For years, the variety category at the Primetime Emmy Awards was one of boring consistency, mostly because “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” won it year in and year out without a whole lot of competition coming in and stirring things up. However, with him gone the Variety Talk Series category now feels a little more open. We do think this is a good thing for the sake of drama, and for having a little more to discuss in this particular article.
Below, you can see our take on the full field of nominees. At the end of it, be sure to vote for who you think will be the likely winner! We’ll discuss the results further when we get around to the morning of the show on Sunday.
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (Crackle)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (ABC)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
“The Late Late Show with James Corden” (CBS)
“Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO)
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC)
Analyzing the field – It’s hard to predict what voters will want in this category, given that you have people with very different approaches to what a great variety talk show is. Fallon and Corden excel the most and delivering some silly sketches that go viral and generate conversation. Yet, Jerry Seinfeld is the best casual interviewer out there, and Oliver’s video pieces are through the roof.
Who should win – In between the level of comedy and also his ability to actually generate important conversations, Oliver has to be #1 here. Maybe his show has an advantage in that he can condense his best material into one show a week as opposed to four or five a week, but he really jam-packs his half-hours with the best stuff possible.
Who will win – This is a rare case where we think our interests align with that of the Emmy voters. We do think at present that this is Oliver’s race to lose, with maybe Seinfeld or Fallon coming in as possible contenders. Would it be fun for Kimmel to win on the same night that he is hosting the show? Absolutely, but we’re just not seeing him get the buzz like we are other nominees.