Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.
More from Variety
To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit
THE EMMYS COLLECTIVE
Visit each category, per the individual awards show from
THE EMMYS HUB
To see old predictions and commentary, click the EMMY PREDICTIONS ARCHIVES
For film awards predictions go to
THE OSCARS HUB
UPDATED: June 23, 2022
2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL (PRE-RECORDED)
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:
There are 76 submissions for outstanding variety special (pre-recorded), which will yield five nominees, falling four submissions short of expanding to six. Last year, this category was one of the hottest of the night, having been moved to the Primetime telecast with eventual winner “Hamilton” (Disney+) alongside “Bo Burnham: Inside” (Netflix), “David Byrne’s American Utopia” (HBO), “8:46 – Dave Chappelle” (Netflix), “Friends: The Reunion” (HBO) and “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” (HBO).
This year’s roster may not bring the same excitement but there are big names and nostalgia factors among the ranks.
Many of Netflix’s content creators and leaders stood by comedian Dave Chappelle following criticisms from LGBTQ groups and allies regarding his jokes against the transgender community in “The Closer.” That’s the best evidence of the likelihood that the special will make the Emmy shortlist.
In the midst of a huge breakout year commercially, standup comedian Jerrod Carmichael’s beautiful, biting and poignant comedy show “Rothaniel” at the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City was one of the best specials in years. He is surely getting a boost from HBO’s backing, and has the potential to land other noms, including for his turn as host of “SNL.” This special could be the one to beat going into phase-two voting.
The CBS special “Adele One Night Only” also simulcast on Paramount+, brought the sultry tones of 15-time Grammy-winner Adele to homes across the globe. The special, fortified with an interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey, drew more than 10 million viewers, one of the highest-rated events of the television year. With an Oscar for penning “Skyfall” from the 2012 James Bond film, an Emmy nomination could put her closer to EGOT status.
What better way to honor the memory of legendary comedian Norm Macdonald, who in 2021 passed away at the age of 61, than finally giving him an overdue Emmy nom? Netflix is keen on getting the late charmer his due for his takes on casinos, living wills and the twists and turns that life tends to throw at you.
It was a New Year’s Day celebration when HBO Max released its reunion special for the 20th anniversary of the first “Harry Potter” movie, with stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson leading the charge. Notably absent was “Potter” author J.K. Rowling due to her controversial views on transgender issues. We’ll see if the nostalgia factor can outweigh any potential backlash.
This duo landed an Emmy nomination in 2015 for “Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live!” in the variety special category, so it’s safe to assume this pair will be returning to the noms list. Voters may want to back “One Last Time,” which coincided with Bennett’s 95th birthday, as a way to honor the living legend.
There are other contenders who bring an immense amount of quality to the category that shouldn’t be overlooked including three incredible Netflix stand-up specials from the iconic Jim Gaffigan (with the inventive “Comedy Monster”), the criminally underrated Christina P. (with the hilarious “Mom Genes” and an MTV “Challenge” alum, which would be fun to see both finally land their overdue first noms) and relatable antics of Chris Distefano (with his knee-slapping “Speshy Weshy”)
Read more: Variety’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: “Hamilton” (Disney+)
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:
2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
Outstanding Animated Program
Outstanding Short Form Animated Program
Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
Outstanding Structured Program
Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
Outstanding Documentary Filmmaking
Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special
Outstanding Main Title Design
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
Outstanding Music for Series
Outstanding Music for Limited Series
Outstanding Music and Lyrics
Outstanding Music Supervision
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.
Best of Variety