Emmy Awards go virtual: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and ‘Succession’ are tops in comedy and drama

Host Jimmy Kimmel stands in front of a bank of monitors featuring Emmy nominees on Sunday night during the virtual 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards. (ABC Live screen grab)

If you’ve been escaping all of the hardship in the world by watching more television, Sunday night was the chance to celebrate with the stars of the small screen.

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards show went on, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But it looked a lot like the world has looked for several months — a virtual event with nominees in their homes, connected to the show via what looked like a giant Zoom happy hour.

The Canadian comedy series “Schitt’s Creek” was a big winner, capturing the first seven awards of the night as it swept the comedy category. HBO won Best Drama Series for “Succession” and Best Limited Series for “Watchmen and led all networks with 11 wins.

Host Jimmy Kimmel took the stage to what appeared to be a full house of Hollywood stars. But after he was shown in the crowd laughing at one of his own monologue jokes, it became clear that Kimmel was indeed hosting without a crowd.

“Of course we don’t have a live audience,” Kimmel said. “This isn’t a MAGA rally, it’s the Emmys.”

“I feel like I’m in a Best Buy,” he said while standing in front of a sea of monitors featuring nominees waving back at him. He said that going on with the show would not stop COVID or the wildfires ravaging the West Coast. “But right now we need fun.”

It looked like the “Schitt’s Creek” show out of the gate as the Netflix comedy won everything in that category, including Best Comedy Series, Comedy Lead Actor (Eugene Levy), Comedy Lead Actress (Catherine O’Hara), Comedy Supporting Actor (Dan Levy), Comedy Supporting Actress (Annie Murphy), and more.

Amazon had high hopes in the comedy category behind the strength of the Prime Video series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which had 20 nominations. The show did pick up four awards during the Creative Arts Emmys earlier this week. Amazon scored 30 total nominations, compared to 47 last year.

Netflix set a record for one network with 160 nominations this year. HBO’s “Watchmen” led all shows with 26 nominations.

Actor Ramy Youssef may have had the most viral moment of the night, when he tweeted what it looked like to lose at home, as an overly PPE-clad trophy presenter waved goodbye outside.

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