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Emmys night: a few fun facts

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The 70th annual Emmy awards take place on Monday, with usual favorites “Game of Thrones,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” in the hunt for more hardware.

Here are some fun facts, figures and quirky details about the gala at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars:

Monday is hardly a traditional night for Hollywood parties, but NBC — which has the broadcast rights to the annual Emmys gala — shifted it from Sunday night to avoid a clash with its popular National Football League telecast.

The last time the Emmys occurred on a Monday was in 2014.

Some industry watchers say the switch could sink already low ratings for the event, as TV fans stray from the long ceremony in favor of checking winners and watching key moments on social media.

Comedy stalwart “SNL” broke its own record for the most nominations for a single program — with the 21 nods it snapped up this year, the long-running NBC late night laugh fest now has an overall total of 252.

The 2018 slate of contenders includes a number of first-time nominees, among them pop stars (Ricky Martin, Sara Bareilles), Oscar winners (Penelope Cruz) and even a onetime Doctor Who (Matt Smith, “The Crown”.)

A week before the main event, the Television Academy handed out dozens of awards in secondary categories — the so-called Creative Arts Emmys for technical and artistic achievement.

NBC’s musical “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” raked in five awards, including one for best live variety special.

That honor allowed singer John Legend and theater giants Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to claim a rare title — all three now have coveted EGOT status, with individual Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony wins.

The trio served as executive producers on the musical, in which Legend starred as Jesus. He is also up for an Emmy for best actor in a limited series or movie, an award to be presented at the main event on Monday.

Only 12 people had achieved the feat before them, including Hollywood legend Mel Brooks, American composer Richard Rodgers, and actresses Whoopi Goldberg, Rita Moreno and Audrey Hepburn.

“So amazed to be in such rarefied air. #EGOT,” tweeted Legend, the first black man to achieve the lofty goal.

Allison Janney could tie Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Cloris Leachman for most Emmys won by a female performer at eight if she earns another trophy Monday for her role as a recovering alcoholic on comedy “Mom.”

The Fonz himself, veteran actor Henry Winkler, could take home his first Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy for his work on HBO’s caustic tale of a hit man-turned-actor, “Barry.”

And Sandra Oh, the longtime “Grey’s Anatomy” star, could make history if she wins as best lead actress in a drama for BBC America’s “Killing Eve” — in July, she was the first woman of Asian descent nominated in a lead actress category, drama or comedy.

“SNL” regulars Colin Jost and Michael Che got the call from their home network NBC to host this year’s Emmys. It doesn’t hurt that “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels is producing the show for the first time in 30 years.

Jost and Che host the faux “Weekend Update” newscast on “SNL” — so viewers should expect a lot of lightning-quick gags and off-the-cuff remarks.

The Emmys begin at 5:00 pm Monday in Los Angeles (0000 GMT Tuesday).

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