Tue. Oct 15th, 2019

2018 Emmy Winner Predictions: Reality, Variety and Animated Categories

My first set of Emmy winner predictions for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards kicks off this week with a look at the top Reality, Variety and Animated categories.

Reality-Competition Program is a pretty consistently stale categories. We even have the same six nominees as last year. In the category’s 15-year history there have only ever been three winners. The Amazing Race won the first year (2003) and then went on to win the next six years in a row. Top Chef managed to wrangle the win in 2010 then The Amazing Race took it back again for two more years. The Voice won in 2013, then back to The Amazing Race in 2014 and then The Voice again for the next three years. Last year it seemed that RuPaul’s Drag Race had hit such a high point, both in visibility and total nominations, that it was heavily predicted to win. The Voice still triumphed but this year Drag Race is even more popular, has even more nominations than last year. I think it’s going to be close to call but I’m leaning to Drag Race to take it.

RuPaul has won the Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program for two years in a row and could go on a Jeff Probst-style run of this category but in that category’s 10-year history the winner there has never correlated to the Program winner. I’m predicting RuPaul to win again, which means I’m predicting an Emmy first.

The huge success of the Queer Eye reboot feels like an easy win in Structured Reality Program but the Fab Five missed out on a Host nomination, which came as a surprise to me. The show received four nominations in total (for Casting, Cinematography and Picture Editing as well), more than any of its competition in this category. But, it’s up against the current reigning champ Shark Tank, which has won for four years in a row, every year since the Television Academy broke up the reality categories into Structured and Unstructured. Its only other nomination is in directing (still a good get) so it might be ready to relinquish its title.

In Unstructured Reality Program, the nominees are the same as last year with Gaycation with Ellen Page swapping out for Naked and Afraid (its second nomination here). The last three years has seen three different winners so while we could see a fourth new champion I think United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell can repeat. I’m keeping my eye out on Untucked to possibly surprise.

I expect Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Saturday Night Live to continue winning Variety Talk and Variety Sketch, respectively, especially the latter. Three of the nominees in Animated Program have won before: The Simpsons, South Park and last year’s winner Bob’s Burgers. Ricky and Morty and Baymax Returns are first-timers. Although it’s entirely possible (even likely) that the voters will default to Bob’s Burgers I think Rick and Morty can eke out a win here.

Here are my ranked predictions for the 2018 Emmys in Reality, Variety and Animated categories.

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
1. RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
2. The Voice (NBC)
3. Top Chef (Bravo)
4. The Amazing Race (CBS)
5. American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
6. Project Runway (Lifetime)

STRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
1. Queer Eye (Netflix)
2. Shark Tank (ABC)
3. Antiques Roadshow (PBS)
4. Lip Sync Battle (Paramount Network)
5. Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC)
6. Fixer Upper (HGTV)

UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
1. United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell (CNN)
2. Born This Way (A&E)
3. RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
4. Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel)
5. Intervention (A&E)
6. Naked And Afraid (Discovery Channel)

HOST FOR A REALITY/REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM
1. RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s Drag Race
2. W. Kamau Bell, United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
3. Ellen DeGeneres, Ellen’s Game Of Games
4. Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
5. Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, Project Runway

VARIETY TALK SERIES
1. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
2. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
3. Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
4. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
5. The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
6. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
1. Saturday Night Live (NBC)
2. I Love You America with Sarah Silverman (Hulu)
3. Portlandia (IFC)
4. Tracey Ullman’s Show (HBO)
5. At Home With Amy Sedaris (truTV)
6. Drunk History (Comedy Central)

ANIMATED PROGRAM
1. Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)
2. Bob’s Burgers (Fox)
3. South Park (Comedy Central)
4. The Simpsons (Fox)
5. Baymax Returns (Big Hero 6: The Series) (Disney XD)

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