What to Expect from This Year's Emmy Awards

From Jimmy Kimmel's jokes to Giuliana Rancic's fashion commentary, see why the Emmy's will be worth watching!

It's time to tune back into the Emmy's, America! Last year's ceremony brought in historically low ratings. But Hollywood types are always looking for ways to make it better. "What I wish is that you could drink," Amy Poehler told Jay Leno on Wednesday night. "The Golden Globes, everyone’s a little loose and back in the day the Emmy speeches were kinda angry and weepy because everyone was a little drunk, and I wish everyone can bring that back."

That's probably not going to happen. But it's still worth tuning in to the 64th Primetime Emmys, which airs this Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. ET (with red carpet shenanigans kicking off at 7 p.m.). For starters, there's the host. Last year, a confusing gaggle of reality show hosts led us through the award distribution. This year we'll have host Jimmy Kimmel to lighten things up. He can fall back on the monologue skills he polishes each weeknight on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Plus, he's planning some sort of…prank. And even in the unlikely event that Kimmel is boring, Ricky Gervais will be on hand as a presenter. Surely he could step in and rile things up if need be?

Another reason to watch: This year's Best Drama category is actually a horse race full of high-quality contenders. Mad Men is poised to win for the fifth year in a row, making Emmy history by besting four-time winners L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues and The West Wing. But it's not a lock. Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad have topped several TV critics' lists this year. And Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones both had incredibly strong seasons. Few TV insiders would begrudge them accolades, either. 

And while some Emmy wins are practically foregone conclusions (everybody seems to expect Modern Family to take Best Comedy), there are some possible upsets. In the Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series category, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart deserves to win a 10th award, but it's up against the also-good Jimmy Kimmel Live for the first time. And if Real Time With Bill Maher were to unexpectedly take the prize, Maher would end his record losing streak (29 nominations and no wins). Not that he wants to. "At this point, winning would only f--- things up," he told Deadline. "I'd lose my street cred." 

If nothing else, The Emmy Awards are a great backdrop for a party. You could get the Emmy-viewing shindig started as early as 5 p.m. ET, when Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic do their best to make an event out of the arrivals on E!'s Live From The Red Carpet. (Who's wearing whom?!) And remember that Seacrest got flour bombed at the last Oscars ceremony. Who knows what could happen here?

If only as a conversation starter for your cocktail sipping guests, the Emmy's are worth another shot! Click here for our Emmy predictions in the major categories.

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