‘Virtual’ Emmys open with cardboard cutouts, remote video calls due to COVID-19

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Host Jimmy Kimmel opened the Emmys on Sunday from an empty Los Angeles theater filled with cardboard cutouts of the nominees, marking the start of Hollywood’s first major COVID-era award show.

“Hello and welcome to the pand-Emmys,” said Kimmel, as producers cut to archive footage of a star-studded audience, before revealing the venue’s empty seats.

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Nominees for the 72nd Emmys – television’s version of the Oscars – are beaming in remotely from their homes, with only a handful of special guest presenters appearing in-person including Jennifer Aniston.

After last year’s hostless Emmys, Kimmel joked: “You can’t have a virus without a host.”

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The first prize of the night, best actress in a comedy series, went to Catherine O’Hara for “Schitt’s Creek,” who was handed her award by a presenter in a hazmat suit at a socially distanced event for the show’s cast in Toronto.

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