Only three shows have been nominated for Best Variety Sketch Series all four years the category has been presented at the Emmys: reigning champ “Saturday Night Live” and perennial bridesmaids “Portlandia” and “Drunk History.” “SNL” is the front-runner to win again according to our racetrack odds, but for three years the category has seen three different winners, and two of those came from Comedy Central. That could be good news for the cable network’s “Drunk History,” which dramatizes drunken retellings of real stories from history. So it might want to sober up before its category is announced on September 17, just in case.
When Best Variety Series was first divided into categories for talk shows and sketch shows in 2015, Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” was the beneficiary in the Variety Sketch Series race, not “SNL.” Then in 2016 “Schumer” was expected to win again, but was upset by another Comedy Central series, “Key and Peele.” Both of those winners were off the air the following season, which finally opened the door for “SNL” to win in 2017. “SNL” was actually the most nominated show of the year with 22 bids, tied with “Westworld” and its sky-high production values.
“SNL” has nearly as much support this year with 21 nominations. No other sketch comedy comes close. In fact, “SNL” has almost triple the nominations of the other nominees in its category combined: “Portlandia” (two), “Drunk History” (two), “Tracey Ullman’s Show” (two), “At Home with Amy Sedaris” (one) and “I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman” (one). Compare those to “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Key and Peele,” both of which had seven nominations in the respective years when they won.
But in 2016 “SNL” had 10 more nominations than “Key and Peele” and was still defeated. So can David beat Goliath again … even if he’s had a few?
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.