Experts’ Emmy predictions: ‘Grease: Live’ has slight edge against Tonys telecast for Special Class Program

Most of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards will be handed out at Creative Arts ceremonies held on September 10 and September 11. We’re predicting several of those races, including Best Special Class Program, which according to the Expert TV journalists we’ve polled is almost a dead heat. Fox’s musical event “Grease: Live” has a very narrow advantage against the 69th Annual Tony Awards telecast.

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Seven out of 13 experts predict “Grease: Live,” giving it leading 1/1 odds: Eric Deggans (NPR), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed). The live musical surprised by garnering 10 nominations total, including a directing bid for recent “Hamilton” Tony-winner Thomas Kail.

The other six experts are predicting the Tony Awards, placing it a close second with 5/4 odds: Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Poster), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) and Adnan Virk (ESPN). The Tonys have won this award seven times, including five in a row from 2010-2014. But in 2015 it was defeated by another staging of a classic musical: “Sweeney Todd” as part of PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center” series.

Find out how ‘Grease: Live’ will do at the Emmys this year — Click Here

The TV academy would be awarding the Tonys ceremony co-hosted in June 2015 by Emmy-winner Kristin Chenoweth and Emmy-nominee Alan Cumming. This year’s well-received ceremony, which featured first-time emcee James Corden and the coronation of “Hamilton” as Best Musical, will be eligible for Emmys in 2017.

None of our experts are predicting the remaining three nominees. The 2016 Oscars telecast, hosted by Chris Rock, ranks third with 40/1 odds. “Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show,” which featured Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay, is next with 80/1 odds. Also with 80/1 odds is the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted for the fourth time by Ricky Gervais.

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Gold Derby’s Editors, who cover awards year-round, are similarly divided. Four of us (Sheehan, Chris Beachum, Marcus James Dixon and Rob Licuria) are predicting “Grease: Live” to win, while the other three (O’Neil, Matt Noble and myself) expect another victory for the Tonys telecast.

However, our Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmys, give the advantage to the Tonys. Eleven of them are predicting the theater kudos, compared to 10 predicting “Grease: Live” and one going out on a limb for the Golden Globes, which have never won this contest.

Our All-Star Top 24, who scored highest when you add up Emmy predictions from the last two years, also favor the Tony Awards. Ten of them predict the Tonys, while another seven say “Grease: Live” and one says “Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.”

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