CBS’ 2017 Tony Awards broadcast – that was the year hosted by Kevin Spacey – kept itself out of the Emmy running this year, for obvious reasons. The longtime Emmy favorite – the Tony broadcast has taken the award for outstanding live variety special (or its equivalent – the category has undergone name changes) a whopping eight times since 2007.
But even without Spacey’s sexual misconduct scandals – in other words, even if the broadcast was in the running – the Tonys would have had a slim chance of landing its ninth Emmy. Truth is, Spacey did a pretty lousy job that year, hauling out tired Johnny Carson and Bobby Darin impressions that had nothing to do with Broadway and everything to do with the narcissism the world would come to know all too well.
He even made a misguided Bette Midler joke, mocking the Hello, Dolly! star for her (admittedly) long-winded acceptance speech. Griping about Bette Midler at the Tony Awards wasn’t exactly a crowd-pleaser.
Lessening Tony’s Emmy chances even further, the Spacey-hosted show would have been squaring off against NBC’s incredibly popular and critically blessed Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. Even the smooth-sailing 2018 Tony broadcast, charmingly co-hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, would have a tough time taking on John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the superstar himself.
But even the Tony void couldn’t help Justin Timberlake, whose Super Bowl LII halftime show scored nothing but another disappointment: First no Janet Jackson, then no Prince hologram, and now no Emmy nomination. Prince himself couldn’t take home a statuette for the same gig in 2007, but his show at least got nominated. So did the 2016 and 2017 halftimes – the former featuring Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars, the latter boasting Lady Gaga.
Making the cut this year were three other awards shows: The perennially nominated Oscars, the frequently nominated Golden Globes, and the occasionally nominated Grammys. The Oscar broadcast is something of a Susan Lucci of trophy shows: Nominated nine times in the decade prior to 2017, winning zilch, usually losing to either the Tonys or a live musical productions (Fox’s Grease Live! in 2016; PBS’ Sweeney Todd in 2015).
Fox’s critically lambasted 2017 holiday musical A Christmas Story Live! was not nominated.
Rounding out the category this year is HBO’s Night Of Too Many Stars: America Unites For Autism Programs, a star-packed comedy fund-raiser hosted by Jon Stewart. That special made headlines of its own last November when Louis C.K. was dropped from the line-up in the wake of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations.