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Emmys 2018: how to watch the awards ceremony online

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Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

The 70th annual Emmy Awards, where the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences gets together to give out the biggest awards in TV, will be televised tonight. Planning on tuning in? Here’s everything you need to know:

When are the Emmys?

The Emmys will take place on September 17th, on Monday rather than the usual Sunday night. (NBC’s Sunday Night Football took precedence last night.) The show starts at 8PM ET / 5PM PT on NBC at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Pre-show red carpet coverage will start two hours earlier at 6PM ET / 3PM PT.

How do I watch the Emmys?

It’s NBC’s turn to broadcast the ceremony this year, which means the easiest way to watch the show will be to head over to your local NBC affiliate (channel 4 in NYC and the LA / Hollywood area), and you’re all set!

The direct stream will also be the closest to real time, so you’ll probably know results faster than anyone else who isn’t there in person. That might be important if you’re worried about spoilers on social media.

Let me rephrase: how do I watch the Emmys online?

Right, it’s 2018 and people are abandoning cable entirely. Fortunately, the Emmys are streaming on the internet, too, with a couple of caveats:

NBC will live stream the show through both its website and app — but you’ll need a cable login to watch. Assuming you’ve got a family member / roommate / friend to mooch from, that should cover you for almost every phone, tablet, set-top box, and console under the sun.

No cable login? No problem: over-the-top streaming services like DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Fubo TV, and Hulu’s live TV service all offer NBC in some areas. If you live in one of those areas (make sure to check your specific service’s local listings first) you’ll be able to stream NBC and the Emmys on Monday night.

Most of those services also offer a free trial subscription, so if you really want to watch the Emmys for free (and haven’t burned all your trials yet on other big events), that’s also a decent option.

What’s up for awards?

This year, all eyes will be on Netflix, which garnered 112 total nominations, beating out HBO with the most nominations for the first time in 18 years. The Crown (with 13 total nominations), the Western miniseries Godless (12), and Stranger Things (also 12) lead the pack for the streaming service.

Expect strong showings from HBO’s Game of Thrones (with 22 nods) and Westworld (21), Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (20), and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (18) and Atlanta (16).

Who’s hosting?

Colin Jost and Michael Che of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” will take over hosting duties this year. It’s the first time either of them has hosted the show before. Much like with the Oscars and Golden Globes earlier this year, anticipation for the show has revolved around how and whether the hosts will address contentious current events that have touched the entertainment industry. The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements are likely to be part of the conversation, along with the current state of American politics.

As noted by Vox, Jost and Che have both commented in various interviews that they’d like to make the show “less political than normal,” while also saying they “might have to tell a joke about President Pence,” depending on the circumstances. So maybe they’ll limit themselves to three hours of forced jokes about cord-cutters, Westworld nudity, and Game of Thrones dragons. Anything could happen!