The winners, losers, snubs and successes of the Emmys 2020

Rounding up the highs and lows of the socially distanced awards show

After the MTV VMAs last month, we’re now deep into the “new normal” of socially distanced awards shows – welcome! Where the music ceremony felt like a futuristic gathering, tonight’s (September 20) Emmys 2020 TV celebration was more like one long Zoom meeting that drags on forever. There were some good bits, but also some very bad bits. Let’s round-up all the winners, losers, snubs and successes of this year’s Emmys below and check out the full list of trophy-touting champs here.

The winners

Schitt’s Creek


Our time with the Rose family may be over but we were able to be reunited with them one last time for an emotional start to the Emmys 2020. The cast and crew took a clean sweep of the first seven awards of the night, creator and star Daniel Levy’s reactions getting more and more incredulous with each time the show’s name was called. It was heartwarming and well-deserved for one of the best series to hit TV in recent years and also set a new record for the most wins for a comedy show for one season.


Crowned victorious in the Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series for Euphoria, Zendaya became the youngest ever winner in that category tonight at 24. Given her phenomenal performance in that part, it’s no wonder. Her portrayal of Rue was emotional, realistic and compelling and this is the recognition she deserves. Bring on season two.

The losers

Jimmy Kimmel and his terrible jokes


There’s always something faintly ridiculous about awards shows – all these rich, talented people gathering in one room to congratulate one another on being great – but there can still be some value to them. Done right, they can provide a little moral of escapism into a world where everything is good and everyone is happy.

Of course, this is 2020 and thus we’re apparently not allowed such a night in this calendar year. At least, we didn’t get it in the Emmys, during which host Jimmy Kimmel was tragically unfunny and coronavirus gags just kept on coming as a constant reminder of the unprecedented hell we’re living through. Even when Kimmel veered off that topic, though, he constantly misfired – not least when he cracked a joke about reporting British late night host John Oliver to ICE.

The snubs

Pretty much everyone bar Schitt’s Creek, Succession and Watchmen

Despite being nominated multiple times, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel picked up no trophies, while everyone’s favourite hot-and-heavy quarantine watch Normal People also went home empty-handed. It would have been nice to see more variety in the winners and some smaller shows getting some wins – Netflix’s limited series Unbelievable, for one, was a powerful and painful watch that deserved at least one of its four nominations to turn into a victory.

The successes

The unrelenting shitshow of 2020

It goes without saying that 2020 will already go down as the year when we weren’t allowed nice things like, say, human contact or a day free of thinking about our own mortality, but the Emmys were yet more proof that that is true.

Want to see Jennifer Aniston open an envelope with a winner’s name on without first having to go through Jimmy Kimmel doing a bit about disinfecting things? You can’t. Kimmel will set fire to the envelope, make the TV icon put it out with a fire extinguisher and then watch the flames keep returning. It will be a very on the nose metaphor for our year and it will not be funny in the slightest.

Want to watch an awards ceremony with an arena full of celebrities all sat shoulder-to-shoulder, not a face mask in sight? Again, not possible – or at least not without having a full-blown panic attack first. The Emmys began with Kimmel on stage at LA’s Staples Center facing rows and rows of famous faces – scenes which sent many on Twitter scurrying to send confused tweets asking: “Wait… is the audience real?”

Of course, it was all just some clever editing, as Kimmel shortly revealed. But, if you were looking for a test to see just how you would respond to seeing a crowded room post-corona, this was a good barometer. A big thank you to 2020 and to the Emmys – no, really, thank you so much – for reminding us yet again nothing is normal anymore.