Emmy Predictions: Variety Sketch Series – Can ‘Ziwe’ Have a Last-Minute Breakthrough for a Nom?

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UPDATED: June 13, 2022

2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

The variety sketch race continues to be a head-scratcher with so few vying for slots, shown by only eight entries. Last year found only nine submissions, compared to 14 the year before. The former outstanding variety series category was split into two in 2015, with Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Key & Peele” taking the first two prizes for sketch. NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has been the reigning champion for the past five years, and by the looks of it, could be barreling towards its sixth. This will yield only two nominees once again with “How to with John Wilson,” “Painting with John” and “Studio C” out the category now.

The 47th season of creator Lorne Michael’s NBC love child continued to deliver high ratings, viral moments and exciting takes on our current time in our world, following the global pandemic. While in comparison to other years, it was middle-of-the-road, with outstanding guests such as Oscar Isaac and Ariana DeBose, along with pop-culture sensations such as Kim Kardashian and Lizzo, another nom for “Saturday Night Live” is all but assured.

The second season of Showtime’s eponymous late-night series has continued to grow in viewership for its star “Ziwe.” The comedian, writer and musician’s signature honesty and hot takes, with viral moments with the likes of Chet Hanks, have put it within an earshot of receiving its first big nomination. With roots in “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “Desus & Mero,” there could be a rallying cry to get her recognition.

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Robin Thede’s brilliant “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” performed, produced and consisting of mostly black women, was very close to topping “SNL” last year when only the two were nominated. The show has paved the way for alumni such as Quinta Brunson (contender for “Abbott Elementary”) and has featured great guest stars (Issa Rae). One of these days, the TV Academy has to get on board with giving the HBO show the gold.

The incomparable Sam Jay has made a splash over the last five years as a writer on “SNL” and her hit Netflix special. As the co-creator of her own HBO sketch series “PAUSE with Sam Jay,” along with an added boost from her Peacock comedy entry “Bust Down,” Jay’s star continues to rise (and the Emmys could notice).

Wrapping up her second season of the Peacock late-night series, host and comedian Amber Ruffin, who’s been a writer for “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” continues to cover the spectrum of current events, hot topics, and politics with a sharp eye. She could be a dark horse for a spot, depending on how many nominees this category yields. 

Hollywood nice-guys Ed Helms and Randall Park set out to connect with Everyday Americans to share their unbelievable stories and experiences in the Peacock series “True Story with Ed & Randall.” The six-episode season may not have made an enormous splash with critics and audiences, but bringing positive vibes to a time when we’re desperate for some good juju, can go a long way with voters.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub.

The nomination round of voting runs from June 16 to June 27. The official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Tuesday, July 12.

The list of programs and potential nominees listed below is incomplete and is subject to change. The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

RANK

SERIES

NETWORK

1

“Saturday Night Live”

NBC

2

“A Black Lady Sketch Show”

HBO

NEXT IN LINE

3

“Ziwe”

Showtime

4

“Pause with Sam Jay”

HBO

5

“The Amber Ruffin Show”

Peacock

UNRANKED CONTENDERS

“That Damn Michael Che”

HBO

“True Story with Ed & Randall”

Peacock

“Whose Line Is It Anyway”

The CW

DID NOT SUBMIT (or MOVED)

X

“How to With John Wilson”

HBO

x

“Painting with John”

HBO

x

“Studio C”

BYU TV

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes - Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

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