I think "8:46 – Dave Chappelle" will be the favorite for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special as well as Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, as Chappelle and his director won both awards last year. I'll get to those in a future installment of this series.That was my footnote to 'Hamilton' at the Emmy Awards and this is that "future installment" now that I'm done with Friday the 13th. I begin with the nominees in the two categories I mentioned at the 73rd Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Outstanding Directing for a Variety SpecialAfter looking over that field, I'm less confident that Chappelle can win this award than I was before I started writing. First, Stan Lathan, who won this award last year, didn't direct this special and isn't returning as a nominee. Second, Chappelle and his co-directors are competing against Oscar and Emmy winner Spike Lee for "David Byrne's American Utopia" as well as the self-directed "Bo Burnham: Inside." Right now, I think Lee is the favorite, Chappelle and co-director are in second, and Bo Burnham is the spoiler. That should make HBO happy, especially since I think its sister service's nominees, "Friends: The Reunion" and "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote" on HBO Max, should just be pleased to be nominated. Too bad, as "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote" is the most political of the nominees and one of my motivations for this series is to cover how entertainment depicts politics and government.
Bo Burnham: Inside, directed by Bo Burnham (Netflix)
David Byrne's American Utopia, directed by Spike Lee (HBO)
8:46 - Dave Chappelle, directed by Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar and Dave Chappelle (Netflix)
Friends: The Reunion, directed by Ben Winston (HBO Max)
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, directed by Thomas Schlamme (HBO Max)
Follow over the jump as I demonstrate my environmentalism by recycling along with a new video from Gold Derby, which thinks Bo Burnham might beat Spike Lee in this category.
I begin with the category I would normally start this entry with, the show award nominations from 'Hamilton' at the Emmy Awards.
I don't even think Chappelle, returning winner that he is, is the runner-up. I think that's "David Byrne's American Utopia," the second most nominated show with six nominations. That's why I illustrated this category with one of its promotional images from Twitter.*Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)When I covered Dave Chappelle winning this category, I foresaw this match-up.
8:46 – Dave Chappelle (Netflix)
Bo Burnham: Inside (Netflix)
David Byrne's American Utopia (HBO)
Friends: The Reunion (HBO Max)
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote (HBO Max)I anticipate the comedians will have a hard time winning Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) this season, as I think this is the category "Hamilton," the winner of two People's Choice Awards for drama movies, will end up competing in unless the Television Academy rules it to be a Television Movie. My readers and I will find out in July.We found out; "Hamilton" is a prerecorded variety special, not a movie, at leas for this category, even though it was originally meant to be shown in theaters. Welcome to one of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on entertainment. Speaking of which, "Bo Burnham: Inside," recorded in Burnham's guest house during the pandemic, has five nominations to three for "8:46 – Dave Chappelle," the second fewest of any nominee in this category, ahead of only "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote" with two. Chappelle's special is behind "Friends: The Reunion" with four nominations, "David Byrne's American Utopia" with six, and "Hamilton" leads with twelve. Based on the number of nominations, especially since seven of them are for performers, the second largest peer group in the Television Academy after executives, I'd say "Hamilton" is the favorite. As I keep saying when I write entries about entertainment awards, electorates matter.
Since I like both videos and Gold Derby, I'm sharing Emmy Experts slugfest: Is there upset potential in the variety races (and Best Drama Actor)?.
Gold Derby editors and Experts Christopher Rosen and Joyce Eng discuss the variety categories and one dramatic (two-man?) race.Rosen and Eng agree with me that "Hamilton" will win, but they think "Bo Burnham: Inside" is the second choice instead of "American Utopia" or "8:46 – Dave Chappelle" with "Friends: The Reunion" as the surprise spoiler despite being their pick for last. They completely ignored "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote," which would be my pick for last. Since we will only know the winners, we won't likely find out.
Next, Chappelle's nomination from It's Saturday night, so here are the 21 Emmy nominations for 'Saturday Night Live'.
I'm still supporting Chappelle.Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesEvery nominee is a former Emmy or Oscar winner, so this is a very talented field. Two of them, Alec Baldwin and Dave Chappelle, won Emmys for the same roles on SNL before, so they are the nominal favorites. While Baldwin split the 2019-2020 Golden Coffee Cup for Best TV President, I'm not rooting for him. Instead, I'm supporting Chappelle. That doesn't mean either will win. The Emmy voters may split their votes so that Morgan Freeman wins as himself in "The Kominsky Method."
Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live (Episode: "Host: Dave Chappelle") (NBC)
Dave Chappelle as Host on Saturday Night Live (Episode: "Host: Dave Chappelle") (NBC)
Morgan Freeman as Morgan Freeman on The Kominsky Method (Episode: "Chapter 20. The Round Toes, of the High Shoes") (Netflix)
Daniel Kaluuya as Host on Saturday Night Live (Episode: "Host: Daniel Kaluuya") (NBC)
Dan Levy as Host on Saturday Night Live (Episode: "Host: Dan Levy") (NBC)
The final nomination for Chappelle comes from 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' leads Outstanding Variety Talk Series nominees at the Emmy Awards for the fifth consecutive year.
After writing this entry, I think Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series are Chappelle's best chances to win. So he takes two Emmy Awards home instead of three. That's still an accomplishment.Outstanding Writing for a Variety SpecialWhile I'm rooting for "Stephen Colbert's Election Night 2020: Democracy's Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020" and "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers the Pulse: Into the MAGAverse," especially since this is the only nomination for the latter and it is well written, I know better than to think either will win. Dave Chappelle won this award last year and I fully expect him to repeat.
Bo Burnham: Inside, written by Bo Burnham (Netflix)
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers the Pulse: Into the MAGAverse, written by Devin Delliquanti and Zhubin Parang (Comedy Central)
8:46 - Dave Chappelle, written by Dave Chappelle (Netflix)
John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero, written by Mitchell Marchand (CBS)
Stephen Colbert's Election Night 2020: Democracy's Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020 (Showtime)
Speaking of accomplishments, this is the only nomination for "John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero." Lewis deserves this recognition along with the documentary "John Lewis: Good Trouble." Also, the second most nominated special is "Bo Burnham: Inside," my choice for second place in this category, Gold Derby's choice to win or come in second in this category, and now my pick to spoil the streak of "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" for Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming, which is why I illustrated this category with its promotional image from Twitter.
With this entry, I've exhausted what I have to say about variety series and specials. It's time to move on to reality and competition series nominees. Stay tuned.
*Since I'm not going to write a post just for "American Utopia," I'm sharing the one nomination I haven't covered yet.
Outstanding Lighting Design / Lighting Direction for a Variety SpecialI'm going to reiterate what I wrote for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) and repeated for Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Special.
David Byrne's American Utopia (HBO)
Friends: The Reunion (HBO Max)
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (CBS)
The Oscars (ABC)
The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Starring The Weeknd (CBS)
Both "The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards" and "The Oscars" have four nominations while "The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Starring The Weeknd" has three. Based on the history of the award, I think a live event celebrating show business will win, favoring either "The Oscars" which has been nominated every year since the inception of this version of the award, or the Grammy Awards, which has been nominated for three of the four years of the current category. If all things were equal, I'd give the nod to the Oscars, since movies are closer to television than music, but other than the number of nominations, I'm not sure all things are equal. I found the ceremony a bit underwhelming compared to previous years except for the pre-recorded music segments; those were spectacular. If it wins, it will be because it was a minor miracle that it happened at all.That written, "David Byrne's American Utopia" and "Friends: The Reunion" could defeat the live shows, especially "American Utopia."
Previous posts in this series
- Diversity one of the themes of the Outstanding Commercial nominees at the 2021 Emmy Awards
- 'The Social Dilemma' leads documentaries at the Emmy Awards with seven nominations
- 'Allen v. Farrow' leads documentary and nonfiction series at the Emmy Awards with seven nominations
- Quibi's last Emmy nominations are also Roku's first as the network was canceled but the shows were renewed
- It's Saturday night, so here are the 21 Emmy nominations for 'Saturday Night Live'
- 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' leads Outstanding Variety Talk Series nominees at the Emmy Awards for the fifth consecutive year
- 'Hamilton' at the Emmy Awards