Will Stephen Colbert continue to win Emmys by hosting ‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’?

Late Show with Stephen Colbert CBS Emmy Award The Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert is favored to win the top variety series Emmy for the third straight year for “The Colbert Report.” But can he do something only Tracey Ullman has ever done before: take a completely different show into the winners’ circle in the same category?

The premiere episode of “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” aired Tuesday evening on CBS. He dropped his longtime personna as the ultra-conservative pundit from Comedy Central to become an enthusiastic talk show host interviewing guests and introducing musical acts each night. Colbert inherited the job after a 22-year run by late night legend David Letterman, whom he praised extensively in his opening remarks behind the desk.

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If the first listing of guests is any indication, Colbert plans on mixing the usual celebrity interviews (George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Schumer, Emily Blunt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kevin Spacey) with political candidates and newsmakers (Jeb Bush, Joe Biden, Stephen Breyer, Bernie Sanders). While some of the other late-night shows do bring on politicians, it seems that Colbert will have them on more frequently.

Could that be the correct formula to continue pleasing Emmy voters starting next year? For Best Variety Series, only Ullman has had two different shows win: “The Tracey Ullman Show” (1989) and “Tracey Takes On” (1997). But to be fair, the most dominant winners over the years (Johnny Carson, Letterman, Jon Stewart) never moved on to have other shows compete.

Currently “Colbert Report” is ranked first in our Emmy predictions center with 13/8 odds for the newly-named Best Variety Talk Series category. His show ended last December, but both programs seen as his closest competitors have also concluded: “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is in second with 27/10 odds followed by “The Late Show with David Letterman” at 9/2. Rookie talker “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is next at 15/2, and then “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” at 33/1 and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” at 100/1.

What do you make of this tough-to-predict category? Make all of your Emmy predictions and you could win one of our three prizes ($500, $300 and $200 Amazon gift certificates) as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users. Get started with Best Variety Talk Series to the right or at the bottom of this post. 

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. 

Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year’s Emmys). Our Users scored  51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.) Which group will be victorious this year?

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Photo: Premiere episode of “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

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