Could James Comey influence another campaign? FBI director boosts ‘Late Show’ ratings and maybe also its Emmy chances

Former FBI director James Comey was famous — or infamous, depending on who you ask — for possibly influencing the 2016 US presidential election by announcing two weeks before voting that the Hillary Clinton email investigation was being reopened. Then he was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump while he was investigating Russia’s potential influence on the election. Could Comey now influence the Emmy election? He appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on April 17 to discuss his new book “A Higher Loyalty,” which boosted Colbert to blockbuster ratings. Watch a piece of that interview above.

Comey’s appearance helped “Late Show” earn a 3.5 rating/9 share in households. That’s the show’s highest overnight rating of the season and the third highest overnight rating since Colbert took over “Late Show” from David Letterman in September 2015.

And Donald Trump may be inadvertently boosting Comey’s profile during his book tour. The commander-in-tweet called the former lawman a “self-serving,” “slippery” “slimeball” who was the “worst FBI director in history, by far.” That probably isn’t hurting Comey’s book sales, and it’s definitely not reducing viewership during his TV appearances. And goodness knows that an enemy of Trump is a friend of the Emmys: last year the TV academy amply awarded shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “Last Week Tonight” that skewered Trump, and they awarded Alec Baldwin the Best Comedy Supporting Actor prize for spoofing Trump on “SNL.”

Stephen Colbert’s Emmy profile has already been on the rise. In 2016 his “Late Show” struggled, receiving only a nomination for its production design. But then in 2017 it had a big Emmy breakthrough with noms for Best Variety Talk Series and Best Variety Series Writing. And the election night special that covered Trump’s surprise victory earned bids for Best Variety Special and Best Variety Special Writing.

Will Comey help Colbert get back in the Emmy winner’s circle? He hasn’t won Best Variety Series since his “Colbert Report” prevailed in 2013 and 2014.

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 nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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