Emmy Nominees Night: Inside Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA's Star-Studded Bash

Sterling K. Brown and Chrissy Metz at The Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA event on Sept. 14.

Alec Baldwin, Allison Janney, Bob Odenkirk, Felicity Huffman, Geoffrey Rush and the "This Is Us" cast joined top executives from NBC, FX, Warner Bros., AMC and more at the kickoff to Emmy weekend Thursday night at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills.

Emmy weekend is officially underway.

Nominees Alec Baldwin, Sterling K. Brown, Allison Janney, Felicity Huffman, Bob Odenkirk and Geoffrey Rush were among the A-listers who joined some of the top executives and showrunners in television at The Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA's Emmy Nominees Night reception at the new Jean-Georges restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on Thursday.

The event, hosted by Hollywood Reporter editorial director Matthew Belloni and SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, serves as the unofficial kickoff of Emmy festivities leading up to Sunday's Primetime Emmys ceremony. This Is Us stars Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley and Gerald McRaney (already a winner for guest actor at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys), The Handmaid's Tale actresses Samira Wiley and Yvonne Strahovski, Veep's Tony Hale and Matt Walsh, Billy on the Street's Billy Eichner, Master of None's Lena Waithe, Atlanta's Brian Tyree Henry, Shameless' William H. Macy and Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo joined executives including Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan and AMC/Sundance TV president Charlie Collier, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt and NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, Showtime's David Nevins, Hulu programmer Craig Erwich, FX's Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Fox 21 TV Studios' Bert Salke and outgoing Fox president (and new AMC and Sundance TV progammer) David Madden, NBCUniversal cable exec Frances Berwick, as well as Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group president John Amato, THR-Billboard EVP/Group Publisher Lynne Segall and SAG-AFTRA executive director David White.

Showrunners in attendance included Modern Family's Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, Late Show With Stephen Colbert's Chris Licht (also a producer on Sunday's Emmys show, hosted by Colbert), Late Late Show With James Corden's Ben Winston, Atlanta's Paul Simms, as well as actors Frances Fisher, Michael K. Williams, Anne Heche and many more. The event, held in honor of the nominees set to be feted at Sunday's Emmy Awards, marked the first major Hollywood event to be held at the new Jean-Georges space at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.

American Airlines, Breguet and Dacor sponsored the affair, which featured signature cocktails like ginger margaritas and passion chili sours. The American Airlines-sponsored photo booth drew stars including Brown, Henry, Wiley and her Handmaid's Tale co-star Madeline Brewer, who came together for a group photo.

DJ Myles Hendrik got the crowd going, spinning tunes ranging from Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to Dr. Dre and Missy Elliott. Guests noshed on sea urchin and tuna tartare, as well as eggplant and manchego fritters and black truffle pizza. 

Brown, who graces the cover of THR's Emmys issue with his This Is Us castmates, said he never expected the show to be a part of the awards conversation. The family drama is the first broadcast show to earn a best drama series nomination since The Good Wife in 2011. "The fact that we got a seat at the table for that party is really, really something special," he said. Brown, Metz and This Is Us co-star Justin Hartley joined the dance floor later in the night.

Although Janney is a seven-time Emmy winner, she said this year's ceremony still holds special meaning. "It's new because I'm in a different category this year. It's an unbelievable category of women," said Janney, who is nominated for best lead actress in a comedy for CBS' Mom for the first time.

Stranger Things star Matthew Modine spent some quality time with the Netflix breakout's sprawling cast, including Joe Keery and Natalia Dyer. Better Call Saul stars Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn and Patrick Fabian also stuck close together throughout the evening. (As did Handmaid's Tale stars Strahovski, Wiley and Brewer, who posed for several group photos.)

"I'm just so happy that the work and the diligence that we put in the show is showing to all the people that are seeing it," Wiley said about The Handmaid's Tale launch in the Trump era. "I'm so happy that it is as politically relevant as it is even though it’s a little scary."

Other attendees included James Van Der Beek, Jeffrey Nordling, Lauren Lapkus, James Tupper, Jermaine Fowler, Kate Flannery, Aldis Hodge, Matt McGorry, Tamara Taylor, Steve Howey, Leonardo Nam, Dash Mihok, Hudson Yang, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons and Derek Cecil.

As Emmy season inches to the finish line, Henry said one of the highlights has been the camaraderie among the nominees. "We all care about each other's work and we're all really happy for each other," he said. "It's been one of the best things."