2024 Emmys Best Variety Specials Pre-Recorded/Live Predictions

Emmys: Variety Specials – Jennifer Lopez’s Double Bids Will Compete Against Stand-Up Comics Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais
Emmys: Variety Specials – Jennifer Lopez’s Double Bids Will Compete Against Stand-Up Comics Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:

OSCARS | EMMYS | GRAMMYS | TONYS

2024 Emmy Predictions:
Variety Categories (Pre-Recorded & Recorded)

Ricky Gervais Armageddon
Ricky Gervais

Weekly Commentary (Updated: May 23, 2024): The two variety special categories at the Emmys offer a unique space where celebrities from across the spectrum of adoration, controversy, respect, and sympathy collide in a potential lineup.

The two awards for variety specials — pre-recorded and live — encompass various contenders vying for Primetime Emmy consideration.

In the pre-recorded category, superstar Jennifer Lopez is hopeful with two entries: “Apple Music Live: Jennifer Lopez,” showcasing her performance of songs from her latest album “This Is Me…Now” and some of her greatest hits, and the visual component to her self-funded and $20 million ninth studio album, “This Is Me… Now: A Love Story” on Prime Video. While the concert film is likely her stronger bet for recognition, the multimedia companion piece drew criticism and viral reactions for some perceived “tone-deaf” segments, which could affect her standing with Emmy voters, and not necessarily in a negative manner. Witnessing a relentless barrage of insults and criticism can often lead to some sympathy votes being cast. Moreover, in an era saturated with too much TV content, visibility to TV Academy voters can be half the battle.

Her concert special is her best shot and comes with a friendly reminder. Lopez is no stranger to Emmy nods, having been nominated in the variety special (live) category for “Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show Starring Jennifer Lopez & Shakira” in 2020. Maybe a surprise second one is coming? Nonetheless, securing a nod won’t be easy for Lopez in the competitive pre-recorded landscape, facing off against multiple stand-up comedians such as five-time winner Dave Chappelle and two-time winner Ricky Gervais.

Gervais recently won the inaugural Golden Globe for best performance in stand-up comedy on television for his Netflix special “Armageddon,” boosting his chances despite facing scrutiny for his jokes. The Television Academy has historically embraced controversial comedians, as seen in Chappelle’s past wins for “Sticks & Stones” in 2020, and subsequent successes.

Additionally, the Emmy race will reveal if more introspective comedy specials find favor with voters. Ramy Youssef’s “More Feelings” on HBO/Max offered a timely and insightful exploration of a divided world amidst wars and politics.

Returning nominee Trevor Noah presents “Where Was I,” competing alongside streaming counterparts Amy Schumer, Tom Segura, Mike Birbiglia, and Pete Davidson for a coveted slot.

And let’s not forget the iconic 98-year-old Dick Van Dyke, whose CBS entertainment special showcased the legendary actor and performer during the holiday season. Who wouldn’t want to show some extra love to this Grammy, Emmy, and Tony award-winning icon?

In the live categories, the Super Bowl Halftime Show will face off against the Oscars, who both stepped up their game considerably this year.

Emmy submissions are due Thursday, May 9. The eligibility deadline for all series concluding their runs is May 31. The nominations-voting-round is open from June 13 to June 24.

Read: All Primetime Emmy predictions in every category on Variety’s Awards Circuit.

Variety Special (Live)

Variety Special (Live)
Variety Special (Live)


And the Predicted Nominees Are

Rank

Series

1

The Oscars” (ABC)

2

The Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show Starring Usher” (CBS)

3

The 66th Annual Grammy Awards” (CBS)

4

The Greatest Roast of All Time: Tom Brady” (Netflix)

5

Katt Williams Woke Foke” (Netflix)


Next in Line

Rank

Series

6

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” (ABC)

7

The 57th Annual Country Music Association Awards” (ABC)

8

Wu-Tang Clan & Nas: NY State of Mind Tour” (Prime Video)

9

The 59th Academy Of Country Music Awards” (Prime Video)

10

The 81st Golden Globe Awards” (CBS)

Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)


And the Predicted Nominees Are

Rank

Series

1

Dave Chappelle: The Dreamer” (Netflix)

2

Ricky Gervais: Armageddon” (Netflix)

3

Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic” (CBS)

4

Trevor Noah: Where Was I” (Netflix)

5

Ramy Youssef: More Feelings” (Max)


Next in Line

Rank

Series

6

Nikki Glaser: Someday You’ll Die” (Max)

7

Tom Segura: Sledgehammer” (Netflix)

8

Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact” (Netflix)

9

Alex Edelman: Just for Us” (Max)

10

Kevin Hart: Reality Check” (Peacock)

11

Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas” (Apple TV+)

12

Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale” (Prime Video)

13

Barry Manilow’s A Very Barry Christmas” (NBC)

14

Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool” (Netflix)

15

Apple Music Live: Jennifer Lopez” (Apple TV+)

Eligible Titles (Variety Specials, Pre-Recorded & Recorded)

Eligible Titles (Variety Specials, Pre-Recorded & Recorded)
Eligible Titles (Variety Specials, Pre-Recorded & Recorded)


**The list below is not complete and have been confirmed as officially submitted. All information is subject to change. Grouped by network that airs each series.

Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) Eligible Titles

  • “iHeart Radio Jingle Ball” (ABC)

  • “Apple Music Live: Jennifer Lopez” (Apple TV+)

  • “Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas” (Apple TV+)

  • “The 46th Kennedy Center Honors” (CBS)

  • “Byron Allen Presents: The Grio Awards” (CBS)

  • “CBS Presents The Super Bowl Soulful Celebration” (CBS)

  • “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic” (CBS)

  • “A Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip Hop” (CBS)

  • “Billy Joel: The 100th Live at Madison Square Garden” (CBS)

  • “2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction” (Disney+)

  • “Alex Edelman: Just for Us” (Max)

  • “Gaga Chromatica Ball” (Max)

  • “Gary Gulman: Born on 3rd Base” (Max)

  • “John Early: Now More than Never” (Max)

  • “Leo Reich: Literally Who Cares” (Max)

  • “Nikki Glaser: Someday You’ll Die” (Max)

  • “Ramy Youssef: More Feelings” (Max)

  • “Rory Scovel: Religion, Sex and a Few Things in Between” (Max)

  • “Sam Jay: Salute Me or Shoot Me” (Max)

  • “Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music” (Max)

  • “Tracy Morgan: Takin’ It Too Far” (Max)

  • “Barry Manilow’s A Very Barry Christmas” (NBC)

  • “The Tonight Show 10th Anniversary Special” (NBC)

  • “Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact” (Netflix)

  • “Dave Chappelle: The Dreamer” (Netflix)

  • “Hannah Gadsby: Gender Agenda” (Netflix)

  • “Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees” (Netflix)

  • “Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool” (Netflix)

  • “Pete Davidson: Turbo Fonzarelli” (Netflix)

  • “Ricky Gervais: Armageddon” (Netflix)

  • “Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs” (Netflix)

  • “Taylor Tomlinson: Have It All” (Netflix)

  • “Tom Segura: Sledgehammer” (Netflix)

  • “Trevor Noah: Where Was I” (Netflix)

  • “2024 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize” (PBS)

  • “Audra McDonald at the London Palladium” (PBS)

  • “Hamlet: Great Performances” (PBS)

  • “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch” (PBS)

  • “Chris Fleming: Hell” (Peacock)

  • “Good One: A Show About Jokes” (Peacock)

  • “Kevin Hart: Reality Check” (Peacock)

  • “Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song: Elton John & Bernie Taupin” (PBS)

  • “Dina Hashem: Dark Little Whispers” (Prime Video)

  • “Jennifer Lopez: This Is Me… Now: A Love Story” (Prime Video)

  • “Jenny Slate: Seasoned Professional” (Prime Video)

  • “Jim Gaffigan: Dark Pale” (Prime Video)

  • “Kevin James: Irregardless” (Prime Video)

  • “This is Me… Now” (Prime Video)

  • “Tig Notaro: Hello Again” (Prime Video)

  • “Trevor Wallace: Pterodactyl” (Prime Video)

  • “Zainab Johnson: Hijabs Off” (Prime Video)

  • “Liz Miele: Murder Sheets” (YouTube)

Variety Special (Live) Eligible Titles

  • “The Oscars” (ABC)

  • “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” (ABC)

  • “The 57th Annual Country Music Association Awards” (ABC)

  • “BET Awards 2023” (BET)

  • “2023 American Music Awards” (CBS)

  • “The Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show Starring Usher” (CBS)

  • “The 66th Annual Grammy Awards” (CBS)

  • “The 76th Tony Awards” (CBS)

  • “The 81st Golden Globe Awards” (CBS)

  • “Crunchyroll Anime Awards” (Crunchyroll)

  • “29th Critics Choice Awards” (The CW)

  • “2023 MTV Video Music Awards” (MTV)

  • “People’s Choice Awards” (NBC)

  • “The Greatest Roast of All Time: Tom Brady” (Netflix)

  • “Katt Williams Woke Foke” (Netflix)

  • “30th Screen Actors Guild Awards” (Netflix)

  • “The 59th Academy Of Country Music Awards” (Prime Video)

  • “Wu-Tang Clan & Nas: NY State of Mind Tour” (Prime Video)

  • “13th Streamy Awards” (YouTube)

  • “27th Annual ADG Awards” (YouTube)

  • “Film Independent Spirit Awards” (YouTube)

More Information (Variety Specials)

More Information (Variety Specials)
More Information (Variety Specials)


2023 category winners:
Variety Special (Pre-Recorded): “Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love” (NBC) — Carol Burnett, Brian Miller, Steve Sauer, Baz Halpin, Mark Bracco, Linda Gierahn and Paul Miller, executive producers; Theresa Moore King, supervising producer; Jenessa Salcedo, line producer
Variety Special (Live): “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium” (Disney+) — Elton John, executive producer/performer; David Furnish, Luke Lloyd Davies, Ben Winston, Gabe Turner, Sally Wood, Emma Conway, Lou Fox, Sean Alvarez and R. J. Cutler, executive producers; John Foy and Paul Dugdale, co-executive producers; Saj Patel and Penny LeVesconte, line producers

2024 Emmy Awards Calendar and Timeline (all dates are subject to change)

  • Eligibility period: June 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024

  • Feb. 29: Submissions open

  • May 9: Deadline for programs identifying as Primetime programming to upload all entry materials.

  • June 13: Nominations-round voting begins

  • June 24: Nominations-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PT

  • June 28 – July 8: Voting for peer group-specific top ten rounds panels (if applicable)

  • July 17: Primetime Emmy nominations are announced.

  • July 24: Deadline for errors and omissions to the nominations.

  • August 5: Find-round videos available for viewing.

  • August 15: Final-round voting begins.

  • August 26: Final-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PST.

  • Sept. 7-8: Creative Arts Emmy Awards and Governors Gala

  • Sunday, Sept. 15: 76th Primetime Emmy Awards to air on ABC.

Emmy Prediction Categories

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, commonly known as the Emmys, are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Established in 1949, these celebrate outstanding achievements in American primetime television. The Emmys are categorized into three divisions: the Primetime Emmy Awards for performance and production excellence; the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, recognizing achievements in artistry and craftsmanship; and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards, which honor significant engineering and technological advancements. The eligibility period typically extends from June 1 to May 31 each year. The Television Academy hosts the Emmys and has over 20,000 members across 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans and executives.

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