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John Oliver vs. the Jimmys: Is It Time to Split Variety Talk Into Two Emmy Categories? (Column)

John Oliver vs. the Jimmys: Is It Time to Split Variety Talk Into Two Emmy Categories? (Column)

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” has been dominating the variety talk series category, winning the Emmy for three consecutive years — and is the favorite to win a fourth. It’s a great show, and deserves every accolade it can get. But Oliver’s streak also exposes another category conundrum for the TV Academy: As news-based comedy series take over the talk category, where does that leave traditional chat shows?

A new generation of single-topic, weekly comedy shows has sprung up in recent years, and it’s changing the face of talk. Among them are “Last Week Tonight,” “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” and “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj.” Online pop-culture journal the Ringer calls them “explainer shows,” as they often inform younger viewers with their deep dives into topics that sometimes get little attention in the mainstream media.

But here’s what they’re not: Variety shows that balance monologues,

See full article on Variety