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Emmy Parties 2016: Inside the Celebrations For TV’s Biggest Night

Variety and Women in Film Emmy
Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

It’s glam galore as stars take in all of the Emmy Awards fare in Los Angeles. Variety will also be inside all of the invite-only parties with your favorite TV stars toasting to the past year in television. Here’s our report for the jam-packed week of Hollywood’s hottest bashes leading up to the main event on Sunday, Sept. 18. 

Audi Party:

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” lead Cuba Gooding Jr. slid into the very fresh and yet-to-be-opened Catch L.A. rooftop restaurant in West Hollywood Thursday night, chatting the night away until well after midnight. Jamie Foxx also made a surprise appearance in a closed section with “Empire” star Tasha Smith, who ultimately made a lap around the room with her pal Mary J. Blige. Meanwhile, other stars tended to their own onscreen crew. Cool kids of “Modern Family” Sarah Hyland, Nolan Gould, and Ariel Winter took photos together near the bar area as nominee Constance Zimmer hung out on the dance floor with “UnReal” season 2 bachelor B.J. Britt.

“I’m fanning out, I’m definitely fanning out right now,” “Stranger Things” actor Joe Keery told Variety once “Veep” nominee Tony Hale joined him on the carpet. The party boasted additional talents, including “Transparent” star Melora Hardin, and Elizabeth Banks.

“Blackish” actress Yara Shahidi appeared later in the evening, dancing to current hip-hop tunes with her mom/manager, while “Mr. Robot” standout Rami Malek spent the majority of his night enjoying the Hollywood skyline on the patio with friends.

Variety and Women in Film’s Emmy Nominee Celebration:

Hosted at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, Variety and Women in Film’s Emmy nomination reception on Friday attracted the likes of Julie Bowen, Amanda PeetFelicity HuffmanTatiana Maslany, Ryan Murphy and Jill Soloway.

Alia Shawkat and Donald Glover mingle at Variety and Women In Film’s Pre-Emmy Celebration. Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Television Industry Advocacy Awards Gala:

The Friday event, presented by TV Guide Magazine and TV Insider to benefit The Creative Coalition, took a moment to recognize celebrities not for themselves, but for their work around social issues. Honorees of the night included Emmy-nominated Jill Soloway, Tony Hale, Michael Kelly, Niecy Nash and Derek Hough. Reid Scott, Dean Norris and Sandra Lee were also there to support and present the awards, while Wendi McLendon-Covey of “The Goldbergs” hosted the evening at the Sunset Tower Hotel.

Although the spotlight wasn’t on the celebrities the room was still warm with heartfelt compliments and gratitude for how much work had been done. “All you gotta do is look around, somebody is always in need of something,” Nash said before she accepted her award on stage. Hough echoed the “Getting On” star when he stated, “In general we just need to look out for each other and not judge each other so much and get behind each other and humanity.”

Television Academy’s Performers Peer Group Celebration:

A number of Emmy nominees made the Pacific Design Center their first stop on Friday night, as the stars were toasted for their outstanding performances in television. “American Crime” star Regina King walked in ahead of her onscreen son, Trevor Jackson, while “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” standout Courtney B. Vance posed next to wife and “American Horror Story” vet Angela Bassett.

“I’ll be taking some pictures tonight, don’t worry!” Vance said in comparison to his appearance at last year’s fete–which consisted of him playing the background while Bassett soaked in her 2015 Emmy nod. “It’s a wonderful time. One minute they wanna talk to you, the next minute they don’t. I just go with the flow. I’m the same person I was last year today.”

 TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum and Television Academy governor Bob Bergen were also on hand to give kudos to the performers, writers, and producers in attendance.

Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party:

The Nightingale Plaza, which is appropriately wallpapered with filigree detailed nightingales, was packed wall to wall with some of the most recognizable talent on TV. While Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” and other electronic and eclectic hits accompanied the night, celebrities celebrated their own before the big reveal on Sunday.

“There’s nothing to be nervous about! The fact that there’s so much TV and it gets dwindled down to just six people — I’m happy to be one sixth of that equation,” said Tituss Burgess, who is nominated for his role on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” The star-studded guest list also included Shiri ApplebyBilly BrownRuPaulMatt Walsh and Robin Tunney.

Showtime Emmy Eve:

Showtime nominees including “Homeland’s” Claire Danes, “Shameless” star William H. Macy and “Ray Donovan” actor Jon Voight were on hand Saturday night at the premium cabler’s annual bash at the Sunset Tower Hotel, where British blues-rock band Jamie N Commons performed a soulful set. Guests snacked on mac and cheese, steak and Salt and Straw ice cream while cigarette girls dispensed cigars, candy and tequila to guests. Macy and wife (and fellow nominee) Felicity Huffman got a front row seat for the concert, while “Ray Donovan” guest actor Hank Azaria celebrated last week’s Creative Arts Emmy win by walking around brandishing a poker in a nod to his role as FBI agent Ed Cochran.

Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy at the Showtime Emmy Eve party. Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Comedy Central’s Pre-Emmy Party:

Comedy Central’s annual bash was filled with many funny-makers in the biz, as the Saturday night soiree hosted the network’s stars Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”), Natasha Leggero (“Another Period”), Nikki Glaser (“Not Safe with Nikki Glaser”), plus “Saturday Night Live’s” Cecily Strong and recent “SNL” alum Taran Killam who goofed around with comedian Fortune Feistier outside on the venue’s patio. Inside, guests feasted on breakfast-for-dinner with two fragrant chicken-and-waffle buffets, and got tipsy on Mai Tai jello shots – and if they were still hungry on the way out, grilled cheese, burgers and fries were ready to be taken away in to-go bags after midnight.

Governors Ball:

In a room full of Emmy-toting winners, the star of the Governor’s Ball was as unlikely a performer as one could imagine: Charo. The 65-year-old comic actress worked the room, seeming to be in all corners of it at all times doing her cuchi-cuchi dance.

Then there were those you expected to see — the night’s big winner, Ryan Murphy, whose “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” won five Emmys, the most of any show for the night; Louie Anderson, the evening’s biggest surprise, with his Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy for “Baskets.”

Hundreds of floral arrangements decorated the L.A. Convention Center space directly across the street from the Microsoft Theater. Jimmy Kimmel walked over after the Emmys’ end to pop in before heading off to his own private afterparty. Another late-night host, James Corden, chatted with new CBS colleague Joel McHale. But Kimmel was the comic generating much of the conversation in the room, with some partygoers speculating that he had just increased his chances of being asked to host ABC’s Oscars telecast next year.

Amazon Party:

The Amazon Emmy party celebrated repeat wins for the groundbreaking show “Transparent” Sunday night as Jill Soloway picked up her second Emmy for Outstanding Direction, Comedy and Jeffrey Tambor picked up his second Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy for his portrayal of Moppa/Maura Pfefferman. The Pfefferman mispuchah (family) was in full effect at the party, with Judith Light, who had arrived Sunday at 1 a.m. from New York City; where she’s in rehearsal for a one-woman show written by Neil LaBute. Amy Landecker and real-life boyfriend Bradley Whitford were also in attendance along with Hari Nef, Alexandra Billings and several of the show’s writers. Tambor relaxed on the patio with his wife and friends, and later stopped to take photos with well-wishers outside the Sunset Tower before he exited the scene.

Inside, guests dined on sushi, fresh shrimp, beef, salmon, fingerling potatoes, green beans and passed treats including French fries, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies with shots of milk, and assorted popsicles. As the clock neared midnight, Jay Duplass and Gaby Hoffmann doing some serious dancing to David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and then to Prince’s “Kiss.”

AMC Emmy Awards After-Party:

The stars and creators of BBC America’s “Orphan Black” were out in force to celebrate Tatiana Maslany‘s long overdue win for Lead Actress in a Drama, with the gang dancing into the wee hours of Monday morning. “The Night Manager” stars Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie were also on hand to fete director Susanne Bier, who scooped her first win at Sunday’s telecast. Talent from across AMC’s roster of networks, including stars of “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul” and “Documentary Now!” mingled at the shindig, dining on BOA’s signature steak, salmon and sushi offerings.

FOX, FX Emmy Nominee Celebration:

Fox had a lot to celebrate Sunday night. Emmy statues were the accessory of choice at the post-ceremony soirée, which was swarmed with the team from “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” including Ryan Murphy and Sarah Paulson, who was greeted with a hug from “Modern Family” Emmy vet Julie Bowen. Newly minted winner Sterling K. Brown was schmoozing with Fox chairman Dana Walden outside, while the indoor portion of the expansive party saw the likes of “The Americans” creators and the cast of the upcoming dramedy “This Is Us,” in which Brown stars, snacking on a plethora of eats including poke, oysters on ice, short ribs, plus a “Breakfast Bites” dessert bar.

Fox TV CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden with Ryan Murphy at the network after-party. Jones/VAR/REX/Shutterstock

HBO Post Award Reception:

No matter which network they were from, every star eventually ended up at the premium cabler’s sprawling gala, once again held outside at the Pacific Design Center. “Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek was beset by well-wishers following his Lead Actor in a Drama win, and across the room, Tom Hiddleston was spotted chatting to “Downton Abbey’s” Michelle Dockery. Kerry Washington and Amy Schumer also made time to catch up inside the crowded soiree; musician John Mayer was spotted laughing it up with Donald Glover and Anthony Anderson, and the “Game of Thrones” cast held court at the center of the maelstrom.