The Emmy Awards kicked off on Sunday night (September 19) with a musical ode to television and late rapper Biz Markie performed by host Cedric the Entertainer and several celebrity guests.
Joined by LL Cool J and Lil Dicky as well as actress Rita Wilson, Billy Porter and the cast of “Hamilton”, the Emmys host performed an adapted version of Biz Markie’s 80s hit “Just a Friend”.
Concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus forced Sunday’s ceremony to move to an outdoor tent, with a reduced guest list. Vaccinations, testing and masks are mandatory when celebrities are not on camera.
“The Crown” is widely expected to clinch its first best drama series Emmy, as well as trophies for the actors who played Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and a young Princess Diana (newcomer Emma Corrin).
“Ted Lasso,” about a lovable American coach played by Jason Sudeikis navigating the idiosyncrasies of English soccer and society, is also expected to take home multiple awards for its mostly British cast after winning hearts with its optimism and sugary treats.
Other leading best drama series contenders include dystopian saga “The Handmaid’s Tale,” sci-fi favorite “The Mandalorian” featuring the lovable Baby Yoda and period romance “Bridgerton.”
One of television’s most popular shows – 1990s comedy “Friends” – could make an Emmys comeback. The “Friends” reunion special that saw the six main actors reminisce earlier this year about their days playing 20Something New Yorkers is competing against the filmed version of Broadway musical “Hamilton” for best variety special.
(Production: Mindy Burrows)