Bryan Cranston reminds us "television has never been this damn good"
"What the hell was that?"
That's what "Black-ish" Anthony Anderson wondered after Homer Simpson opened this year's Emmy Awards ceremony only to have a piano fall on him.
Anderson stepped in to offer some comic relief with a schtick which included him and his mom grabbing a few awards backstage to stuff in her purse.
"Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston then came on to pay homage to the state of current TV "where we laugh with the Dunphys and we cry with the Pearsons."
"Television has never been bigger, television has never mattered more and television has never been this damn good," Cranston said.
That segued into Ben Stiller with fellow funny man and living legend Bob Newhart.
Way to open strong Emmys.
8:00 p.m. ET, September 22, 2019
This year's nominees include "This is Us" and "Veep"
From CNN's Sandra Gonzalez
In the drama race, it's the Seven Kingdoms versus spies as "Game of Thrones" and "Killing Eve" spar, with the odds on the former to claim the top prize. They are joined in the category by "Succession," "Better Call Saul," "Ozark," "Bodyguard," "Pose," and "This is Us."
In comedy, eyes are on "Veep" to close out its run with one more win, unless "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," the buzzy "Fleabag," or "Barry" swoop in. "The Good Place," "Russian Doll," and "Schitt's Creek" are also nominated.
Leachman and Dreyfus both currently have eight statues to their name for individual performances. Dreyfus has an additional three statues for her work as an executive producer on "Veep."
In 2017, Louis-Dreyfus made history becoming the first actress to take home the best actress in a comedy award six times in a row for the same role, breaking a record set by Candice Bergen during her "Murphy Brown" years.
Since its first season, "Veep" has won 17 Emmys and been nominated 68 times, including this year's nine nominations.
7:49 p.m. ET, September 22, 2019
Here are some predictions for tonight's Emmy Awards
From CNN's Brian Lowry
The Emmy Awards will likely feature plenty of big names and nostalgia. But the safest bet in handicapping the night might be that no matter who wins in key categories, there will be fewer viewers watching, perhaps than ever before.
Like the Oscars and other major award shows, tune-in for the Emmys has been fairly steadily declining, amid a plethora of similar showcases and viewing options. And a confluence of events could depress ratings further, after last year's telecast on NBC posted a record-low 10.2 million viewers, per Nielsen data.
The Emmys rotate among the major networks, and this year will air on Fox. The Fox telecast has traditionally been the lowest-rated among the four broadcasters, and won't be helped this year by airing opposite the Los Angeles Rams vs. Cleveland on NBC's "Sunday Night Football."
Taking those factors into account, it's possible the awards could dip below 10 million viewers. As for what victories that audience will see, there's a fair amount of suspense in several key categories, and particularly fierce competition in most, reflecting the abundance of worthy nominees.
So beyond the ratings scorecard, what will likely win, and what should? Here's a breakdown:
DRAMA SERIES.Will win: "Game of Thrones." Should win: "Succession."
COMEDY SERIES.Will win: "Veep." Should win: "Barry."
LIMITED SERIES. Will win: "When They See Us." Should win: "Chernobyl."
MOVIE. Will win/should win: "Deadwood: The Movie."
ACTOR/ACTRESS, DRAMA. Will win: Jason Bateman ("Ozark"), Sandra Oh ("Killing Eve"). Should win: Bob Oedenkirk ("Better Call Saul"), Oh.
ACTOR/ACTRESS, COMEDY.Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep"), Bill Hader ("Barry"). Should win: Phoebe Waller-Bridge ("Fleabag"), Hader.
ACTOR/ACTRESS, MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES.Will win/should win: Patricia Arquette ("Escape at Dannemora"), Mahershala Ali ("True Detective").
VARIETY/TALK SERIES.Will win: "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver." Should win: "Late Show With Stephen Colbert."
VARIETY SKETCH SERIES. Will win: "Saturday Night Live." Should win: "Who is America?"
7:32 p.m. ET, September 22, 2019
These celebrities are presenting at tonight's show
While this year's Emmy Awards will be host-less, there will be a whole roster of stars presenting tonight.
The casts of HBO's "Veep" and "Game of Thrones," along with the cast of "Keeping up with the Kardashians," will be on stage.
Adam Devine is expected to present a musical tribute to variety programming. Halsey is also set to take the stage for a performance to accompany the In Memoriam tribute.
Here's a look at some of tonight's presenters:
The cast of "Veep"
The cast of "Game of Thrones"
Cedric the Entertainer
Taraji P. Henson
Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner
7:19 p.m. ET, September 22, 2019
What the stars are wearing at this year's Emmy Awards
The cast of "Saturday Night Live," Pose's Indya Moore and other celebrities have arrived at the Microsoft Theater at LA Live for tonight's 71st Emmy Awards.
The show, which will air live on Fox starting at 8 p.m. ET, is expected to run three hours.
Here's a look at what the stars are wearing tonight:
Ryan Michelle Bathe and Sterling K. Brown
Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, and Melissa Villaseñor
The cast of "Schitt's Creek"
The cast and crew of "RuPaul's Drag Race"
7:09 p.m. ET, September 22, 2019
The carpet at this year's Emmys is purple
Celebrities have begun to make their way down the Emmy Awards' carpet at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
It's hard to miss this year's carpet because it's purple.
7:01 p.m. ET, September 22, 2019
How stars are getting ready for the Emmys
Hollywood stars gave their fans a preview of their red carpet routine hours before tonight's 71st Emmy Awards.
Tracee Ellis Ross took to Instagram to share a video of her pre-award show routine. Kelly Osborne gave a sneak peak of her purple hair and makeup.
Tracee Ellis Ross
6:57 p.m. ET, September 22, 2019
"Game of Thrones" set a record with 32 nominations
The HBO hit "Game of Thrones" set a new record this year for most nominations earned in a single year by any drama series. The show earned 32 nominations.
GOT already holds the record as the most Emmy-winning primetime series in history with 42. (HBO and CNN share parent company WarnerMedia.)
The show already amassed 10 wins — in categories that include visual effects, music, editing and makeup— at the Creative Arts Emmys this year. GOT's total stand at 57.
"Thrones" is already the most-honored series of all time, and the most-nominated drama, ranking behind only "Saturday Night Live" — which has the benefit of having been around for more than 40 years — among programs on the latter score.