Emmy Nomination Predictions in Variety & Reality: Shrinking Categories, Stay-at-Home Hosts and No ‘Amazing Race’


Contenders include John Oliver, Kate McKinnon and J-Lo and Shakira, but many of the variety and reality categories are being downsized this year because of new Emmy rules

The Emmy categories for variety and reality shows include many of the programs that have been most altered by the pandemic — talk shows and sketch shows that moved from studios to homes, singing competitions that lost their studio audiences, specials in which all the talent participated remotely. And while these are categories in which voters are famous for nominating the same shows year after year, the adjustments some programs have made for the virus may factor into some of the choices.

These are also categories that, for the most part, have shrunk in size because of the new rules that make the number of nominees proportional to the number of entries. The three reality categories will all drop from six to five nominees, while variety talk series will lose one nominee and variety sketch series will lose at least two, barring ties.

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Steve Pond

Steve Pond has been writing about film, music, pop culture and the entertainment industry for more than 40 years. He has served as TheWrap’s awards editor and executive editor, awards since joining the company in 2009. Steve began his career writing about music for the Los Angeles Times, where he remained a contributor for more than 15 years, and Rolling Stone, where he was West Coast Music Editor and wrote 16 cover stories. He moved into film coverage with a weekly column in the Washington Post and became a contributing writer at Premiere magazine, where he became the first journalist to have all access to the Academy Awards show and rehearsals. He has also written for the New York Times, Movieline, the DGA Quarterly, GQ, Playboy, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, New York, the Christian Science Monitor, Live! magazine and many others. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller “The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards” (Faber and Faber, 2005). He has also written “Elvis in Hollywood” (New American Library, 1990) and contributed to books that include “Cash,” “The Rolling Stone Reader,” U2: The Rolling Stone Files,” “Bruce Springsteen: The Rolling Stone Files” and “The Rolling Stone Interviews: The 1980s.” He was the co-managing editor of the syndicated TV news program “The Industry News” and the creative consultant for the A&E series “The Inside Track With Graham Nash.” He has won L.A. Press Club awards for stories in TheWrap, the Los Angeles Times and Playboy, and was nominated for a National Magazine Award for a story in Premiere.