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Emmy Predictions: Best Variety Special

I continue my series of Emmy predictions with the programs eligible in the categories for Best Variety Special. I’m going to take a look at the categories and make groupings: Tier One, Tier Two and Tier Three. Tier One placements are for people/programs that I fully expect to get an Emmy nomination. Tier Two are people/programs that are still in the running but could be left out. And Tier Three are people/programs that I don’t expect to be nominated, but they would be a little bit of a surprise. Let’s take a look at the categories…

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BEST VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL:
Kathy Griffin: Kennedie Center On-Hers
The Kennedy Center Honors
Louis C.K.: Oh My God
Paul McCartney’s Live Kisses (Great Performances)
12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief

*One thing you can always depend on in this category is The Kennedy Center Honors. It gets nominated every year and has picked up the trophy the previous four years. It’s very likely to repeat again. The Emmys love nomination stand-up comedy specials (just not awarding them a win), so Emmy favorites Kathy Griffin & Louis C.K. are very likely to pick up nominations. Paul McCartney is a beloved icon and his special looks similar to the one they nominated Tony Bennett for last year. I’m guessing that 12-12-12 takes the final spot. It was a long telethon that aired to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. It was one of the most talked about events of the year and the mammoth production will get some Emmy love.

Even though Betty White’s Birthday Special was nominated last year, I hope it doesn’t get another one. The first one was actually well produced and deserved its spot. This year’s “ceremony” was a half-hearted shell of the original one. And it didn’t help that Betty White was too sick to attend. They filmed her reactions in her dressing room on the set of Hot in Cleveland. I hope they don’t nominate it only based on everyone’s love of Betty White.*

[ALSO IN CONTENTION: Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino (Great Performances)
Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America’s Golden Girl
From Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts
George Lopez: It’s Not Me It’s You
Mel Brooks Strikes Back! with Mel Brooks and Alan Yentob
Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs
One Singular Sensation! Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch (Live From Lincoln Center)
2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
]

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BEST WRITING – VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL:
The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards
The Kennedy Center Honors
Louis C.K.: Oh My God
The Oscars
The 66th Annual Tony Awards

*Louis C.K. should easily pick up another Emmy win here. He’ll stand apart from the award ceremonies he’s likely to be nominated with this year. I’m pretty confident this will be the lineup. You can never bet again the Olympics Opening Ceremony at the Emmys, but the writing wasn’t very evident or something people really recognize about the big production of the ceremony. Night of Too Many Stars received a nomination for its last special 2 years ago. It’s in 6th place, but I don’t see it taking the place of any of the other 5 I have listed.*

[ALSO IN CONTENTION: Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America’s Golden Girl
From Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts
George Lopez: It’s Not Me It’s You
London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday, Part One
]

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BEST DIRECTING – VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL:
The Kennedy Center Honors – Louis J. Horvitz
London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony – Bucky Gunts & Hamish Hamilton
The Oscars – Don Mischer
2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Joel Gallen
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (Live From Lincoln Center) – Glenn Weiss

*Over the past three years this category has always nominated the Academy Awards, the Grammys and the Tonys. This year only the Academy Awards were submitted. Louis J. Horvitz chose to submit The Kennedy Center Honors instead and Glenn Weiss (last year’s winner for the Tony Awards) went with his direction of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. That leaves the door open for some new blood. The London Olympics Opening Ceremony is a huge production and always wins this category. That will most likely to be the case again this year. I’m also interested to see how the Emmys embrace The Oscars this year. The ceremony was mostly trashed by everybody, so we’ll see if Emmy voters felt the same way. I think they’ll be lazy and nominate it no matter what.*

[ALSO IN CONTENTION: Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino (Great Performances) – David Horn
Der Ring des Nibelungen (Great Performances at the Met) – Gary Halvorson
From Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts – Michael Stevens
Louis C.K.: Oh My God – Louis C.K.
New York Philharmonic Opening Gala Concert with Itzhak Perlman (Live From Lincoln Center) – Alan Skog
Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs – Chuck O’Neil & Glenn Weiss
One Singular Sensation! Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch (Live From Lincoln Center) – Lonny Price
Rigoletto (Great Performances at the Met) – Matthew Diamond
12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief – Michael Dempsey]

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