Everything to know about the 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards

A large Emmy Award statue in silhouette with palm trees in the background
The Emmy Award statue at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences campus in Los Angeles.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards take place this Sunday, marking a grand return for the ceremony after 2020‘s semi-virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What time is the show and where to watch it?

The Television Academy’s marquee ceremony honoring the best in television will air live from coast to coast on CBS Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. Pacific. It will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

The scaled-down soirée takes place at its usual haunt — the Microsoft Theater in downtown L.A. — but it’ll still be dramatically different due to pandemic concerns. It will host a limited in-person audience consisting only of nominees and guests.

That’s a far cry from last year’s fête, which was hampered by city regulations on indoor gatherings and included a bevy of virtual appearances and at-home watch parties.

Cedric the Entertainer, executive producers, a chef and a winemaker preview the Emmys production at a sneak peek event in this photo gallery.

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Who’s hosting?

Cedric the Entertainer
Cedric the Entertainer will host the in-person Emmy Awards this year.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Veteran comic and CBS’ “The Neighborhood” star Cedric the Entertainer is taking over the mike from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who last year helmed a surprisingly delightful semi-virtual awards show (and put out an actual fire with Jennifer Aniston in the process).

“Seeing those TV stars out for one night dressed up, celebrating, walking up getting their awards, I think that’s what I like most about being able to host this gig,” Cedric told The Times in August. “It’s a celebration of the people that actually are part of your homes and a part of your life.”

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He said he feels a responsibility to make things fun, whether that means performing his own material or riffing on the nominees. Although it’s his first time hosting the Emmys, the actor has previously hosted the American Music Awards, Critics Choice Television Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Awards and TV Land Awards.

Who are the nominees?

The prime-time telecast will reveal which drama, comedy, variety and miniseries were the best this year, as well as which actors in each category rose to the occasion. The nominations recognize TV projects released between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, and the award is a symbol of peer recognition from nearly 20,000 Television Academy members.

A woman and a man look off camera
Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis star in “Ted Lasso,” which drew 20 nominations.
(Apple TV+)

Here’s a breakdown of the top categories:

Drama series

Comedy series

Limited series

Variety talk series

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When the Emmy nominees were announced in July across 119 categories, Netflix’s “The Crown” and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” led overall and among the drama nominees with 24 nods apiece. Marvel sensation “WandaVision,” also from Disney+, topped limited series with 23, while Apple TV+’s freshman comedy “Ted Lasso” nabbed 20.

However, races came into slightly clearer focus last weekend when the majority of the awards were doled out during three Creative Arts Emmys ceremonies. (The Creative Arts Emmys honor performers, artists and craftspeople in categories including casting, choreography, commercials, lighting design, music composition, special visual effects and guest performance.)

Netflix, particularly its drama “The Queen’s Gambit,” dominated the Creative Arts field: The streaming giant checked out with 34 trophies, nine of them for the chess series starring Anya Taylor-Joy. Disney+’s “Star Wars” drama “The Mandalorian” and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” tied for second, earning seven trophies apiece; Netflix’s “Love, Death & Robots” got six; and VH1’s reality competition “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and Netflix’s royal drama “The Crown” each got four.

An edited presentation of the Creative Arts Emmys will be broadcast on Saturday on FXX at 8 p.m. Pacific.

Who will win and who should win? Our awards expert weighs in on the Emmys chances for some of your favorites shows, from ‘The Crown’ to ‘WandaVision.’

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Who’s going to win?

The Times’ resident awards expert, Glenn Whipp, predicts a big night for Netflix’s “The Crown” in drama, Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” in the comedy field and HBO’s murder mystery “Mare of Easttown” in the limited series categories.

Also, check out our 2021 BuzzMeter to get a leg up in your awards-night pool.

Who is presenting?

As usual, this year’s presenters include a slew of nominees, past winners and a selection of celebs in attendance to plug their next projects.

This year’s presenters include: Paulina Alexis, Anthony Anderson, Annaleigh Ashford, Awkwafina, Angela Bassett, Adrien Brody, Stephen Colbert, Jennifer Coolidge, Misty Copeland, Kaley Cuoco, Michael Douglas, Ava DuVernay, Lane Factor, Beanie Feldstein, Allyson Felix, America Ferrera, Sterlin Harjo, Taraji P. Henson, Devery Jacobs, Ken Jeong, Mindy Kaling, Gayle King, Vanessa Lachey, Dan Levy, Eugene Levy, LL Cool J, Jessica Long, Annie Murphy, Catherine O’Hara, Dolly Parton, Sarah Paulson, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Amy Poehler, Ellen Pompeo, Billy Porter, Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez, Seth Rogen, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Hailee Steinfeld, Patrick Stewart, Wilmer Valderrama, Kerry Washington, Rita Wilson, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Bowen Yang and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Grammy Award-winning R&B artist Leon Bridges and Academy Award-winning recording artist Jon Batiste will perform a special “in memoriam” song by Bridges.

“The Late Late Show” band leader Reggie Watts will serve as the evening’s DJ.