Emmys: Scripted Variety – With 12 Submissions, Sketch Shows (and John Oliver) Will be Upgraded to Three Nominees

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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2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Scripted Variety Series

Weekly Commentary (Updated June 15, 2023): What the hell is a scripted variety series when John Oliver’s biting monologues about the war in Ukraine are competing against Courtroom Kiki, Pedro Pascal playing a Super Mario brother, and Stephen Colbert’s animated quest to “toon out the news?”

The newly titled scripted variety series (formally variety sketch) has 12 entrants, including “Saturday Night Live,” which will give us three after consecutive years of two.

Lorne Michaels and NBC executives hope for a significant return for “SNL” after nabbing only nine overall noms in 2022. This was a substantial drop from its total 21 mentions in 2021. Nonetheless, it still won its sixth straight prize and could make it lucky number seven. However, it will face stiff competition from the 12 shows in the running, specifically HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which was moved from talk series by the TV Academy.

If the show can also grab some acting noms for its cast members, notably Ego Nwodim, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang, it’ll only help its campaign.

Hulu’s “History of the World Part II” has the industry respect of Mel Brooks that could push the Emmy winner to another nom.

We also have surprise entries like “Amazon Music Live,” “Comedy Invasion” and “Crank Yankers” that could siphon votes from any of the contenders.

Read: 

Emmy Nominations voting runs from June 15-26. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 12. Check back every Thursday for the latest updates. All information is preliminary and is subject to change.


And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
  2. Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
  3. A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)

Next in Line


  1. History of the World Part II” (Hulu)
  2. Inside Amy Schumer” (Paramount+)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities


  1. Ziwe” (Showtime)
  2. Crank Yankers” (Paramount+)
  3. Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News” (CBS)
  4. Random Acts of Flyness” (HBO)
  5. Studio C” (BYU)

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Network)**


  • Studio C” (BYU)
  • Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News” (CBS)
  • A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)
  • History of the World Part II” (Hulu)
  • Inside Amy Schumer” (Paramount+)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
  • Random Acts of Flyness” (HBO)
  • Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
  • Crank Yankers” (Paramount+)
  • Amazon Music Live” (Prime Video)
  • Ziwe” (Showtime)
  • Comedy Invasion” (Viva)

** This official list and/or category submission is not yet complete or confirmed and is subject to change.

2022 category winner: “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) — Season 48 — Lorne Michaels, executive producer; Javier Winnik, supervising producer; Lindsay Shookus, Erin Doyle, Tom Broecker and Caroline Maroney, producers; Steve Higgins and Erik Kenward, produced by


Emmy Awards Predictions Categories

DRAMA SERIES | COMEDY SERIES | LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES | TV MOVIE | LEAD ACTOR (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTOR (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | LEAD ACTRESS (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTRESS (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | TALK SERIES | SCRIPTED VARIETY | GAME SHOW | DIRECTING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | WRITING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | REALITY (COMPETITION, STRUCTURED, UNSTRUCTURED, HOST)

Creative Arts and Other Emmy Categories

GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY) | GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY) | VOICE-OVER | SHORT FORM | DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC | ANIMATED | OTHER CATEGORIES

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

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, artisans, and executives.

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