#Farewell @midnight

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Comedy Central’s @midnight – which aired its final episode last Friday – had a nearly impossible premise: define the indefinable by corralling the social media mosh pit that the internet has become into something graspable and tangible. But for four years and 600 episodes, Chris Hardwick and an ever-shuffling crew of established and up-and-coming comedians did an admirable job of doing exactly that.

“Nothing else on television today has done as much to showcase the humor and improvisational abilities of stand-up comics and comedic actors. In fact, nothing else in the modern peak TV era has replicated what The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson did for comedy.” – Andrew Husband, Uproxx

The format was simple enough: each night, a panel of three comedians competed gameshow-style to contemplate internet-inspired queries in a sort of freestyle inverse Jeopardy, where there were no right answers, only clever ones.

What, for example, would be the most appropriate way to join the Koch Brothers’ celebration of fossil fuels for Earth Day? What would be an ironclad commandment for a theoretical Star Wars religion? If Pitbull ran for governor of Florida, what would his campaign slogan be? What, you are probably wondering, would be the advantages of global warming? Arden Myrin, Orlando Jones and Nimesh Patel have their ideas on that one:

The cornerstone of the show, of course, was #HashtagWars, the recurring segment that unleashed bizarre and – for the uninitiated – inexplicable trending Twitter threads every weeknight the show aired. In the final episode, Hardwick himself swerved into button-slamming mode, jumping in as a contestant for the first time in the show’s history, riffing on #BabyMovies, #DeadTV, #StonerBroadway, #AnimalMovies, #DrunkVideoGames and other topics among a rotating power panel of biting comics:

For this raucous, inspired and highly original platform, the show won two Emmys – for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Social TV Experience – in both 2015 and ’16, as well as copious praise from critics, who lauded the show’s role as a pipeline for emerging comedic talent.

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Viacom Congratulates Our 2016 Emmy Winners

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

After picking up more than a half dozen statuettes at the Creative Arts Emmys – including a long-deserved nod to RuPaul for best reality show host – Viacom brands added to their haul at the Primetime Emmys, with Comedy Central’s Key & Peele earning Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and the Paramount Television-produced Grease: Live winning its fifth overall Emmy, for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special.

Our Viacom Catalyst team, which orchestrated a definitive photo shoot with Jonathan Mannion for Viacom’s Fans First campaign earlier this year and recently designed the logo for the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., put together this flashy little video to acknowledge all of the winners.

Congratulations to everyone at Viacom who contributed to making this standout programming. You can read about the rest of Viacom’s 2016 Emmy wins here.

 

RuPaul Scores First Emmy as Viacom Posts Strong Showing Ahead of Primetime Event

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Who’s the greatest reality show host working today?

According to the Creative Arts Emmys, it’s Logo’s RuPaul Charles, who on Sunday accepted his first winged statuette from the Television Academy, for outstanding host of a reality or reality competition series. The ceremony, which was held in Los Angeles ahead of next week’s Primetime Emmy Awards, marked Charles’ first Emmy nomination after eight seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The host topped an impressive list of finalists in the category, including American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest, Dancing With the Stars’ Tom Bergeron, Hollywood Game Night’s Jane Lynch, Little Big Shots’ Steve Harvey, and Project Runway’s Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: RuPaul poses in the press room at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards held at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: RuPaul poses in the press room at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards held at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

“I really didn’t expect this,” Charles told The Hollywood Reporter backstage after receiving his award. “I came here thinking I got invited to the prom and I’m going to dance my ass off tonight, but i didn’t expect that I would have this in my hand while I was dancing. It’s a very special night not just for me but for all the young people around the world who dance to the beat of a different drummer.”

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Comedy Central Leads Viacom’s 29 Emmy Nominations

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Behind raucous talent Amy Schumer and the momentum of an enduring South Park, Comedy Central led a roster of diverse and rich Viacom programming that tallied 29 nominations for the 2016 Emmys.

Comedy Central has become a perennial Emmy standout – last year, the network notched 26 nominations and eight wins for its irreverent work. Nickelodeon, Spike, Logo, MTV, TV Land and BET also earned nominations.

In addition to the recognition of outstanding work from wholly owned Viacom programming, our Paramount TV division earned 14 nominations, 11 for its collaborations with FOX, most notably the spectacular Grease Live special, which drew 10 nominations after totaling more than 12 million viewers during its February airing.

The full list of Viacom nominations is below, along with a look at a few of the properties up for the honors. Some of the clips contain graphic or adult language.

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