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

Comedy Central doesn't have a contender in the category for the first time since 2000, opening the door for a new winner.
Emmy Variety Talk

No Jon Stewart, No Emmy. That’s the unfortunate truth for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” which was left off of this year’s Outstanding Variety Talk Series Emmy nomination list – just one year after Stewart’s “Daily Show” picked up the win for his swan song as host.

READ MORE: Full List of 2016 Emmy Nominations

With Stewart leaving “Daily Show,” David Letterman exiting CBS’ “Late Show” and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” long gone – all three were nominees last year – the Variety Talk Series category underwent a changing of the guard this year.

Back are “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” But filling those empty slots is buzzy newcomer “The Late Late Show with James Corden” (CBS), as well as the return of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” (which had been nominated from 2005 to 2014, but missed out last year) and Crackle’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which had never been nominated in this category until this year.

READ MORE: 2016 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Variety Talk Series

But that also shut out “The Daily Show” – and Comedy Central. This is the first time neither received a nomination in the category since 2000 (back when talk shows competed in what was then called the “Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series” category).

What’s more, Comedy Central has won the category every single year since 2003 – a whopping 13 years in a row. “The Daily Show” won from 2003 to 2012, and again in 2015, while “The Colbert Report” won in 2013 and 2014. (A reminder: The TV Academy split “Variety Talk” and “Variety Sketch” into separate categories last year.)

READ MORE: Surveying the Late Night Landscape for Talk Show Nominees — Screen Talk, Emmys Edition

With neither “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” nor “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” landing slots, that impressive streak is now over. It’s a blow for the network, but also a blow for host Noah, who took over the show in September and faces tough competition as his show heads into election season – typically “The Daily Show’s” biggest moment.

Also not getting a nod in its inaugural year: “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Shows starring two high-profile “The Daily Show” alums.

Meanwhile, the door is now open for a new winner for the first time in quite a while.

Furthering this year’s shake-up theme: Before Comedy Central began its streak in 2003, “Late Show with David Letterman” won the award for five straight years. That means only three shows have won the top Variety Talk (and before that, Variety Series) category since 1998. This year, there will finally be a fourth — and it won’t have “Late Show,” “Daily Show” or “Colbert” in the title.

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