Emmys 2011: The music-variety-comedy categories are a confusing catch-all


If there was ever a set of Emmy categories that is really hard to pin down, it's the catch-all categories for the series and specials in the "outstanding music, variety and comedy" field. We had to put the name of the field in quotes, because it's not three separate categories; music, variety and comedy encompasses anything you can think of that's not in any of the major groups, mostly involving live-action shows that take place in front of a studio audience.For series, the distinction is fairly straightforward. The Emmy ballot in this category is rife with late-night talk shows, primetime cable shows like "Tosh.0" and sketch shows like "Saturday Night Live." There have been outliers in this category -- for instance, Tracey Ullman's Showtime series "Tracey Takes On" won this category in 1997 when by all rights it should have been in the regular comedy series category. But for the most part, this category is...



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