by Julian Spivey
James Corden announced in late April that he will be leaving CBS’ “Late, Late Show” in mid-2023 after eight years hosting the late night talk show, which he revolutionized in many ways from bringing panel-style interviewing and YouTube friendly musical bits and numbers to the medium.
The anticipation of who will be Corden’s replacement on “Late, Late Show” is one of the biggest talking points in late night television and will be until CBS makes an announcement, if the network decides to even continue the show or keep the same single-host format it’s always had.
I have some candidates I think could be good replacements for Corden as “Late, Late Show” host and I will preface from the beginning that none of them are white guys. Late night talk shows have been a white guy party for far too long and there’s no way CBS should hire a white guy as Corden’s replacement. And if the network absolutely must replace Corden with a white guy it should be someone like Dan Levy, who at least doesn’t come from a hetero point of view.
Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph & Samantha Bee
I’m going to go with Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph (who would be my preferred choice of the three) and Samantha Bee first because I think they are the most unlikely replacements for Corden simple based on being in their 50s and the network probably wanting to go with someone younger, especially following Stephen Colbert, who’s also in his 50s, on the “Late Show.” Fey’s wit, Rudolph’s variety background and Bee already hosting a late night show in TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” all would be great for the job though.
If the networks wanted a female point of view from someone a bit younger than the three women I mentioned above they might need to look at Mindy Kaling, who would be 44 around the time she’d need to take over. Kaling has had a critically-acclaimed sitcom, written multiple best-selling books and even wrote and produced a film based on a late night talk show in 2019’s “Late Night.”
“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah seems like the most obvious candidate to take over as host of the “Late, Late Show,” but there is the question as to whether or not Noah would view it as a good career move. It’s really not a promotion. Sure, it would be a network show, but “The Daily Show” is better regarded in the pantheon of television. It would be a lateral move at best. The money involved would probably be the deciding factor and CBS might not want to go big on a contract for the show.
Hasan Minhaj has a late night talk show style background having been a senior correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” before doing his own similar series “Patriot Act” on Netflix for two years, where it won two Peabody Awards. Critics loved it, but I’m not sure how many people actually watched it with Netflix pulling the plug after 40 episodes. The late night format doesn’t seem to work with streamers. Minhaj could be a cheaper addition than Noah if CBS is wanting to save some money.
Roy Wood Jr.
Roy Wood Jr. has been a popular correspondent for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” during Trevor Noah’s tenure as host of the politically engaged series. If the network is looking for late night’s first African-American host since the days of the syndicated Arsenio Hall show in the early ‘90s, Wood might be near the top of their prospects list.
Just last week many were shocked to see the end of Showtime’s talk show “Desus & Mero,” co-hosted by Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, after the two have seemingly had a falling out. Listening to The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top Five podcast co-host and TV critic Daniel Fienberg was discussing whether Desus or Mero would be a good fit for the “Late, Late Show” and said he didn’t think Mero would have any interest, but he could see Desus Nice doing it. Something that made “Desus & Mero” a standout was its perspective with the hosts being black and from immigrant families and that would definitely be a fresh perspective for a network late night show.
Now we arrive at the choice I would make if I were CBS … Amber Ruffin. She’s already doing it on a smaller scale hosting her own series, the critically-acclaimed “The Amber Ruffin Show” on Peacock, while also still participating in “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Corden’s direct competition. Ruffin is really a no-brainer choice, if she had no qualms about going into direct competition with Meyers, who gave her her big shot in late night comedy.
Who is most likely to replace Corden when it’s all said and done? Probably a straight white guy.
by Tyler Glover & Julian Spivey
There are a lot of nominees I’m thrilled about – mostly on the comedy side of things – but I don’t really want to spend time on obvious nominees like the majority of the “Ted Lasso” cast, Jean Smart for “Hacks,” Michael Keaton for “Dopesick,” etc. So, I’m gonna use my favorite picks for surprises, except for my first choice which is …
Bill Hader for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
It was a no-brainer that Bill Hader would be nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for the HBO comedy that’s really a dramedy “Barry.” He’s probably the favorite to win and has won the honor for the first two seasons. What I’m more interested in is if he can win Outstanding Directing for the season three episode “710N,” which is the single most exhilarating episode of television I’ve seen this year. The episode is a showcase for the entire cast, but mostly for Hader’s directing skills that include an absolute bonkers chase scene with Barry attempting to survive and outrun a motorcycle gang. Hader is probably the favorite to win the category and it’ll be a crime frankly if he doesn’t. JS
Squid Game for Outstanding Drama Series
In this fast-paced and busy world, it is very difficult for me to find time to binge watch anything. It can take me forever to get through a series. However, when a show like “Squid Game” comes out, I find the time to binge it. The show follows Seong Gi-hun, a divorced father, who is desperate for cash. When he gets invited to play a series of children’s games in order to collect a big payday, he takes advantage of that opportunity. He soon learns that the losers of the games are killed and that out of all the people competing, only one will make it out alive. The show is so suspenseful and thrilling throughout all nine episodes with multiple twists that truly make this show the best of the best. This show made history today for becoming the first non-English series nominated for the Best Drama Series category. It received a total of 14 nominations today, including acting nominations for Lee Jung-jae in Lead Actor, Park Hae-soo and Oh Yeong-su in Supporting Actor, and Jung Ho-yeon in Best Supporting Actress. I am hoping on Emmy night the Academy gives the green light to “Squid Game” for Outstanding Drama Series. TG
Late Night with Seth Meyers for Outstanding Variety - Talk Series
“Late Night with Seth Meyers” has been among my annual biggest Emmy snubs lists since early on in its run. I’m thrilled to say that snub streak is FINALLY over because the show has FINALLY been nominated for Outstanding Variety Talk Series. Meyers’s show is extremely clever, especially when it comes to political humor in the “Closer Look” segment and Meyers is an affable and good interviewer, especially with guests he has camaraderie with. It’s about time. JS
Jean Smart for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Jean Smart’s performance in HBO Max’s “Hacks” is one of my favorite roles of all time. Smart plays Deborah Vance, a Vegas comedian who decides to take her show on the road and is trying to find a way to continue to perform comedy and connect with her audience while also staying true to herself. The show’s central focus is Vance’s complicated relationship with her co-writer, Ava Daniels, played by Emmy nominee Hannah Einbinder. Smart is absolutely captivating in this role. Her performance demands your attention when she is in the room and it is hard to take your eyes off of her. Smart may be playing a very self involved and complicated character but Jean Smart helps us find her humanity and peels back the layers to truly understand why Deborah is the way she is. I loved both seasons and cannot wait for the next one. I would love to see Jean Smart win Emmy number two for this role this year! TG
Sarah Niles for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Many didn’t expect as much love for the cast of AppleTV+’s “Ted Lasso” for the show’s second season as it received from the Emmys for its first last year, but I had my hopes up. Hannah Waddingham was a lock. Juno Temple was likely. I didn’t think Sarah Niles stood much of a chance, but her role (new to the show in season two) was integral to Jason Sudeikis’s titular character opening up emotionally. Niles was brilliant as psychologist Sharon Fieldstone. I said on my social media feeds last year during her performance that I hoped Emmy voters would remember her come voting time and I’m thrilled they did. JS
Julie Andrews for Outstanding Character Voiceover Performance
This year, the Academy failed to recognize “Bridgerton” in any of the top fields but I was very pleased to see the Academy once again recognize Julie Andrews for Outstanding Voice Over Performance. Andrews is the voice of Lady Whistledown, the mysterious author who dishes in her newsletter about all the scandalous secrets of the ton. Andrews shows us why she is an Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy winner with this performance. While reading her vicious and telling newsletters, Andrews’ performance of Lady Whistledown is done with such poise, grace, elegance, wit, and intelligence. I am really hoping Andrews will bring home the Emmy this year for this magnificent performance. TG
Norm Macdonald for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
Norm Macdonald meant a lot to a lot of people as a comedian and I’m in that camp. It was a shock when he died of cancer in September of 2021 at 61. It was also a shock, but this time a pleasant one, when it was announced in May that he had recorded a final stand-up segment from home during the COVID-19 pandemic to be shown if he succumbed to cancer. That special “Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special” dropped on Netflix on the final day of May, the final day of eligibility for the 2022 Emmys. Honestly, I haven’t had the chance to see this special yet (I certainly will before the Emmys in September), but I’m just thrilled for Macdonald to be remembered so fondly and to always have “Emmy-nominated” with his name for the rest of eternity. JS
This Is Us for Everything
I didn’t think the Emmy Awards were going to go overboard in honoring the final season of “This Is Us,” which concluded in May on NBC, but I didn’t think it would virtually be shut out. It’s only nomination is in the Outstanding Original Music/Lyrics category meaning that it received zero major category nominations – the biggest snub of all of these being Mandy Moore for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her beautiful performance of Rebecca Pearson. It’s not unusual for Emmy voters to be “done” with a popular show among its voting body before it ends, but I didn’t really see the erasure of “This Is Us” coming. JS
Bridgerton for Outstanding Drama Series
Last year, the Academy recognized Bridgerton with nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing, and Lead Actor for Rege Jean-Page. However, this year, the Academy only gave the show three nominations: Voice Over Performance, Costumes, and Hairstyling. I definitely feel this show was snubbed. To have a show that will focus primarily on a different sibling for eight seasons definitely comes with risks. You have to make sure the next story is compelling and find ways to keep the momentum going. I feel season two did just that and with the departure of the Duke of Hastings, I was worried it would not be able to. I know there are limited spaces but I do find its snub today to truly be a scandal worthy of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers column. TG
Reservation Dogs for Outstanding Comedy Series
I would chalk this one up to airing its freshman season beginning in August of 2021, but both “Ted Lasso” and “What We Do in the Shadows” began their most recent seasons before then and were nominated – ‘Lasso’ being a lock, but ‘Shadows’ more of a surprise. So, what it really comes down to is the voting body probably not getting around to “Reservation Dogs,” which was beloved by critics, but seemed to have little mark on culture (which is a shame because it’s a unique look into a group of people we don’t get enough stories about). I have hope for this series to be featured in this category in the future, but goddamn season one was near perfect. JS
Brian Tyree Henry for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
The third season of FX’s “Atlanta” didn’t get as much Emmy love overall as it should have – despite the fact many viewers seemed perturbed with its lack of focus on the usual core characters and delved into more of an anthology thing. Donald Glover was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance in the show, which is nice, but the best performance of the season was that of Brian Tyree Henry’s Alfred “Paperboi” Miles, especially in an episode like “New Jazz.” There is so much going on with Henry’s performance in this show – so many different emotions and all of them exquisitely portrayed – I just don’t understand this snub at all. JS
Jane Lynch for Outstanding Reality Host
It is very difficult to imagine anyone else hosting the game show, “Weakest Link,” other than the first host, Anne Robinson. Her biting remarks and sarcastic humor helped make the show such a huge success. When it was revealed they were reviving it with another host, I was skeptical. Then came the news that Emmy winner Jane Lynch would be filling that role and all my skepticism went out the window. Lynch was the perfect replacement having already played a role in the hit series, “Glee,” that mirrored Anne Robinson’s demeanor. Lynch’s performance as Sue Sylvester on “Glee” won her the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series. Lynch is delivering every week and I hate that she was not recognized for her efforts. However, Lynch was nominated this year for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series for her role on Hulu’s “Only Murders In The Building” so she still could go home with another Emmy this year. TG
Jennifer Aniston for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
To be honest, the second season of “The Morning Show” was really lackluster especially when comparing it to the excellent first season it had. However, even when not given the best material, Aniston still does her best to rise above the material. My favorite part of the season was when Aniston’s character, Alex Levy is trying desperately to get ahead of a bad narrative being put on her career. She feels the feedback will be brutal but it turns out that the public is siding with her…only for it to fall apart with new information hours later. Alex Levy may be a very self-centered and at times, very unlikeable character but Aniston shows us why she is an Emmy winner already. It is also important to note that Aniston’s co-star, Reese Witherspoon, was nominated in this category so “The Morning Show” did get some recognition in this category. TG
Snubs the Emmys Got Completely Right:
Yellowstone (and Jennifer Aniston)
With all due respect to Tyler, Jennifer Aniston (and the writers, of course) was the leading reason why the second season of AppleTV+’s “The Morning Show” sucked so damn much and it was the right decision not to nominate her for an Emmy. Reese Witherspoon receiving one was bad enough.
A lot of folks expected big Emmy love for “Yellowstone” this year and I frankly don’t understand it. I don’t understand it because the show didn’t receive any Emmy love for its first three seasons, so why would season four – which is the show’s weakest and was pretty aimless – be the one to breakthrough. I’ve watched “Yellowstone” from the start and I’m going to follow it through to the finish, but the Emmy voting body got this one right. JS
More than a decade ago when we began The Word we realized that the tide had changed on television, especially when it came to award shows like the Emmys in which shows on premium networks or cable channels (and in today's case streaming services) were winning almost all of the awards. There are still a lot of quality shows on network TV that we thought deserved some added attention, so we created a TV awards solely for shows on the broadcast networks (those that you could put an old school antenna up and still watch).
Best Drama: This Is Us (NBC)
This is the second consecutive win for "This Is Us" and its fourth overall win in this category, which ties "Parenthood" for most all-time.
Best Comedy: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
This is the record fifth win in this category for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Best Variety/Talk Show: "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" (CBS)
This is the second consecutive win for "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and its fourth overall win in the category, which ties "Late Show with David Letterman" for most all-time.
Best New Drama: "Around the World in 80 Days" (PBS)
Best New Comedy: "Grand Crew" (NBC)
Best Actor in a Drama: Justin Hartley (This Is Us)
This is Justin Hartley's second consecutive win in this category. It's his third Broady win overall (he previously won Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for the same role)
Best Actress in a Drama: Mandy Moore (This Is Us)
This is Mandy Moore's second consecutive win in the category and record-breaking fourth overall.
Best Actor in a Comedy: Anthony Anderson (black-ish)
This is Anthony Anderson's second consecutive win and record-breaking third overall win in this category
Best Actress in a Comedy: Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish)
This is Tracee Ellis Ross's record-tying second win in this category.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: Jon Huertas (This Is Us)
This is Jon Huertas' first Broady win and nomination
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Susan Kelechi Watson
This is Susan Kelechi Watson's second win in this category. She's the first two-timer winner in this category.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Carl Tart (Grand Crew)
This is Carl Tart's first Broady win and first Broady nomination.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Caitlin McGee (Home Economics)
This is Caitlin McGee's first Broady win and second nomination
Best Guest Actor in a Drama: Griffin Dunne (This Is Us)
This is Griffin Dunne's third consecutive and record-tying overall win in this category.
Best Guest Actress in a Drama: Sandra Mae Frank (New Amsterdam)
This is Sandra Mae Frank's first Broady win and first Broady nomination.
Best Guest Actor in a Comedy: Craig Robinson (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
This is Craig Robinson's first Broady win and second Broady nomination.
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy: Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
This is Chelsea Peretti's first Broady win and third Broady nomination.
Best Drama Episode: "Miguel" - This Is Us (NBC)
Directed by Zetna Fuentes
Written by Jonny Gomez
This is the record-breaking fourth win in this category for "This Is Us"
Best Comedy Episode: "The Last Day" - Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Directed by Linda Mendoza & Claire Scanlon
Written by Luke Del Tredici, Audrey E. Goodman & Dan Goor
This is the record-breaking third win in this category for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Hall of Fame Show: "Frasier"
What began as a spin-off of one of broadcast television's all-time greatest comedy series "Cheers" (this recipient of this honor in 2019) wound up being the most honored sitcom in Emmy Awards history with 37 wins.
Frasier Crane probably wasn't the most obvious choice of a "Cheers" character to make a spinoff go at with the hoity-toity psychologist serving as some high brow humor on the show about a Boston bar. But creators David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee had the brilliant idea of moving Frasier back home to Seattle to be with his also stuck-up, high brow brother Niles (an amazing David Hyde Pierce) and their blue collar, former police officer father Martin (the wonderful John Mahoney), who seemed in no way possible of having raised these two men (which is where much of the show's humor comes in). Rounding out the cast were Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon, Martin's live-in physical therapist and future love interest to Niles and Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, Frasier's producer at his radio psychology show.
"Frasier," which aired on NBC for 11 seasons from 1993-2004, is one of the standouts of NBC's "must-see TV" era and probably holds up today better than any sitcom of its era.
Hall of Fame Legend: Betty White
Betty White was not only a comedy legend in the world of Hollywood, she was truly THE pioneer. White, who died Dec. 31, 2021 at age 99, just 19 days shy of her 100th birthday, made the Guinness World Record in 2018 for the longest work streak in the medium of television. Her career spanned 1930 to 2021, being a part of all the major milestones that television has seen since it began. Simply put, up until this year, White has just always been there.
White was busy making iconic characters like the sultry and flirty Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the ditzy, but warm-hearted Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” In 1952, “Life with Elizabeth” debuted with White as the star, but also as the first woman to produce a sitcom. White is important to the history of television not only because of her longevity, but her comedic range, whether it was setting up a joke, delivering a cutting line or using her physical comedy to make her viewers laugh hysterically. What was always truly fascinating about White is as she aged, she never seemed past her prime or out of touch with modern comedy. She could still make people laugh, and would do anything for a laugh, as evidenced by the social media campaign urging “Saturday Night Live” to let her host in 2010. And naturally, White earned an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for it. Even though White is not physically here, she’s never going to leave. She’s cemented her legacy in her iconic sitcoms that truly helped shape society, whether it was the changing times of women striking out on their own in the workforces in ‘Moore’ or showing seniors as more than just stereotypical “older people” in ‘Golden.’ White deserves all the accolades, including this year’s honor of the Broady Awards pioneer in television.
by Julian Spivey
Stranger Things – Netflix – Today
It feels like we were just here … the second part of the fourth season of Netflix’s mass hit “Stranger Things” is streaming now, just a bit over a month since the first part dropped on Memorial Day weekend. I can’t exactly tell you how the season is going because I’ve deliberately waited for part-two before starting the season, but I’ve heard mostly good things from friends who binged it immediately and it’s certainly done great things for Kate Bush. Enjoy the second half of the season because it’s most likely going to be two years before the final season airs.
Black Bird – AppleTV+ - Friday, July 8
Inspired by true events and based on the true crime memoir In With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, A Serial Killer by James Keene and Hillel Levin comes the limited drama series “Black Bird,” premiering Friday, July 8 on AppleTV+. The series stars Taron Egerton as Jimmy Keene, sentenced to 10 years in a minimum-security prison, but given the chance for freedom if he goes undercover in a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane to befriend a suspected serial killer Larry Hall (played by Paul Walter Hauser) in an effort to get him to admit to multiple murders. The series co-stars Greg Kinnear and Ray Liotta, in one of his final roles.
The Last Movie Stars – HBO Max – Thursday, July 21
Paul Newman is one of my all-time favorite actors. His wife Joanne Woodward was also an Oscar-winning great. Together they were one of the all-time great Hollywood couples. The HBO Max six-part documentary series “The Last Movie Stars” tells their story and I can’t wait to see it. The docuseries is directed by Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke and produced by Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese and premieres Thursday, July 21.
The Gray Man – Netflix – Friday, July 22
The Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe, have directed many of Marvel’s most acclaimed superhero action flicks. Now they are branching out to a different kind of action flick with “The Gray Man,” based on Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel of the CIA’s most skilled mercenary becoming the target of a psychopathic former colleague. Ryan Gosling plays the skilled mercenary and Chris Evans the psycho and those two going head-to-head is going to be a lot of fun for the audience. “The Gray Man” will be in select theaters on Friday, July 15 but then streaming on Netflix on Friday, July 22.
Anything’s Possible – Amazon Prime Video – Friday, July 22
Emmy-winning actor Billy Porter’s directorial debut “Anything’s Possible” is a modern coming-of-age story of a high school trans girl (played by Eva Reign) and the boy (Abubakr Ali) who falls in love with her. It’s a frequent story – boy falls for girl – but with a modern spin that is something happening more in real life and thus an important story to tell. It looks lovely based on the trailer.