Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dream Emmy Ballot 2014: Outstanding Variety Series

In recent years the Outstanding Variety Series Program category has belonged to Jon Stewart; he won this category from 2003 until 2012, when he was finally bested by his former correspondent's show The Colbert Show in 2013.  Stewart and and Colbert are the most respected names in the the late night game, they have a prestige factor within their shows, but will that change this year?

Late night television has started to put up, as videos and skits they do go viral, making for strong water cooler talk at the office.  With the retirement of Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon has made the tonight show relevant again; he and his bits just knock it out of the park.  NBC and CBS have always dominated late night television, but ABC's investment in Jimmy Kimmell has been wise, he a great host, and like Fallon does great segment with celebrities (Mean Tweets), and even goes out into the public to show people just how stupid they sound.

This category rarely changes, and the winners stay consistent, but does Colbert's win last year change this, or will sentimentality reign?  Over the years the other person to win this category just three shy of Stewart's record was The Late Show with David Letterman, with 6 wins.  Letterman and his show have not been nominated since 2009, will his show make a comeback? NBC's The Tonight has only won this prize twice, once with Carson, and once with Leno as host.  NBC will be submitting both the Leno and Fallon version of the show, who will make the cut?  The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as host has not been nominated since 2003, Conan's version was nominated in 2010.

Two other bridesmaids in this category over recent years are both Saturday Night Live, and Real Time with Bill Maher.  Saturday Night Live has been nominated every year in this category since 2003,  over many years on the air they have only won this award twice in 1976, and 1993.  Bill Maher has had two shows in this category, and been nominated every year but never won.  Does Saturday Night Live belong in this category with such uneven material, and can Bill Maher compete with the new blood?

Variety programming quality has only grown, including variety specials, like the recent Maya Rudolph Variety Hour.  With great variety television I think it's time for the the Emmy Awards to bring back the Outstanding Performer in a Variety Series or Special.  Who deserves to be the six nominees this year?

Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Portlandia (IFC)
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

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