Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Which Program Will Likely Win for Variety Sketch Series?

The nominations are in for The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting has occurred. So, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Variety Sketch Series.

The Nominees:
  • TruTV's Billy on the Street
  • IFC's Documentary Now!
  • Comedy Central's Drunk History
  • IFC's Portlandia
  • NBC's Saturday Night Live
  • HBO's Tracey Ullman's Show

The Variety Sketch category is still fairly new at the Emmys. This is only its third year in existence. As such, patterns for who ultimately wins haven't emerged yet. Sure, one could look at the track record for some of these shows when they were nominated back in the broader Variety Series category. But that's only really beneficial for Saturday Night Live. That show has been around for so long and won numerous Emmys. And yet, it's important to note that it hasn't won in this specific category yet. Instead, Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer and Key & Peele have prevailed in this category. But both of those shows are absent from the nominees this year. So, it really could be up for grabs. The voters could reward the show with the long history. They could reward the nominees who have been veterans of this category. Or they could reward the newcomers that have plenty of buzz as well.

All of this may just be needless speculation though. It seems like a guarantee that Saturday Night Live is going to win this year. It was an election year and the show always seems to be better during that particular time. But more importantly, there just seemed to be more buzz around the show this season. The ratings were up and it got many more nominations at the Emmys this year. It was one of the most nominated shows at this year's ceremony. That's impressive. Even after all the decades on the air, it's still a behemoth that should be taken seriously in every race it is in. This seems like the easiest category for the show to win in order to celebrate the incredible year it had. It stands out amongst this crowded field because of its history as well as just its overall cultural impact.

As such, it feels like the other five shows are all long shots to pull off an upset. And yet, it could still theoretically happen. Documentary Now! and Portlandia have been doing consistently strong work on IFC for a couple of years now. In the past, the winner has been the best overall show in terms of quality. They are still producing strong episodes. Drunk History always feels like the odd show out in this race because it doesn't generate much buzz. And yet, it's still in the race every year. And finally, Billy Eichner and Tracey Ullman are the newcomers to this race with their respective shows. This is proving to be quite a big year for Eichner - with Billy on the Street, Difficult People and American Horror Story: Cult. That visibility could help. Or perhaps Ullman can pull off an upset because she is a former winner in the Variety Series category. Sometimes the best way to win an Emmy is to already have an Emmy. That greatly increases Tracey Ullman's Show's chances of somehow taking down Saturday Night Live.

Should Win: Saturday Night Live
Will Win: Saturday Night Live
Dark Horse: Tracey Ullman's Show