By: Eammon Jacobs


It’s been an unprecedented year for the entertainment world, but junkets, premieres and awards shows are slowly getting back on track with social distancing measures in place, of course. The 2021 Primetime Emmys are making a cautious return to the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles to shine a spotlight on some of the best TV shows that gripped audiences in the last 12 months.

TV and Film are just some of the things that have provided escapism for millions of viewers in an unusual year, and the awards will recognise the best of the bunch. Cedric the Entertainer is hosting the ceremony this year in front of a smaller audience of celebrities who will present awards (and receive them!) as other nominees appear virtually.

There’s been some stunning shows on our screens in the last year, and a select few have swept up the nominations including Netflix’s royal prestige drama The Crown, the wholesome Ted Lasso, and Marvel Studios’ first live-action series - WandaVision. Also up for a number of awards is Hacks, which features a brilliant performance from Jean Smart, and Michaela Coel’s fearless drama I May Destroy You.

Read on for everything you need to know about the 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards, how to watch the ceremony, and what time the show airs in the UK.

When are the Emmys 2021?

The Emmys will be filmed live from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater on Sunday 18th September, with those in the US able to tune into CBS from 8pm EST.

The ceremony is expected to last three hours, with various stars dropping by to hand out the 23 awards.

What time are the Emmys 2021?

Since the Emmys Ceremony is taking place in Los Angeles on the West Coast, there’s an unfortunate time difference for UK audiences who want to watch along live to support their favourite shows. It starts at 1am BST and will run till around 4am BST as Cedric and a horde of celebs hand out 23 awards.

A condensed version of the ceremony will air for two hours on Sky Max on Monday 20th September at 10.50pm, ending at 12.50am in the UK. But there’s no doubt that clips, interviews, and acceptance speeches will make their way to social media well before the ceremony ends on Sunday night.

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Are the Emmys virtual?

The 2020 Primetime Emmys stuck to COVID-19 guidelines last year and kept the awards ceremony strictly virtual, as nominees appeared via satellite link rather than spending the night at the prestigious black-tie event. But as vaccination numbers are on the rise and some semblance of normality is returning, the 2021 Emmys ceremony will feature a limited audience made up of a select amount of attendees.

However, some nominees and winners will appear virtually via an online video which, let’s face it, will probably be a Zoom call. So the event will probably feature a cautious mix of virtual and in-person speeches from the winners.

How to watch the Emmys

If you’re a UK-based Emmys fan who’s hoping to watch the 2021 Emmys as the show happens, then you’ll be able to watch an early morning livestream on the Emmys website, Facebook page or YouTube channel, which is what happened last year.

Don’t worry if you’re not planning on staying up all night, because the Emmys will be broadcast on Sky Max in the UK on Monday evening at 10.50pm. But if you don’t have a Sky package, the channel is available through Now TV’s Entertainment subscription, which costs £9.99 a month - and of course you’ll get access to plenty of other channels and TV boxsets through the service.

Last year, Sky One aired the ceremony the following day – although Sky One has closed down and has been replaced by two new channels, Sky Showcase and Sky Max.

Who is hosting the Emmys 2021?

Cedric the Entertainer is set to host the Emmys this year, with the comedian and actor making his first appearance at the awards as a host.

Now best known for starring in CBS sitcom The Neighbourhood, Cedric has appeared in The Last O.G., Master of None, Power, The Boondocks and Why Him. He’s also hosted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in the US as well as Cedric’s Barber Battle, Cedric the Entertainer Presents and The Greatest #StayAtHome Videos.

“Since I was a little boy huddled up next to my grandmother, television has always been my reliable friend, so it is an enormous honour for me to host this year’s Emmy Awards,” he said in a statement.

“Throughout the roller-coaster of a year that we have all lived through, television has helped us stay connected as a society like never before. It not only entertained us, but as it always has, it helped to open our eyes, educate us, and hopefully brought about a better understanding of who we are as a people. I can’t wait to take the stage to celebrate all of the great shows and performances that made us laugh, cry, dance and sing over the past year.”

The last few years have seen the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, SNL’s Michael Che and Colin Jost, Stephen Colbert, Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Andy Samberg, Seth Meyers and Glee’s Jane Lynch host the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Emmy nominations 2021

The nominees for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards were announced at the beginning of July, with Netflix’s The Crown and Disney Plus series The Mandalorian leading the way with 24 nominations each.

WandaVision came in a close second for most-nominated series with 23 nominations, while The Handmaid’s Tale racked up 21 nods, Saturday Night Live got 21 nominations and Ted Lasso is in the running for 20 awards.

Hamilton, WandaVision, Mare of Easttown, Hacks, I May Destroy You, Lovecraft Country and The Queen’s Gambit also received a number of nominations – you can check out the full list on our 2021 Emmy nominations page.


The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards take place on Sunday 19th September. Find something to watch tonight with our TV Guide.