreme on Emmy night, with a legitimate shot at sweeping the top drama categories (Outstanding Drama, Josh O'Connor for Lead Actor, and either Emma Corrin or Olivia Colman for Lead Actress). Ted Lasso may prove just as scrappy as AFC Richmond and take home Outstanding Comedy (Sudeikis is a shoo-in for Lead Actor). Living legend Jean Smart (Hacks) is the favorite for Lead Actress in a Comedy—and could win a second statuette for her supporting turn in Mare of Easttown.

But watch out for: Kaley Cuoco, who soars in The Flight Attendant; previous Emmy winners Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Billy Porter (Pose), and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale); and supernatural drama Lovecraft Country, which HBO unceremoniously canceled after one season but which still managed to earn an impressive 18 nominations, including Lead Actress (Jurnee Smollett) and Lead Actor (Jonathan Majors).

What's the most competitive category?

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision

Emmy nominees Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen of WandaVision.

Photo: Disney Plus

Arguably the most exciting category to watch is Lead Actress in a Limited Series. Any one of these talented women could win the winged statue:

Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You)
Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha)
Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision)
Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit)
Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown)

Who's on the brink of history?

\u200bMj Rodriguez posing

Mj Rodriguez is the first trans performer nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama.

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

As ballroom announcer PrayTell (Billy Porter) would say, "The category is: Emmy history realness!" When Mj Rodriguez was nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama—playing house mother Blanca in the groundbreaking FX series Pose—she made herstory as the first transgender performer to compete in a major category.

Other potential record breakers:

  • Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks) could be the first openly non-binary actor to pick up an acting Emmy.
  • RuPaul Charles (RuPaul's Drag Race) would be the most awarded Black artist in Emmy history if he wins all three trophies he's up for.
  • Bowen Yang, the first featured SNL player ever to be nominated, could also be the first Emmy winner of Asian descent in the Supporting Comedy Actor category.

Who'll say "hello" to a "farewell" Emmy?

Allison Janney in a white dress on the red carpet

Allison Janney of Mom.

Photo: Trae Patton/CBS

Can Allison Janney mount the mother of all comebacks by taking home her third Emmy for playing Bonnie Plunkett of Mom one last time? (The TV Academy clearly loves her: She's won 7 Emmys from 15 nominations!) Shameless patriarch William H. Macy is also up for Outstanding Comedy Actor for his final season. He'll go up against Michael Douglas, nominated for The Kominsky Method, which just wrapped its run.

Fun facts about this year's nominees

Bo Burnham is the most nominated performer this year, earning an incredible SIX nods for writing, directing, editing, composing, and performing in his pandemic-produced musical comedy special, Inside: Bo Burnham.

Courteney Cox is the only Friend never to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy ("I KNOW!"), but she can take home her first for co-producing the Friends: The Reunion special for HBO Max.

Don Cheadle is nominated for Guest Actor in a Drama—for a 95-second scene in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Over at Guest Actress in a Drama, Claire Foy got a nod for a blink-and-you-missed it cameo in The Crown, reprising her Emmy-winning role as Queen Elizabeth in flashback.

The Hamil-Craze continues! The filmed version of musical phenomenon Hamilton earned a dozen nominations, and OG Broadway cast members Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo, and Daveed Diggs are not throwing away their (first-time) shot!

Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS PrimeTime Special—which gifted us jaw-dropping reveals and countless GIFs ("Were you silent ... or silenced?")—is up for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special.

The 73rd Emmy Awards airs Sunday, Sept. 19, (8-11 p.m. ET/5-8 p.m. PT live) on CBS and Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars in Your Honor.

Photo credit: Andreas Laszlo Konrath/Trunk Archive

By Nate Millado

If ever there was a time we needed television, it was the last year and a half—and CBS Studios gave us stories that made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. With Primetime Emmy nominations just weeks away (July 13), we want to show some love to a few shows and artists that delivered award-worthy entertainment—and escapism.

READ MORE: Flip Through the Gorgeous Watch For Your Consideration Issue Now!

Star Trek: Discovery for Outstanding Drama Series

Sonequa Martin Green in black dress leaning against disco ball

Sonequa Martin-Green leads an "extraordinary" cast.

Photo credit: Marie H Rainville/CBS Watch

"So many times we're in the editing room with this treasure trove of options because our cast is so extraordinary. —Alex Kurtzman, executive producer of Star Trek: Discovery

Watch all episodes of Star Trek: Discovery streaming on Paramount+.

The Neighborhood for Outstanding Comedy Series

\u200bCedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield

Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield star in The Neighborhood.

Photo credit: Eric Ray Davidson/CBS Watch

"The Neighborhood bridges gaps. It allows us to reach people we would never ever reach before." —Tichina Arnold, who costars as Tina on The Neighborhood

The Neighborhood returns on Monday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert for Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Stephen Colbert and Barack Obama

Stephen Colbert beats President Barack Obama at waste basketball.

Photo credit: Best Possible Screen Grab/CBS

"There's only one thing better than a joke working…a joke not working," said The Late Show host Stephen Colbert. As for his favorite guest moment? Beating Barack Obama at waste basketball. "I think both of us will carry that in our hearts in very different ways."

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on CBS and Paramount+.

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The Bite for Outstanding Drama Series

\u200bAudra McDonald

Audra McDonald stars in The Bite and The Good Fight.

Photo: Michele Crowe/CBS.

"Robert and Michelle [King]'s team wanted to find a way to give it some energy. So they insert zombies…you got your energy." —Audra McDonald discussing The Bite on The Talk

The Bite airs exclusively on Spectrum.

The Bite for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Robert and Michelle King in the writers room

Husband-and-wife team Robert and Michelle King (The Good Fight) wrote, produced, and set their zombie drama The Bite during the pandemic.

Photo: Jeff Neumann/CBS Watch

The Bite, Scene 22
Rachel clicks over to her mom, DR. HESTER BOUTELLA (65). She pops onto Rachel's screen. Nobel Prize–winning immunologist. Imperious. Loves scarves. (A little of Dr. Birx in her.) Thinks her daughter should be doing more important work.

The Bite airs exclusively on Spectrum.

Your Honor for Outstanding Limited Series

Bryan Cranston

Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars in Your Honor.

Photo credit: Andreas Laszlo Konrath/Trunk Archive

"I don't want to do any show or play where the audience can fall asleep. I want them to feel obligated to stay with it at every moment and feel that anxiety level." —Bryan Cranston

Stream Your Honor on SHOWTIME.

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The Amazing Race and Tough As Nails for Outstanding Reality Competition

Phil Keoghan

Host with the most: Phil Keoghan runs The Amazing Race and Tough As Nails.

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS Watch

"There's lots of shows out there that honor people that are really good at singing and dancing and are good looking, but I felt that there was a place for acknowledging those people who keep a country running. Real people in real life who are real tough." —Phil Keoghan on Tough As Nails to Deadline

Stream episodes of The Amazing Race and Tough As Nails on Paramount+.

The Comey Rule for Outstanding Limited Series

Jeff Daniels and Brendan Gleeson

Comey (Jeff Daniels) and Trump (Brendan Gleeson) face off.

Photo credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS Television Studios/SHOWTIME

"Jim Comey was trying to do the right thing in a world that didn't care what the right thing was." — Jeff Daniels

"What I loved about it was the authenticity of actually knowing that these were words that were spoken." —Brendan Gleeson

Stream The Comey Rule on SHOWTIME.

The Equalizer for Outstanding Drama Series

Queen Latifah in a black leather jacket

All hail the Queen: Latifah stars in The Equalizer.

Photo credit: Sophy Holland/CBS.

"I've seen a lot of real-life equalizers in my life so why not bring one to the screen who looks like me?" —Queen Latifah

Watch The Equalizer on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

READ MORE: Flip Through the Gorgeous Watch For Your Consideration Issue Now!

The Late Late Show With James Corden for Outstanding Variety Talk Series

James Corden

James Corden hosts The Late Late Show.

Photo credit:Terence Patrick/CBS

"We want to be a place that gives people light relief in what's been an unimaginably difficult year." —James Corden

The Late Late Show With James Corden airs weeknights at 12:37/11:37c on CBS and Paramount+.

The Stand for Outstanding Limited Series

\u200bAlexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg in The Stand

Photo credit: Robert Falconer/CBS

"I wanted to write about bravery. At some point, people do have to make a stand." —Stephen King to Vanity Fair

Stream The Stand on Paramount+.

Star Trek: Lower Decks for Outstanding Animation

Star Trek Lower Decks cast

Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, and Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi

Photo credit: Best Possible Screen Grab/CBS

"I wanted to do something that when I looked back on it for the rest of my life, I would be really proud of what I did at that one moment. And what I'm really proud of accomplishing with that season is it's the balance of it's really good Star Trek, and it's a comedy that I really like." —Creator and showrunner Mike McMahan to IGN

Stream Star Trek: Lower Decks on Paramount+.

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