The 2018 Emmy Awards are airing Monday night on NBC beginning at 7:30 PM. How can you remember they're on NBC, should you forget? Well, for one thing, the hosts are Saturday Night Live cast members and Weekend Update co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che, two guys who fit more into the category of "the Emmys will be good for them" than into the category of "they will be good for the Emmys."
But whether or not you pay any attention to the hosts, it should be a fun evening to watch established dramas slug it out while fresh comedies try to elbow their way in. There are seven shows in the running for outstanding drama series including The Handmaid's Tale (last year's winner), Game of Thrones (won the two years before that), This Is Us (holding down the fort for broadcast networks for the second year in a row), The Americans (which wrapped up its acclaimed run this year) and repeat nominees from 2017 The Crown, Stranger Things, and Westworld. Not one new show was nominated, and there are a lot of very heavy hitters in the category.
The comedy side, which often changes very slowly, is a lot more exciting in terms of new entries. Of the eight nominees, three are new shows: Glow, Barry and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The five others — Silicon Valley, Atlanta, Black-ish, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Curb Your Enthusiasm — have never won. Except for Curb Your Enthusiasm, which before this cycle hadn't had a new season since 2011, they've all been shut out by the one-two punch of Modern Family winning from 2010-2014 and then Veep winning in 2015-2017.
But both of those shows are out of the running this year: Veep took a season off and isn't eligible, while Modern Family went without a nomination for the first time in its long run. What that means is that you are guaranteed an outstanding comedy series winner that's never won before, and a shakeup to a category that's long tended to pick a winner it likes and go with it. (The same goes for the lead actress in a comedy category, where the great Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who's won six times in a row, is out of the running, which opens the door for someone like Rachel Brosnahan of Mrs. Maisel or Tracee Ellis Ross of Black-ish.)
So there will be plenty of drama (and comedy!) to watch out for, and plenty of opportunities for fresh faces. There will also be gowns — watch or stream the red carpet show on E! at 6 p.m. if that's your kind of thing — and speeches, surprising losses and unbelievable wins. At least we hope there will be, because that's the best part. And we'll be following on Twitter: you can follow me, Stephen Thompson, Glen Weldon and Eric Deggans as we put our feet up to see what happens.
And whatever does happen, we'll be here on Tuesday with a wrap-up of everything you need to know, and you'll be able to hear an episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour on Tuesday morning where we tell you what you missed Monday night.