LOS ANGELES - Hollywood stars gathered on Monday to toast the best of television at the annual Emmy awards, where back-stabbing drama Succession will battle South Korean sensation Squid Game for the top prize.
The two are competing for the best drama series trophy at the red-carpet ceremony that will be broadcast live on Comcast’s NBC network and streamed on Peacock.
Longtime Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson will host the event in downtown Los Angeles.
Ted Lasso star and nominee Hannah Waddingham arrived on the red carpet wearing a strapless pink dress with a full skirt that hid white tennis shoes with glitter on top. Issa Rae, a nominee for Insecure, chose a long black-and-white dress with spaghetti straps.
Henry Winkler said he wore his lucky yellow tie, the same one he donned in 2018 when he won a supporting actor Emmy for playing an acting coach on Barry. Winkler is in contention for the same award on Monday.
Host Thompson promised “just a good time”.
“We’re going to open with a bang. I think we’ve got great presenters, and some surprises in there,” he said on the red carpet.
The competition for trophies is tough, according to awards experts, with several shows and stars back in the running after Covid-related filming disruptions kept them away last year.
“We’re seeing a lot of categories with contenders who have been mainstays for years, and they’re competing against each other,” said Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief Patrick Gomez.
Succession, an HBO series starring Brian Cox as the patriarch of a family jockeying for control of a media dynasty, is a favorite for best drama after racking up a leading 25 nominations. It won the award in 2020.
Newcomer Squid Game could pull off a win, however, and if so it would make history as the first non-English language programme to claim a series Emmy. The show about life-or-death contests offering the possibility of riches became a global phenomenon when it debuted on Netflix Inc a year ago.
But do not rule out a surprise, awards experts said.
Apple TV+ workplace thriller Severance has generated recent buzz in Hollywood. Other competitors include Netflix’s Ozark and AMC’s Better Call Saul, which voters might want to honour for their final seasons.
In the comedy race, Apple TV+ feel-good series Ted Lasso is back for more after being named best comedy last year. Its rivals include Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building, starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez as neighbours who become true-crime podcasters, and ABC’s Abbott Elementary, about teachers at a predominantly black school in Philadelphia.
Short and Martin are competing against each other for best comedy actor, along with Lasso star Jason Sudeikis. Contenders for lead comedy actress include Quinta Brunson, the 32-year-old creator and star of Abbott Elementary, Insecure star Issa Rae, and Jean Smart of Hacks. REUTERS