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Emmy Predictions: Best Variety Series

I continue my series of Emmy predictions with the programs eligible in the categories for Best Variety Series.. 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…

BEST VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES:
TIER ONE:
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Saturday Night Live

*As with most tier one shows. I would be shocked not to see any of these shows make the cut. Obviously The Daily Show has had a hold on this category for 10 years. The Colbert Report has been the runner-up for the last couple of years. And SNL has really become an Emmy favorite with the potential to win a couple of times.*

TIER TWO:
Conan
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Late Show with David Letterman
Portlandia
Real Time with Bill Maher

*Bill Maher has been nominated every year since 2005. But I could see him missing out because the category has become slightly more competitive. Jimmy Kimmel managed to make the cut last year, taking Conan’s spot. He’ll likely do it again but it wouldn’t surprise me if the show was left off. Jimmy Fallon is pretty safe. He’s been nominated the last three years and the news stories about being the successor to The Tonight Show has boosted his profile. Portlandia is a big wild card. It received nominations last year in Writing & Directing. That’s a big vote of confidence from the voters. I’m just not completely sold on it in the main category.*

TIER THREE:
Chelsea Lately
Key & Peele
The Soup
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Watch What Happens Live

*These are big longshots. It’s not even worth discussing further. They are on the radar, but they are on the edge and just barely made the map.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

*Ultimately I think the lineup will remain the same. Jimmy Kimmel & Bill Maher seem the most at risk. But I just don’t think any of the other shows are strong enough to get more votes than them. In terms of winning, I think The Daily Show is looking comfortable for win #11. I wonder if John Oliver taking over the summer months could potentially hurt it. But he’s doing a pretty terrific job and it won’t be a huge detriment to its Emmy chances.*

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BEST WRITING – VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES:
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live

*Once again, I think Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart & SNL are all pretty safe. I think Portlandia will make a return nomination in Writing. Which leaves one spot open. Last year it went to Bill Maher. This year I think they’ll change it up slightly and go with Jimmy Fallon. His show is more sketch driven, which seems to be the type of things the Emmy voters appreciate.*

[ALSO IN CONTENTION: Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Show with David Letterman, Real Time with Bill Maher]

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BEST DIRECTING – VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES:
The Colbert Report – “#8131” – James Hoskinson
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – “#17153” – Chuck O’Neil
Late Show with David Letterman – “#3749” – Jerry Foley
Saturday Night Live – “Justin Timberlake” – Don Roy King
The Voice – “Live Shows, Finals” – Alan Carter

*For the past three years The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, Late Show and Saturday Night Live have been nominated. I don’t think that will change at all. Last year Portlandia took the fifth spot. This time I’m going to go with The Voice. American Idol has won this category a few times, especially when it was in its prime. I really think The Voice has really picked up a lot of momentum and could potentially upset in Reality-Competition Program. The success will lead to more nominations and I think it will pick up another one here.*

[ALSO IN CONTENTION: American Idol, Conan, Dancing with the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Portlandia, Real Time with Bill Maher]

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