Bill Maher’s back in the running for best late-night talk show after getting snubbed last year, and Crackle cracked the category, now called Best Variety Talk Program, with a nom for Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
But CBS scored maybe the biggest late-night-nom headline, though it was for James Corden’s Late Late Show. Corden’s show grabbed a lot of attention this season with “Carpool Karaoke” segments featuring the likes of Adele, George Clooney and First Lady Michelle Obama.
“We were desperate to succeed and make an impact, but we didn’t expect anything like this,” Late Late Show EP Ben Winston said on the phone this morning of his freshman series’ three noms – four if you include the The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Prime Time Special, which nabbed a nom for best variety special.
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Meanwhile, perennially nominated Stephen Colbert was not nommed in the category for his first year as host of CBS’ Late Show. He was nominated last year and had won twice in the past for The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
With three of last year’s six nominees off the air — just happening to be the three that owned the category for the past 18 years – the field was wide open this year. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart took the win last year, having won the category for 10 years straight until it was snapped by a two year The Colbert Report streak. Before the reign of those two Comedy Central late-night shows, The Late Show with David Letterman had owned the category five consecutive years.
The Daily Show, now hosted by Trevor Noah, got snubbed, as did The Nightly Show, which replaced The Colbert Report. It marks the first time in at least 15 years Comedy Central did not land a player in the category; The Daily Show nabbed its first nomination in 2001, back when the category was called Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series. Comedy Central had far better luck in this year’s derby for best variety-sketch series, where its last-year winner Inside Amy Schumer, as well as Drunk History, and Key & Peele (for its final season) all got nommed, joining NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and IFC’s Portlandia and Documentary Now!.
Also notably not nommed this year for best variety talk series: Oliver and Colbert’s The Daily Show colleague Samantha Bee for her new TBS late-night show Full Frontal, though her show received a nom for best writing. In not snagging a best-of-genre nom, Bee was in good company as TBS’ Conan also missed the cut.
Returning from last year’s nom list: HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Last year, for the first time in a decade, Real Time with Bill Maher was not on the list, though Maher was Emmy-nommed for his Live from D.C. stand-up special, and as producer on HBO’s Vice. Maher’s show has been edged out of last year’s running for the variety talk show trophy with the return to the running of Late Night with David Letterman owing to it being Letterman’s final season, and first-time nom for Oliver’s HBO weekly show, though Saturday Night Live’s move to the newly crated best variety sketch category opened up a slot in the late-night talk club.
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