It's the first hostless Emmys and viewers aren't loving the new format.

The awards ceremony opened with a voiceover announcing that there would be a host after all: Homer Simpson. His night was over as quickly as it started however, when he was smashed by an animated grand piano.

Anthony Anderson of Black-ish then took over, staging a search for the right person to deliver present a montage on the power of television. He found Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, who did the honours.

So far, so good. But when Nick Cannon and Ken Jeong took to the stage shortly afterwards to film a TikTok video on stage, the international audience issued a collective groan.

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TikTok, which was the world's fourth most downloaded app last year, allows users to share short videos, but the effort to connect with the youth backfired on just about every level and started a stream of sarcasm and outright criticism on Twitter.

Viewers were also quick to criticise the hostless format, saying it made the event drag, the jokes were dreadful and the voiceover was unnecessary.

- additional reporting from AP