It’s television’s biggest night once again as the 69th annual Emmy Awards kick off Sunday night, September 17, live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, with Late Show host Stephen Colbert set to host the proceedings for the first time.
With Colbert hosting this year’s ceremony, the question awards-watchers are asking most is not whether the show will delve into politics, but just *how* political it will get. The CBS host is perhaps the most outspoken anti-Donald Trump critic in all of late-night, and it’s widely expected he’s going to bring his apparent hatred for the president to TV’s big night.
This year’s show also handed out 22 nominations across numerous categories to Saturday Night Live. Alec Baldwin is nominated for his mocking portrayal of Trump, as is Melissa McCarthy, for her impression of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
For those tuning in to the show to see their favorite television shows and stars get awarded (as opposed to the political proselytizing), this year’s ceremony offers up a number of intriguing matchups and storylines.
With the biggest show in all of television (HBO’s Game of Thrones) ineligible for this year’s awards, all eyes will be on Netflix to see if the streaming giant can take home Best Series glory for its 80s nostalgia monster hit Stranger Things, for its Queen Elizabeth drama The Crown, or for longtime contender House of Cards. But those series will face stiff competition from HBO’s other heavy-hitter, the Anthony Hopkins-starring sci-fi drama Westworld, as well as from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and NBC’s ensemble weepy This Is Us, the latter of which hopes to become the first Best Series Emmy-winner for a broadcast network since Fox’s 24 picked up the honor in 2006.
On the comedy side, Veep is up against Atlanta, Silicon Valley, Master of None, black-ish, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and perennial favorite Modern Family, the latter of which could break the record if it picks up its sixth win for Best Series tonight.
Follow along with the Breitbart News live-wire tonight for live updates from the show, as it kicks off at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
All times Eastern. Latest updates at the top.
11:05 p.m. Wrap-Up – Well, that’s all, folks. Thanks for joining us for this year’s show. The big winners tonight were HBO’s Veep and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Big Little Lies took home some nice prizes, and it was nice to see Nicole Kidman get her first Emmy.
Anti-Trump programs and personalities ruled the night of course, with Saturday Night Live taking home some big wins (including for Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon), while John Oliver won two Emmys for his weekly HBO show. Kumail Nanjiani and Donald Glover got in some anti-Trump jabs during their onstage appearances; with his two wins tonight for Atlanta, Glover could be one of those guys who gets to do whatever he wants on TV in a couple of years, kind of like what Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes do now.
As for Colbert, he essentially did a souped-up version of his Late Show shtick, and it’ll be interesting to see how the ratings shake out tomorrow.
The stars are filing out of the theater, and they’ll probably be off to some big parties, where they can show off all the shiny hunks of metal they’ve accumulated tonight. For the rest of us, it’s good night.
So, good night.
10:58 p.m. – Wow. The Handmaid’s Tale wins the big prize, Best Drama Series, a nice upset over HBO’s Westworld, which won practically nothing, and the fan favorite Stranger Things. Look for plenty of analysis pieces tomorrow about how Hulu’s dystopian drama had to win this year, given the “current political climate.”
10: 55 p.m. – Elisabeth Moss, as expected, wins her first-ever Emmy, for her lead role in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Pretty wild to think that she never won for Mad Men.
10:51 p.m. – Sterling K. Brown wins Best Actor in a Drama Series for NBC’s This Is Us. Brown has had an absolutely massive year, after last year’s success with The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Still, he loses a battle with the Emmys orchestra, after he tries to stay onstage past his allotted time.
10:43 p.m. – Big Little Lies wins Outstanding Limited Series. Impressive haul for the HBO series tonight.
Reese Witherspoon: “It’s been an incredible year for women in television.” Hard to disagree with that.
10:39 p.m. – “San Junipero,” an episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror, picks up its second Emmy tonight, for Best Television Movie. Charlie Brooker accepts.
10:34 p.m. – Nicole Kidman wins her first-ever Emmy, for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for HBO’s Big Little Lies. Delivers an emotional acceptance speech, and draws attention to the issue of domestic abuse, which is central to her character’s arc on the show.
Remember when Kidman said something earlier this year that vaguely resembled an endorsement of Trump, and Hollywood flipped out?
— Nicole Kidman Source (@KidmanSource) September 18, 2017
10:31 p.m. – Riz Ahmed, wearing a blue ACLU ribbon, takes the stage to collect his first-ever Emmy for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, for HBO’s The Night Of.
10:25 p.m. – Falcons take a commanding lead over the Packers at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, after Aaron Rodgers fumbles and Atlanta cornerback Desmond Trufant runs it back 15 yards for a touchdown.
31-7 Falcons, but plenty of time to go.
10:21 p.m. – Norman Lear and Carol Burnett come out to present the award for Best Comedy Series.
Veep is the big winner. Good god.
10:17 p.m. – Julia Louis-Dreyfus breaks the record for most wins by a single actress in the same role, winning again for Best Actress for HBO’s Veep.
“We had a whole storyline about an impeachment, but we were worried someone else might get to it first.”
10:15 p.m. – Donald Glover wins Best Actor in a Comedy Series, for FX’s Atlanta.
Starts to deliver a well-rounded acceptance speech, then ends with this: “I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the most oppressed list.”
Donald Glover, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy: "I want to thank Trump for making black people number one on the most oppressed list." pic.twitter.com/M4IBN5nZsY
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) September 18, 2017
10:10 p.m. – 20 minutes to go. Check out the full writeup of Stephen Colbert’s opening Trump-bashing monologue here, courtesy of Lucas Nolan.
10:06 p.m. – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver wins Best Variety Series, beating Samantha Bee and Jimmy Kimmel for the honor. It’s Oliver’s second win tonight.
10:03 p.m. – Don Roy King wins Best Directing for a Variety Series for Saturday Night Live. SNL is cleaning up tonight, in a big way.
10:00 p.m. – Check out video of SNL star Kate McKinnon thanking Hillary Clinton for her “grace and grit” earlier in the night, courtesy of Breitbart’s Ben Kew.
Full writeup here.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
9:57 p.m. – Christopher Jackson, an original cast member from the Broadway show Hamilton, plays along with this year’s “In Memoriam” segment. Odds are good the Emmys producers have forgotten someone significant again this year.
9:50 p.m. – Charlie Brooker wins Best Writing for a Limited Series, for the episode “San Junipero” from Netflix’s sci-fi-horror anthology series Black Mirror. Great episode of a great series, check it out.
9:47 p.m. – Reed Morano wins Best Director for a Drama Series for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
9:40 p.m. – Falcons up 17-7 on the Packers with 3:21 to go in the 2nd quarter, following a 51-yard field goal from Matt Bryant. Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson questionable to return with a quad injury.
9:38 p.m. – The Voice wins Best Reality-Competition Program.
9:35 p.m. – Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe win Best Writing in a Comedy Series for the “Thanksgiving” episode of Netflix’s Master of None.
While presenting the next award, Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani takes the obligatory shot at Trump.
9:25 p.m. – Ann Dowd, wearing a blue ACLU ribbon, wins Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for The Handmaid’s Tale. That’s a big upset, and a key win for Hulu as it hopes to elbow its way into the dominance of Netflix and HBO.
9:21 p.m. – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver wins Best Writing for Variety Series. Like Colbert, Oliver is one of Trump’s most vocal critics on TV. Colbert hosting, SNL winning big, now a win for Oliver… We’re sensing a trend here.
9:11 p.m. – Alexander Skarsgard wins Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series, for Big Little Lies. The HBO miniseries is cleaning up tonight.
9:09 p.m. – Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin come out to present an award, and take their own shot at Trump. Parton also says she hopes she’ll get one of those “Grace and Frankie vibrators” in her Emmys swag bag tonight. And there, now you have something you’ll never be able to un-picture.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
9:06 – Jean Marc-Vallee wins Best Director for Limited Series or Movie, for HBO’s Big Little Lies.
8:56 p.m. – Alec Baldwin wins for his portrayal of Trump on Saturday Night Live, as expected.
“At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
8:52 p.m. – Bruce Miller wins Best Writing for a Drama Series, for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
8:48 p.m. – There’s Colbert’s butt, in a segment with Westworld‘s Jeffrey Wright, though thankfully, it’s blurred for the viewers at home.
“Do you ever question your reality?” Wright as his Westworld character Bernard asks.
“Every day since November 8.”
8:43 p.m. – Saturday Night Live wins Outstanding Variety Series. Lorne Michaels couldn’t look more proud as he goes up to accept the award. It appears the show’s relentless skewering of Trump is going to pay off big-time tonight, with McKinnon already a winner for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton. This is a big, symbolic, win for SNL. Alec Baldwin’s a virtual lock to win for his portrayal of Trump.
8:39 p.m. – Donald Glover wins Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, for FX’s Atlanta.
8:30 p.m. – Laura Dern wins Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for HBO’s Big Little Lies.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
8:28 p.m. – Kate McKinnon wins Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live.
McKinnon says being on SNL this season was the “most meaningful thing” she will ever do, and thanks Lorne Michaels and the show’s writers. Saturday Night Live could be in for a big night.
Leaves the stage with: “I want to say thank you to Hillary Clinton, for your grace and grit.”
8:26 p.m. – Colbert cracks jokes with Robert De Niro in the front row, and jokes that The Wizard of Lies, De Niro’s HBO movie about Bernie Madoff, is really about Sean Spicer.
2 full hours to go, folks.
8:17 p.m. – John Lithgow wins his sixth Emmy and the night’s first award, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Netflix’s The Crown.
8:05 p.m. – Anthony Anderson and Allison Janney help Colbert kick off the show with a song-and-dance number about how the news around the world is terrible, but “everything is better on TV.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus chimes in with the night’s first shot at Trump: “Imagine if our president was not beloved by Nazis.” Didn’t catch any Colbert nudity, so there’s that.
Colbert tells the winners of tonight to thank everyone when they come on stage, including Game of Thrones for not being eligible this year. Also tells the audience to give kudos to first responders who have helped out in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
Colbert takes his first shot at Trump. Says there’s no way anyone can watch as many as 450 TV shows, except the president. “Thanks for tuning in! Looking forward to the tweets!” The host also cracks a joke about Ted Cruz’s now-famous “porn tweet like” from last week: “These days everybody loves streaming video, except Ted Cruz. But knock first, you dont wanna just walk in.”
Colbert gets in a nice dig at Bill Maher, with a bit about how there’s so much amazing African-American talent at the show this year, going through a list of the nominees, and then including Maher. “I assume he’s black because he’s so comfortable using the N-word.”
Then: “The biggest TV star of the year is Donald Trump. And Alec Baldwin, obviously. You guys are neck and neck. And you’re up against a lot of neck.”
“Every show is influenced by Donald Trump in some way. Next year’s Dancing with the Stars hosted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
Colbert going full-on anti-Trump in the show’s opening minutes. He even played a clip from a debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Cracks a joke about how the Emmys are decided by the popular vote.
SEAN SPICER SHOWS UP: “This will be the largest Emmy audience in the world!”
— Pret-a-Reporter (@pretareporter) September 18, 2017
We’ll have the full, absolutely bewildering video up from Colbert’s monologue as soon as it’s available, along with a full breakdown. Stay tuned.
7:55 p.m. – The stars are headed in to the theater with five minutes to go until showtime. Reminder: Stephen Colbert is expected to be at least partially nude during his opening monologue, which may or may not be a musical number. Those watching with small children might want to wait until after the monologue is over to turn it on. Guess we’ll find out in five minutes.
7:44 p.m. – More photos of stars arriving on the red carpet. Stay tuned after the show for a Best and Worst Dressed list from Breitbart’s own John Binder.
7:26 p.m. – Half-hour until showtime. Breitbart News is watching, so you don’t have to. Stick around for updates.
6:47 p.m. – The stars are out in full force on the red carpet, and some are using their wardrobe to make political statements. Celebrities like Kumail Nanjiani, Padma Lakshmi, and Matt Walsh are sporting blue ribbons in support of the ACLU, which has fought hard against President Trump’s immigration agenda.
Read the full story from Breitbart’s Ben Kew here.
— Woneeduh (@ThatGirlinTx) September 17, 2017
— Carly Mallenbaum (@ThatGirlCarly) September 17, 2017
Here’s more red-carpet looks from the night’s stars and nominees:
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum