Anthony Anderson on Hosting the Emmys and Stepping in for Jamie Foxx for 'We Are Family' (Exclusive)

Anderson chats with ET about gearing up to host the 75th annual Emmy Awards and the upcoming FOX show, 'We Are Family.'

Anthony Anderson has an exciting year ahead of him. Last month, the Black-ish star was announced as the host for the 75th annual Emmy Awards, which will air live on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, after being postponed due to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes

"I'm excited. It's something that I've always wanted to do, and, you know, it happened when it was supposed to happen," Anderson shared with ET's Cassie DiLaura about his first time emceeing TV's biggest night. "I wanted it to happen years ago, but everything happens when it's supposed to happen. So I'm really excited."

Held at the Peacock Theater at LA Live in Los Angeles, California, the Emmys will honor the talented performers, writers, directors and craftspeople whose work has entertained, inspired and connected viewers across the globe throughout the past year. 

Among this year's nominationsSuccession leads the pack with 27 nominations for its fourth and final season on HBO -- the most of any show this year -- while comedy favorites like ABC's Abbott Elementary and Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ earned an equally impressive number of nods, with seven and 21, respectively. 

Other notable programs nominated include FX's The Bear, Ryan Murphy's limited Netflix series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, HBO's House of the DragonThe Last of Us and The White Lotus, as well as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Prime Video, Hulu's Only Murders in the Building and the Showtime hit Yellowjackets.

Additionally, the long-running Bravo reality series Vanderpump Rules broke through following its highly watched Scandoval season, while Padma Lakshmi picked up another Outstanding Host nomination for her final season of Top Chef.

But production has even more in store for fans on the big night. 

Anderson revealed that the annual awards show will pull off a special celebration to ring in its milestone anniversary. "There's a special commemorative Emmy that's going to be given out that night to commemorate 75 years. We're going to be paying homage to iconic shows that kind of changed the landscape of television and entertainment. So I'm excited to be a part of all of that," he shared.

The comedian joked that any of his famous friends concerned about the material he'll whip up to get the crowd laughing during the show's live airing should be wary of asking for mercy. Anderson is well-known for his sharp humor, and the Law and Order alum warned that any celebrities looking for solace will be the first to get roasted.

Mostly, his celebrity friends are just as excited about Anderson's new gig as he is. "I was just going through [my] congratulatory texts from friends as they go, 'It's about time. I know you wanted this for a long time now.' So I'm just excited about it," he gushed. 

It's unlikely that anyone would be more excited for Anderson than his mother, Doris Bowman, who has been by the actor's side as his comedic partner for several years. 

Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images

When asked if he'll be bringing his mother on the stage with him on Emmys night, Anderson answered that "of course" he'd bring his "secret weapon" for his big night. "We don't have this mother-son brand and bond that we've built the last 10 years without bringing her on stage at the Emmys," he said of his Trippin' With Anthony Anderson and Mama Doris co-star. "So we're going to find a way to get her in." 

And the Emmy isn't the only hosting gig the duo will tackle together. Anderson and Bowman are taking on their third show together as the new hosts of Fox's upcoming music game show, We Are Family, which premieres Wednesday, Jan. 3.

We Are Family will showcase non-famous relatives of celebrities performing amazing solo performances and duets with their hidden famous family members. A studio audience of 100 contestants will participate through multiple rounds of clues and gameplay to win up to $150,000 each by correctly guessing which celebrity the performer is related to before they are revealed. Participating stars will range from musicians to professional athletes to actors and beyond. Viewers will be encouraged to play along at home with their families to see if they can figure out the famous face behind the talented relative.

"[It's] the year of Anthony Anderson and Mama Doris," Anderson proudly proclaimed, confessing that his mother is "probably the reason that I'm doing the show and the show got picked up. She's the star.

The actor went on to say that he and his mother are "extremely" excited to add another hosting gig to their run, as well as meeting the celebrities who join the series alongside their family members. 

"We have three celebrity reveals every show with their non-famous family members singing solos and duets with them. So I'm excited to be a part of that, excited to showcase the talent of these other famous celebrities' family members," he told ET. "We have athletes, we have entertainers... singers, actors, athletes, politicians; It runs the gamut. People are gonna be excited when they see this show."

The mother-son pair replace Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne Foxx, who were previously announced as the hosts of the game show in May 2023 while Jamie was recovering from a frightening medical emergency earlier that year. Jamie is still attached to the project as an executive producer.

"Jamie's been a friend for years. I'm a fan of my friend. And you have to be able to step in. You know he's an executive producer on the show. And so, to be able to step in and keep this dream alive for him, for the network and whatnot, was a good thing to do," Anderson told ET of taking over for The Burial actor. 

"And hopefully he and Corrine don't try to muscle in and take the show back for me and my mama because it will be a fight, Jaime! You've seen my mom," he joked. 

As for working alongside his mother again, Anderson had nothing but praise for his co-host. 

"You know, the best part for me is... my mother used to be in entertainment and it never happened for her. And she put those dreams on hold to raise an actor, not knowing that that's what she was doing," he shared. "And so for me to be in a position to be able to give her the opportunity to shine the way that she's always wanted to shine, and have the public get a taste of my mother's talent and her realness, this is the best part for me. To be able to sit back and watch my mother enjoy this ride at this juncture in her life."

"Here's the thing, she's a real star in the family," he sweetly added.

The Primetime Emmy Awards air on Monday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on FOX and will also be available the next day on Hulu. In the meantime, keep checking for complete Emmys coverage.


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