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Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

It looks as if the Best Variety Sketch Show category only has eyes for "Saturday Night Live," but newcomers deserve some shine too.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- “Zoë Kravitz, Rosalía” Episode 1820 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Redd, Kate McKinnon, host Zoë Kravitz, Ego Nwodim, and Aidy Bryant during the monologue on Saturday, March 12, 2022 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

Zoë Kravitz hosts “Saturday Night Live”

Will Heath/NBC

Last Year’s Winner:Saturday Night Live
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: “Saturday Night Live” has a five year winning streak right now, benefitting from the split that happened in the Variety Series category in 2015 (it became the Variety Talk and Variety Sketch categories). However, when that split first happened, it was Comedy Central that had the initial winning streak with “Inside Amy Schumer” winning in 2015, and “Key & Peele” winning in 2016, so NBC’s long-running late night variety series is not unbeatable.
Notable Ineligible Series: “Documentary Now!” (Season 4 was not eligible); “I Think You Should Leave” (submitted as a Short Form Comedy Series); “The Kids in the Hall” (was not submitted)

This article will be updated throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2022 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting will take place from June 16 to June 27, with the official Emmy nominations to be announced on Tuesday, July 12. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out over two consecutive nights on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, with an edited presentation on the ceremonies to be broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET on FXX. Finally, the 74rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, September 12, and air live on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

There were only two nominees in the Outstanding Variety Talk Series category last year: “Saturday Night Live” and “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” That is a bummer! A lot of our most interesting filmmakers right now come from this specific world. Just look at this summer’s box office where two of the most highly anticipated films, “Nope” and “Bros,” come from Jordan Peele and Billy Eichner, respectively, who have both been recently nominated in this category.

The two aforementioned shows nominated last year should absolutely still make the cut, but how about we celebrate some less traditional sketch shows too, which is what the other contenders represent. One could give the voting body the benefit of the doubt in not nominating “Ziwe” last year due to the show’s last minute launch, but the host’s quick rise to pop culture prominence should now be hard to ignore. Same could be said of Sam Jay, who also came in late to the game with her HBO Max series.

While it is a bit of a surprise that the Netflix series “I Think You Should Leave” is up for a different Emmy category, the streaming service’s new project “Murderville” with Will Arnett has a great chance of making the cut for its freshman season.

Current Contenders (In Alphabetical Order):
“A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)
“Murderville” (Netflix)
“Painting With John” (HBO)
“Pause With Sam Jay” (HBO)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“Ziwe” (Showtime)

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