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2016 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Jerry Seinfeld broke into the race, but he's going to have to topple some serious talk show hosts if he hopes to win.

John Oliver


Quick Hits

  • Last Year’s Winner: “The Daily Show”
  • Was It an Upset? No.
  • Still Eligible? Yes.
  • Hot Streak: A Comedy Central variety talk series has won every year since 2002.
  • Fun Fact: Variety Talk series dominated the Outstanding Variety category before it was split in two last year, winning 17 years running. “The Daily Show” won 10 of those, too.

READ MORE: ‘Daily Show’ Blow: Variety Talk Show Emmys Category Sees Changing of the Guard

“Comedians…in cars…getting coffee? What? Oh, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee!'” That should sum up the typical reaction to seeing Jerry Seinfeld’s Crackle series making the cut; i.e., it might have taken a minute for reality to set in. Still, it’s in the race, providing a nice arc from the light and fun coffee chats, to the fun games of “Jimmy Fallon,” to the goofy antics of “James Corden” and the mean Tweets on “Jimmy Kimmel,” and finally arriving at the serious fare found on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

So can comedy compete? Maybe! People love Corden, and Fallon just celebrated his 500th show. Seinfeld is still a TV icon, so his presence on the campaign circuit could woo some “Seinfeld” fans (of which there are plenty). But it seems like “Last Week Tonight” is due. “The Daily Show” had to win last year for Jon Stewart’s final run, but it’s now another John’s turn. He’s captured the zeitgeist and delivers crucial content, week in and week out.

Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, which will be updated throughout the awards season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2016 race, and read the rest of the predictions in all the categories, as well.

The Nominees:

  1. “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”
  2. “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
  3. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
  4. “Real Time With Bill Maher”
  5. “The Late, Late Show With James Corden”
  6. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Will Win: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
Could Win: “The Late, Late Show With James Corden”
Should Win: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

READ MORE: If ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ Needs to Change, They’re Starting in the Wrong Spot

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