The 71st Primetime Emmys on Sunday night will surprisingly feel like the Oscars did early this year. The show does not feature a host, following in the footsteps of the Oscars in February. While it appears that this could be just piggy-backing on the surprising success of the previous awards show, Fox is going without a host simply because they did not have an obvious star to pick for the job.
When ABC, NBC and CBS have the Emmys, it's easy. They can just use the comedians who host their late night talk shows as hosts for the awards ceremony. Fox has a problem, as the network does not have late night shows. The last time Fox had the ceremony, back in 2015, they picked Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg. However, that option was not available, since Fox canceled the show, which was subsequently revived by NBC.
Fox also picked Glee star Jane Lynch for the 2011 ceremony and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest for the 2007 ceremony.
This year is only the fourth time in Emmys history there will be no host, and the first time since 2003, when the show aired on Fox. The other host-less ceremonies were in 1975 (CBS) and in 1998 (NBC).
As The New York Times notes, the producers also streamlined the show in other areas. There will be no orchestra at the Microsoft Theater, with piped-in pop songs taking its place. Comedian Thomas Lennon, who recently appeared on Fox in Lethal Weapon, will also provide a commentary when winners get to the stage.
The Oscars were forced to go without a host earlier this year when comedian Kevin Hart was fired when homophobic jokes he made on Twitter resurfaced. The show producers never found a replacement, and the show actually saw ratings increase as almost 30 million viewers tuned in.
This year also marks the final Emmys ceremony where Game of Thrones will be a player. The show earned 14 nominations, and 18 nominations in Creative Arts Awards categories, setting the record for most overall nominations for a single season at 32. Its final season is up for Outstanding Drama Series, against Bodyguard, Killing Eve, Better Call Saul, Ozark, Pose, Succession and This Is Us.
Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams were all nominated or their GoT performances.
The nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series are Barry, Fleabag, The Good Place, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Russian Doll, Schitt's Creek and Veep.
Chernobyl, Escape at Dannemora, Fosse/Verdon, Sharp Objects and When They See Us were nominated for Outstanding Limited Series.
The 2019 Primetime Emmys kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
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