A rejiggered Emmy Awards category is shaping up to be quite the hodgepodge of contenders, now that Schmigadoon!, Apple TV+’s musical-comedy, reportedly will face off against Saturday Night Live, NBC’s long-running sketch comedy series — and maybe also that sassy John Oliver.
First, some background: For six years in a row, NBC’s SNL took home the prize for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. But for the past two years, that Variety Sketch Series race fielded only two contenders: SNL and HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show. (And in 2020, there were just three nominees, adding in Comedy Central’s Drunk History.)
Enter the Scripted Variety Series category, new for 2023.
Per the Emmy rule changes — which were in part conceived to make SNL face more challengers — a Scripted Variety Series is defined as “a variety program that is primarily scripted, or loosely-scripted improv, and consisting of discrete scenes, satire, musical numbers, monologues, comedy stand-ups, sketches, etc. Scripted Variety Series may occasionally feature unscripted elements, but the main intent of the series is scripted or performed entertainment.”
As defined above, the category now invites HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver into the tent alongside the likes of SNL and A Black Lady Sketch Show (which is now airing Season 4).
And now, as reported by THR.com, Apple TV+ has decided to remove Schmigadoon! from the Outstanding Comedy Series race (where Season 1 competed) and instead have Season 2 vie for Scripted Variety Series, and its related technical categories. (The Schmigadoon! cast, however, will still compete in Comedy categories.)
Schmigadoon! Season 1 racked up four total Emmy nominations (including for production design, musical composition and choreogarphy), and won for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (for Cinco Paul’s “Corn Puddin,” which you now have stuck in your head again. #IYKYK).
Do you think Schmigadoon! (and Last Week Tonight, for that matter) belong in the same category as SNL?
I get the acting being separate because we’ve seen that with SNL actors getting noms and wins, and it makes sense for SNL, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and Schmigadoon to do so. But if John Oliver’s show competed in that same category, would he then be up for comedy actor instead of in a host category?
The Schmig cast would compete in Comedy categories because there is no variety performer category/alternative.
Totally get that. I just was wondering if John Oliver would then be considered a variety performer instead of a host, if his show ends up in that same category?
Maybe I was confusing that there even is a host category with the Daytime Emmys talk shows vs late night ones (I remembered John Oliver speaking twice but I guess once might have been for show and once for writers), but the question still stands on if John Oliver could then compete as comedy actor; ditto the likes of Amber Ruffin for her Peacock series. As implied with mentioning I know SNL has had nomination/wins in comedy acting, I did get why Schmigadoon could still enter, I never questioned that. Original comment and follow-up were always about John Oliver in the category.
It’s been a while since I watched Schmigadoon!, and I remember liking it, but I don’t think it fits with SNL and John Oliver. I didn’t know it was good enough that they thought they would have a better chance at winning by switching categories. It makes me think of Wednesday being in the comedy categories over the winter…didn’t really belong, but it had a better shot in the comedy category.
AND History of the World Part II!