Emmys 2017: A viewer’s guide to this Sunday’s award show

http://www.nydailynews.com//entertainment/tv/emmys-2017-viewer-guide-s
BYPeter Sblendorio
The Emmys air this Sunday on CBS.

This year's Emmy Awards could be packed with plot twists.

Returning heavyweights, new contenders and a few shows that have fallen just short in recent years make up a wide-open field of contenders poised to make some noise at this Sunday's annual primetime TV extravaganza.

Only adding to the drama is that last year's two big winners — the one-season "The People v. O.J. Simpson" and HBO's dominant "Game of Thrones" — are not on the ballot, presenting an opportunity for other deserving shows to take home the hardware.

Here's everything you need to know about the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Emmy Awards 2017 nominations announced

When and Where is it?

The glitzy ceremony kicks off at 8 p.m. ET this Sunday, Sept. 17 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

2017 Primetime Emmy nominees

The show airs on CBS, but those eager to dive into the award show action before it starts can tune into E! Network's red-carpet special beginning at 6 p.m.

It's the 10th consecutive year that the Emmys has taken place at the Microsoft Center, dating back to its first show there in 2008.

Who is hosting?

CBS late-night guru Stephen Colbert will host the Emmys for the first time on Sunday, following in the footsteps of ABC host Jimmy Kimmel, who emceed the affair last year.

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Colbert figures to make things interesting at the award show, considering he frequently provides witty — and often controversial — commentary regarding President Trump on his program "The Late Show."

Stephen Colbert hosts the show for the first time.

(John Paul Filo/CBS)

Political and social discussion has taken center stage at many of 2017's award shows thus far, including the Oscars and, last month, the MTV Video Music Awards.

Colbert has considerable history with the Emmys, considering his previous talk program, "The Colbert Report," won nine Emmys in as many years.

Who are the contenders?

Even though "Game of Thrones" isn't up for any awards after premiering after the Emmy cutoff, HBO is well represented. The network's latest buzzy program, "Westworld," is tied with "Saturday Night Live" for the most nominations with 22.

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Naturally, "Westworld" is up for the night's biggest honor in Outstanding Drama Series, but it faces steep competition against other nominees like "The Crown," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Stranger Things" and "This Is Us."

Of particular interest is the wildly popular "This Is Us," which airs on NBC and is the only broadcast network show to be nominated in the category. The series, which stars Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia, could become the first network show in 11 years to win the category. The last was Fox's "24" in 2006.

The other major show category of the night, Outstanding Comedy Series, features considerable diversity with "Atlanta," "Black-ish" and "Master of None" each among the contenders. To win the award, they'd need to overcome "Veep," which has won each of the last two years.

“This is Us” is up for best drama, which hasn’t been won by a network show in 11 years.

(NBC/Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Some Emmy awards in smaller categories have already been given out. Melissa McCarthy won Best Guest Actress for her recurring portrayal of Sean Spicer on "Saturday Night Live," while Dave Chappelle won for his performance hosting "SNL" last season.

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The NBC sketch comedy series looks to add to that haul on Sunday, as the show is up for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series while Alec Baldwin was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for his impersonation of Trump. Leslie Jones, Vanessa Bayer and Kate McKinnon are all up for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy as well.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the heavy favorite for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy for "Veep" — an award she has won the each of the last five years.

Who won last year?

The FX limited series "The People v. O.J Simpson" was the big winner last year, taking home five awards including Outstanding Lead Actor for Courtney B. Vance, and Outstanding Lead Actress for Sarah Paulson.

"Game of Thrones" won the coveted Outstanding Drama Series for a second time, while "Veep" and its Julia Louis-Dreyfus captured the major comedy awards, as mentioned earlier.

‘Atlanta,’ ‘Black-ish’ lead most diverse Emmy nominations

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won the last five Emmys for best actress in a comedy.

(MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS)

Jeffrey Tambor was named Oustanding Lead Actor in a Comedy for "Transparent," and Remi Malek won the same award in the drama category for "Mr. Robot."

Tatiana Maslany was named Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for "Orphan Black."

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