When “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” failed to earn an Emmy nomination last year for Best Variety Talk Series, there was unanimous shock across the blogosphere. How could TBS’s red-hot political satire, which went viral each week for its very public take-downs of then-candidate Donald Trump, not earn a nomination? Our own Daniel Montgomery surmised, “Apparently, women still need not apply in the late night boys’ club.” He’s right, of course. Late night TV talk shows are the ultimate sausage parties, with the nominations at the Emmy Awards reflecting this year after year.
True, “Full Frontal” did earn a nomination for Best Variety Writing, but that series snub was a nasty stab in the gut. Amazingly, three perennial winners were all out of play — “The Colbert Report,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “Late Show with David Letterman” — so it was the perfect storm for Samantha Bee and co. to break through TV’s glass ceiling of male-dominated talk shows.
But Emmy voters instead nominated the usual suspects, as well freshman talker “Late Late Show with James Corden” and left-field choice “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” hosted by Jerry Seinfeld. Sadly, Bee’s exclusion wouldn’t be the first time a highly qualified woman lost out to a man in 2016.
Can “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” break into the crowded Variety Talk category this year? For that to happen, one of last year’s Emmy nominees will have to miss out: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (which won), “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Late Show with James Corden,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” or “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
There’s also a slew of talk shows itching to enter the category for the first time, including “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Whatever happens, it’s going to be a true nail-biter.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.