Best Variety Series
Will Win/Should Win - The Colbert Report
Could Win - The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Commentary - So what is going to happen this year in this category? After so many years of rewarding The Daily Show, they finally rewarded its worthy counterpart The Colbert Report. Both had great seasons, both are extremely popular, but since they have seemingly moved on to Colbert, I am sticking with the winner most recent on their minds. But if anything is going to upset the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Comedy Central dynasty it is going to be Jimmy Fallon. His successful stint on Late Night ended with a bang, and he took over the legendary Tonight Show with ease, and looks to have a hugely successful run, if ratings and reviews are any indication. This maybe the year they finally go back to the traditional late night routine, but for now I am sticking with the safer, and more likely choice.
Best Variety Special
Will Win - The Kennedy Center Honors
Should Win - Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays
Could Win - The Beatles: The Night that Changed America
Commentary - The Kennedy Center Honors has won this category a record five times in a row, and while there are some top notch projects this year, including Billy Crystal's funny and heartfelt 700 Sundays, the funny tribute to the legendary Mel Brooks, and a tribute to Jimmy Fallon's previous effort. But I think it is going to be hard to beat The Kennedy Centers which is clearly on a roll. Plus, as we know, the voters in these variety categories have no qualms about voting for the same thing over and over again (Daily Show anyone?). But I do think that there is a tough contender lurking in the shadows that could trump the favorite. The Beatles are still one of the most popular bands in the world, and CBS rolled out the carpet for a 50th Anniversary Tribute that started at this year's Grammy Awards and then moved to its own special. I think that it could win over the hearts of Emmy voters, particularly those older voters that remember their rise as it happened five decades ago.