Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer speaks to the press at the 73rd Emmy Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
Television Academy and Emmy Awards sponsor Kia America’s all-new EV6 all-electric SUV is showcased at the 73rd Emmy Awards Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
Members of the press and the Television Academy chat at the 73rd Emmy Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma greets Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer at the 73rd Emmy Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California.
Cedric The Entertainer, Emmy Awards telecast host, Reginald Hudlin, 73rd Emmys telecast Executive Producer, Frank Scherma, Chairman & CEO of the Television Academy, and Ian Stewart, 73rd Emmys telecast Executive Producer, at the 73rd Emmy Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California.
Charles Joly and Ketel One showcase this year’s classic Emmy cocktails at the Ketel One branded bar at the 73rd Emmy Awards Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
Eric Greenspan, Celebrity Chef from Guy’s Grocery Games, at the 73rd Emmy Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California.
Sherry Yard, Celebrity Chef from MasterChef Legends, at the 73rd Emmy Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
The FIJI branded bar served Earth’s finest water at the 73rd Emmy Awards Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
Franciacorta, the official sparkling wine of the Emmy Awards Season is poured at the 73rd Emmy Awards Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
A selection of the gifts offered to presenters and nominees in this year's giving suite at the 73rd Emmy Awards Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
Guests enjoyed the varietal wines served by the Television Academy’s official Wine Partner Sterling Vineyards at their branded bar during the 73rd Emmy Awards Press Preview event at the Television Academy Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 in North Hollywood, California
The Emmys will be different in 2021, but some things will remain the same — or close to it.
While attendance will be limited at the Sunday, September 19, ceremony, and the traditional Governors Ball will not be held this year (both due to Covid-19 precautions), that doesn't mean there haven't been ample opportunities for celebrating the nominees before the 73rd Emmy Awards telecast on CBS.
At a pre-Emmys press event on the Television Academy plaza on the morning of September 15, this year's host, Cedric the Entertainer, promised that the festive vibe would continue during the show, too.
"It's going to be a fun night," said Cedric, dressed dapperly, as usual, in a burgundy suit and matching hat. Joking that attendees would be wearing costumes from The Masked Singer and would not reveal themselves until the end of the night, he added, "We're going to elevate the game a little bit."
Joining Cedric were executive producers Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart, who put together last year's virtual Emmys and are back again, armed with experience and enthusiasm.
"We had a fabulous time last year, and we're happy to be back to do it this year with a live audience," Hudlin said. Noting that this year's guests will be seated at round tables as opposed to theater-style seating, Stewart noted, "It's not just having the limited audience back, but for some in the industry, it's the first time getting to see each other — in some cases, in two years."
This season's celebrating will be done safely, with all attendees at Academy events required to provide proof of vaccination. In addition, guests at the Emmys — and everyone working at the Creative Arts shows and the telecast — must have had a negative Covid test within 48 hours of the ceremonies.
The revelry kicked off in the weeks leading up to the Emmys with a series of peer group receptions that allowed nominees to connect in a more intimate atmosphere. As befitting an Emmys soirée of any size, food and drink were not only plentiful but well-chosen. Several examples were on display at the press event.
Eric Greenspan, a celebrity chef and star of Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games, whipped up a take on the grilled cheese sandwiches for which he's known. "Grilled cheese is an amazing medium," Greenspan said. "Everybody can enjoy it. And what's fun about the Emmys, and what's fun about the events that we did, was that we had nominees [from all categories], across the board. So I wanted something that had a broad appeal. And I think that everybody needs a little bit of comfort these days."
A similar thought went into the creations of Sherry Yard, who starred in Fox's Master Chef Legends. "For me, anything on a stick is a party, and the Emmys are the ultimate party," Yard said of her almond flour chocolate cookie pops and baked Alaska pops. "Being involved myself with television as long as I have, it's all about having fun and sharing."
Gianmario Villa of Franciacorta wines, which were served at the pre-Emmys receptions, said the brand's sparkling wines will give guests a chance to appreciate life the way Italians do. "If you're celebrating a special occasion, or if you want to treat yourself nicely one afternoon with your friends and family, an Italian opens a Franciacorta wine. It's a celebration of happiness and elegance."
Sterling Vineyards will also offer wines to every attendee at the show but will give winners a special treat — a wine bottle container with their name in artful calligraphy, courtesy of artist Ashley Taylor. "It's absolutely challenging," Taylor said of getting winners' names on the bottles in time for them to grab their gift before leaving with their awards. "It's like writing on a baseball."
This year's Emmys will even have its own specially crafted drinks — the Foraged Martini, the Reboot Royale and the Cafe Crimson. Ketel One mixologist Charles Joly took inspiration from television and the movies in creating the drinks. "Especially with the Reboot Royale, the Cosmopolitan is so tied in with television via Sex and the City, which is coming back this fall. And there's always been a martini in hand, as long as people have been in front of a camera."
In addition to wine and spirits, Fiji Water will be served on the red carpet and during the telecast to keep nominees and guests hydrated in the late-September heat.
Also on the red carpet will be People magazine, one of the few media outlets granted this exclusive access, with its Red Carpet Live: Emmy Awards 2021 coverage streaming on People TV, People.com, EW.com and EW's social platforms on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Another longtime Television Academy partner, United Airlines, continues its 22-year tradition as the official carrier of the Emmy statuettes, flying the prized statuettes from their Chicago manufacturer to the Los Angeles ceremonies.”
The Emmys even have an official car: the EV6, a new electric vehicle from Kia America due out in 2022. Explaining why the brand introduced the new model at the Emmys, Kia America's Head of Corporate Communications, James Bell said, "We love the spirit of innovation that's celebrated here. We're testing new lines, testing new boundaries, finding new audiences, that whole thing that the show is going to celebrate. So, we thought it was a great venue to introduce our brand."
As in previous years, presenters and nominees will receive gifts — though these also have the benefit of giving back to the Television Academy Foundation and its renowned educational initiatives, which help to launch careers — and the next generation of Emmy winners.
"It's not a gifting suite, it's a Giving Suite," said Jodi Delaney, Executive Director of the Academy Foundation. "What we're about is providing opportunities to students who would not normally have access to the industry through our internship program, the College Television Awards and Faculty Seminar. There are five nominees this year who were former interns of ours — which makes our hearts sing, to be honest."
Even the gifts offered through Backstage Creations give back, including sunglasses by Genusee made of recycled plastic water bottles in Flint, Michigan. "I believe about 80 percent of the businesses contributing to this are women-owned," Delaney added.
Other gifts include an Agni Women's Health Box of bioavailable foods and teas; a subscription to Calm; fragrances by Black-owned Empiria Fragrances; G-Labs U.K. body oil and RFID Card; HP Sprocket Studio photo printer; Minty+ReliePH product; the book Misfits, by Michaela Coel, a multi-Emmy nominee this year for HBO's I Will Destroy You; a Never Go Alone face mask; Nu Skin LumiSpa facial massage device; artisanal Petrova chocolates; Prospero Tequila Blanco; Real Fruit Body whipped body cream; Rock n Rose Aromas candles; SkinnyPop popcorn; TheraCane Trigger Point Massager; Tiber River product package; and Two Chicks cocktails. Also included are stays in ESPACIO Waikiki, Four Seasons Resort Nevis in the West Indies, and Bocas Bali environmentally friendly resort in Panama.
Despite the differences in this year's Emmys, one element definitely has stayed the same — a love of television.
"This is celebrating television," Cedric the Entertainer said. "What I feel is that television has been the winner of all things."
Of course, some might say that about the Emmys every year.