The 70th annual Emmy awards are scheduled to take place on Monday evening, with usual favorites “Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Handmaid’s Tale leading the race.
Here are some fun facts, figures and quirky details about the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars:
Monday night gala
Monday is hardly a traditional night for Hollywood parties, but NBC, which has the broadcast rights to the annual Emmys gala, shifted it from Sunday night to avoid a clash with its popular National Football League telecast.
The last time the Emmys occurred on a Monday was in 2014.
Some industry watchers say the switch could sink already low ratings for the event, as TV fans stray from the long ceremony in favor of checking winners and watching key moments on social media.
Emmys records and firsts
Comedy stalwart SNL broke its own record for the most nominations for a single program, with the 21 nods it snapped up this year, the long-running NBC late night laugh fest now has an overall total of 252.
The 2018 slate of contenders includes a number of first-time nominees, among them pop stars (Ricky Martin, Sara Bareilles), Oscar winners (Penelope Cruz) and even a onetime Doctor Who (Matt Smith, The Crown.)
Three new EGOTs
A week before the main event, the Television Academy handed out dozens of awards in secondary categories, the so-called Creative Arts Emmys for technical and artistic achievement.
NBC’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert raked in five awards, including one for best live variety special.
That honour allowed singer John Legend and theater giants Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to claim a rare title, all three now have coveted EGOT status, with individual Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony wins.
The trio served as executive producers on the musical, in which Legend starred as Jesus. He is also up for an Emmy for best actor in a limited series or movie, an award to be presented at the main event on Monday.
Only 12 people had achieved the feat before them, including Hollywood legend Mel Brooks, American composer Richard Rodgers, and actresses Whoopi Goldberg, Rita Moreno and Audrey Hepburn.
Allison Janney could tie Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Cloris Leachman for most Emmys won by a female performer at eight if she earns another trophy Monday for her role as a recovering alcoholic on comedy Mom.
The Fonz himself, veteran actor Henry Winkler, could take home his first Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy for his work on HBO’s caustic tale of a hit man-turned-actor, Barry.
And Sandra Oh, the longtime Grey’s Anatomy star, could make history if she wins as best lead actress in a drama for BBC America’s Killing Eve, in July, she was the first woman of Asian descent nominated in a lead actress category, drama or comedy.
SNL regulars Colin Jost and Michael Che got the call from their home network NBC to host this year’s Emmys. It doesn’t hurt that SNL creator Lorne Michaels is producing the show for the first time in 30 years.
Jost and Che host the faux Weekend Update newscast on SNL, so viewers should expect a lot of lightning-quick gags and off-the-cuff remarks.
Meanwhile, the 70th Emmys Awards will present a duel between record-breaker Game of Thrones and last year’s big winner The Handmaid’s Tale.
Awards editor and senior vice president of top entertainment news outlet Variety, Tim Gray feels Handmaid, a bleak portrait of a future dystopian America where women are brutally oppressed, has the edge.
“I just feel like Handmaid’s Tale is, kind of, of the moment as it addresses a lot of concerns that people have now,” Gray said. “I just think it’s their year.”
In 2016, Game of Thrones, the tale of noble families vying for the Iron Throne made history, picking up 12 awards and becoming the most decorated fictional show since the Television Academy first handed out prizes in 1949.
Other major contenders include FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which racked up 18 nominations.