Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show just won the Emmy for best variety talk series.
The win dashed hopes in some circles of a David Letterman win to cap his 33 years headlining a late night broadcast TV show.
In July, Letterman snagged his first Emmy nom since 2009 for best late-night show. in his final season hosting CBS’s Late Show. In Letterman finale walk-up adulation, virtually everyone of his competitors in the category had argued for him to be awarded for his final season and/or legacy, as he wound up his record 33-year run. Stewart himself spoke forcefully about Dave’s importance to the genre, pronouncing the list of late-night figures that have been able to innovate the genre and have staying power to have just one entry: David Letterman.
This year’s split of the Variety Series category into Variety Talk and Variety Sketch moved perennial nominee Saturday Night Live into the latter category and opened up a slot in the Variety Talk race for Letterman, whose show hadn’t been nominated since ’09.
Stewart, who stepped down from his show in August, had owned the category the past dozen years with 10 consecutive wins for The Daily Show, followed by two consecutive wins for spinoff The Colbert Report, which Stewart co-created with Colbert and Ben Karlin and on which he was an executive producer.
So many late-night shows ended their runs the list of likely nominees read more like a late-night TV In Memoriam. Stewart’s The Daily Show, however, also is eligible next Emmy cycle, because of his August end date. He might, however, be competing against his replacement, the late-night lightning rod Trevor Noah.