And the Primetime Emmy Awards hosting job goes to … Cedric the Entertainer

'The Neighborhood' star guides the TV business' big night on CBS

Cedric the Entertainer

Cedric the Entertainer hoped to play to a traditional indoor-theater audience at the Primetime Emmy Awards, but he’s still presiding over television’s top honors.

The night before his CBS series “The Neighborhood” starts its fourth season, the actor-comedian does extra duty on the network by hosting the 73rd edition of the TV industry’s yearly honors Sunday, Sept. 19. Though the event still will originate from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theatre, it will be staged behind it on the outdoor Event Deck at L.A. Live, to allow for social distancing … with the limited number of attendees required to be vaccinated and to show a negative COVID-19 test.

“You have the first moments where you come out and do a monologue, and then you become a traffic cop,” Cedric reflects of serving as a first-time Emmy host, “but we want to keep people engaged and make sure they have a lot of fun. “We certainly know the rules of COVID, but we want to give the room just a little bit more of a feel of being invited to this super-exclusive party. That’s what I want to be the guide to.”

Cedric admits he “definitely had to catch up” on a lot of nominated shows to be fully ready for his Emmy job. “You see that list and you go, ‘Oh, man, I don’t even know half of these shows!’ I’ve been trying to dive into the shows I wanted to watch or heard other people speak highly of. I’ve been enjoying things like ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘The Kominsky Method’ in my free time, shows that resonate with me in some way. There’s just so much, man.” 

While cable and streaming outlets again lead the Emmy nominations by far this year — Netflix’s ‘The Crown” and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” are the shows tied for the most, with 24 each — Cedric is pleased to represent broadcast TV through his presence as host.

“I might poke the bear by talking about all these great broadcast shows that never get recognized,” he says. “Yeah, we plan on having a little fun with that.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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