Sketch comedy, potluck, political satire, lip syncing, drag queens, kid-friendly rock and roll and animated, nostalgic purple grapes: these are a few of our fans’ favorite things. And it turns out that the esteemed voting committee for the 69th Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards likes them quite a bit too.
Take a look at Viacom’s diverse roster of brands and the eclectic shows that impacted TV’s most prestigious award celebration:
Created by Viacom Catalyst
VH1 – 8 Nominations
In April, VH1 announced its new tagline: “Where pop culture comes to party.”
Two of the network’s most buzzworthy shows—RuPaul’s Drag Race and Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party—truly exemplify this sentiment and embody VH1’s brand. They’re also up for Emmy awards.
Following its most-watched and highest-rated season to date, RuPaul’s Drag Race garnered the most Emmy nominations out of all Viacom shows, snagging eight bids for its groundbreaking series.
— Variety (@Variety) July 14, 2017
“The Emmy win really cemented the show in mainstream pop culture, and VH1 is more broadly available in homes across the U.S.,” said Pamela Post, VH1’s original programming senior vice president in an interview with IndieWire. “[The network switch] was an opportunity to broaden the show’s viewership even further.”
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) July 13, 2017
VH1’s Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party also earned a nomination for outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program. The VH1 show premiered last fall, and viewers were clamoring for a taste of the unlikely duo’s hospitality. The hosts delivered one of the most lit parties in unscripted TV, bringing along a bevy of celebrity guests, chill vibes and smokin’ side dishes—which proved to be a recipe for stellar ratings.
“The show’s premiere episode debuted to three million viewers,” wrote Business Insider, “Winning its time slot and becoming 2016’s highest-rated new unscripted show on cable for 2016.”
And while the D-O-G-G has yet to win a Grammy, VH1’s cult show offers the hip-hop legend a chance to win his first Emmy.
Check out the full list of VH1 nominations:
Outstanding Costumes For Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Programming • RuPaul’s Drag Race • “Oh My Gaga!”
Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special • RuPaul’s Drag Race • “Oh My Gaga!”
Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special (Non-Prosthetic) • RuPaul’s Drag Race • “Oh My Gaga!”
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program • RuPaul’s Drag Race
Outstanding Picture Editing For A Structured Or Competition Reality Program • RuPaul’s Drag Race
Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program • RuPaul’s Drag Race
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program • RuPaul’s Drag Race • RuPaul Charles
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program • Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party • Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg
COMEDY CENTRAL – 7 Nominations
Comedy Central, an enduring favorite among the Emmy voters, brought in seven nominations this year, including one for South Park’s iconic Member Berries episode—in which animated grapes accommodated the fictional town’s nostalgia for the past.
At first, the sour grapes incessantly dropped pop culture references from yesteryear, but quickly evolved to giving sentient reminders about racist ideologies from the “good ol’ days.”
Drunk History, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah and Broad City all earned nominations for episodes and themes that are, for the most part, politically provocative, with progressive themes, diversity and topical conversation.
Watch Drunk History‘s Emmy-nominated episode:
Watch Broad City‘s Emmy-nominated internet short:
Check out the full list of Comedy Central’s nominations:
Outstanding Variety Series • Drunk History
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series • Drunk History • “Hamilton”
Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Reality Or Reality-Competition Series • Drunk History • “Hamilton”
Outstanding Picture Editing For Variety Programming • Drunk History • “Bar Fights”
Outstanding Animated Program • South Park • “Member Berries”
Outstanding Short Form Variety Series • The Daily Show • “Between The Scenes” (thedailyshow.com)
Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series • Broad City • Hack Into Broad City (ComedyCentral.com)
NICKELODEON – 1 Nomination
Outstanding Children’s Program • School of Rock
Nickelodeon’s dazzling slate of live-action and animated shows have earned Emmy attention in the past, and this year is no exception. The no. 1 brand in kids’ entertainment was recognized for its Paramount Television-produced musical sitcom School of Rock.
The show is lauded by both critics and parents for teaching kids the merits of teamwork, self-confidence and loyalty through the school of hard rock—aka a fictional prep school.
Its combination of charming gags and original, head-banging beats (along with guest stars like Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz) has made diehard fans out of the show’s target demographic—kids ages 6 to 15. School of Rock was adapted from Paramount’s wildly successful feature film of the same name, and is now in its third season.
SPIKE – 1 Nomination
Outstanding Structured Reality Program • Lip Sync Battle
In recent years, Spike has attracted a broad set of viewers with a focus on powerful storytelling and universally beloved shows, like Lip Sync Battle. This fall, the network will officially rebrand as the premium Paramount Network.
Think of Lip Sync Battle as a stripped-down version of fellow Emmy favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race, hosted by LL Cool J. Unlike Drag Race, where the contestants compete for a cash prize and the coveted title of “Next Drag Superstar,” Lip Sync Battle features known stars vying for a kitschy Lip Sync Battle Championship Belt. The winner is determined by a rousing round of applause, rather than a panel of judges.
But Lip Sync Battle has earned a massive, diverse audience with its low-key pageantry. Spike TV brings together a menagerie of oddball celebs like Anne Hathaway, John Legend and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to bust out bizarre dance moves and sing karaoke. The network actively eschewed creating a “brand” for Lip Sync Battle, opting instead to make the show as all-encompassing as possible. Executive producer Casey Patterson told Vulture in 2014 that this tactic reflects the broad spectrum of lip-sync fans.
“Lip-syncing is for everyone,” said Patterson. “If you go online, it’s dads and daughters, it’s moms, it’s women at work, it’s ageless, it’s genderless.”
This approach is what made Lip Sync Battle Spike’s highest-rated program, and its one reason the show will stick with the network when it changes names early next year.
PARAMOUNT TV – 2 Nominations (1 shared with Nickelodeon)
Outstanding Children’s Program (in association with Nickelodeon) • School of Rock
Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score) • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
Viacom’s production and distribution unit works behind-the-scenes to create our own content and hit shows on other networks, including Netflix’s recent mini-series 13 Reasons Why and Fox’s Grease Live, which won four Emmys at the 2016 ceremony.
This year, Paramount TV earned an Emmy nod for its work on Nickelodeon’s fellow Emmy hopeful, School of Rock. It also was nominated for creating the ethereal, haunting score for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Mark your calendar for the Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 17 at 8 p.m. on CBS, hosted by Comedy Central alum Stephen Colbert.