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Emmys: Documentary Series, Special, Hosted – Michelle Obama, Padma Lakshmi and Michael J. Fox Compete for Statuettes

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:

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OSCARS | EMMYS | GRAMMYS | TONYS

2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Documentary of Nonfiction (Series)

100 foot wave
“Harry & Meghan” was directed by Liz Garbus.

Weekly Commentary (Updated Aug. 28, 2023): A tight race ensues for acclaimed documentaries. Ken Burns’ powerful “The U.S. and the Holocaust” which premiered at Telluride 2022 before hitting television screens, is a favorite in the category.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Primetime Emmy predictions in the major categories.

Watch out for either “100 Foot Wave” from HBO or “Dear Mama” from FX to spoil.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Creative Arts predictions in all categories.

The final Emmy voting rounds open on Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. PT and close on Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. PST. The 75th Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. The Creative Arts ceremony will occur on Saturday, Jan. 6, and Sunday, Jan. 7. An edited version will air on FXX on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET. All events will take place at the Peacock Theater at LA Live.

2022 winner — “The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+)


And the Nominees Are:


  1. The U.S. and the Holocaust” (PBS)
    Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick, Ken Burns, Mike Welt (produced by)

  2. 100 Foot Wave” (HBO)
    Maria Zuckerman, Ryan Heller, Joe Lewis, Chris Smith, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Bentley Weiner (executive producers)

  3. Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur” (FX)
    Lasse Järvi, Nelson George, Peter Nelson, Jamal Joseph, Ted Skillman, Allen Hughes (executive producers), Stef Smith (produced by), Loren Gomez, Joshua Garcia, James Jenkins (producers)

  4. The 1619 Project” (Hulu)
    Nikole Hannah-Jones, Roger Ross Williams, Shoshana Guy, Caitlin Roper, Kathleen Lingo, Helen Verno, Oprah Winfrey (executive producers), Geoff Martz, Carla Gardini (co-executive producers), Jonathan Clasberry

  5. Secrets of the Elephants” (National Geographic)
    James Cameron, Maria Wilhelm, Pamela Caragol, Lucina Axelsson, Caroline Hawkins (executive producers), Jonathan Frisby (series producer), Dr. Paula Kahumbu, Kim Butts (producers)



All Other Eligible Titles (Alphabetical Order)

“The Anarchists” (HBO); “The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters” (History); “Biography: WWE Legends” (A&E); “The BMF Documentary: Blowing Money Fast” (Starz); “Branson” (HBO); “Chef’s Table: Pizza” (Netflix); “The Children of the Underground” (FX); “Colosseum” (History); “Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes” (Netflix); “Cosmic Love” (Prime Video); “Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin” (National Geographic); “Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All” (Disney+); “FDR” (History); “Forever Summer: Hamptons” (Prime Video); “God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty” (Hulu); “The Grand Tour: A Scandi Flick” (Prime Video); “Inmate to Roommate” (A&E); “Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey” (Netflix); “Light & Magic” (Disney+); “The Murder Inc Story” (BET); “The One That Got Away” (Prime Video); “Origins of Hip Hop” (A&E); “Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?” (Netflix); “RapCaviar Presents” (Hulu); “Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist” (Netflix); “The Vow Part III” (HBO)



2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Documentary of Nonfiction (Special)

Pamela, a Love Story
Pamela, a Love Story

Weekly Commentary (Updated Aug. 28, 2023): Three beloved figures with powerful stories battle it out for Emmy love — Pamela Anderson, Judy Blume and Michael J. Fox.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Primetime Emmy predictions in the major categories.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Creative Arts predictions in all categories.

The final Emmy voting rounds open on Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. PT and close on Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. PST. The 75th Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. The Creative Arts ceremony will occur on Saturday, Jan. 6, and Sunday, Jan. 7. An edited version will air on FXX on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET. All events will take place at the Peacock Theater at LA Live.

2022 winner — “George Carlin’s American Dream” (HBO)


And the Nominees Are:


  1. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” (Apple TV+)
    Nelle Fortenberry, Laurene Powell Jobs, Nicole Stott (executive producers), Davis Guggenheim, Annetta Marion, Jonathan King, Will Cohen (produced by)

  2. Pamela: A Love Story” (Netflix)
    Jessica Hargrave, Ryan White, Julia Nottingham, Brandon Thomas Lee (producers), Josh Braun (executive producer)

  3. Judy Blume Forever” (Prime Video)
    Meredith Kaulfers (executive producer), Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Davina Pardo, Leah Wolchok, Marcella Steingart (produced by)

  4. Being Mary Tyler Moore” (HBO)
    Ben Selkow, James Adolphus, Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, Debra Martin Chase, Andrew C. Coles, Laura Gardner (produced by)

  5. My Transparent Life” (Prime Video)
    Serena De Comarmond (executive producer), Evan Jenkins (producer)


All Other Eligible Titles (Alphabetical Order)

“Director by Night” (Disney+); “Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return” (Disney+); “100 Years of Warner Bros.” (HBO); “Right to Offend” (A&E); “Stutz” (Netflix); “Til Death Do Us Part Kourtney & Travis” (Hulu); “The Torso Killer Confessions” (A&E); “Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby” (Prime Video); “Unzipped: An Autopsy of American Inequality” (Grainey); “Willow: Behind the Magic” (Disney+)


2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special

The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. (L to R) Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey in The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Cr. Chuck Kennedy/Netflix © 2023
The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. (L to R) Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey in The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Cr. Chuck Kennedy/Netflix © 2023

Weekly Commentary (Updated Aug. 28, 2023): Padma Lakshmi wants a man … a gold man, that is.

After 16 Primetime Emmy nominations throughout her career, she makes no qualms about wanting to make a trip to the stage to accept a statuette. She’s double nominated this year for outstanding host for a reality or competition program for Bravo’s “Top Chef” and outstanding hosted nonfiction series or special for Hulu’s “Taste the Nation.” She’s hoping for her first.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Primetime Emmy predictions in the major categories.

Lakshmi is going up against former first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey for their sit-down series on Netflix.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Creative Arts predictions in all categories.

The final Emmy voting rounds open on Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. PT and close on Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. PST. The 75th Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. The Creative Arts ceremony will occur on Saturday, Jan. 6, and Sunday, Jan. 7. An edited version will air on FXX on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET. All events will take place at the Peacock Theater at LA Live.

2022 winner — “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” (CNN)


And the Nominees Are:


  1. The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama & Oprah Winfrey” (Netflix) ***
    Michelle Obama, Jesse Collins, Dionne Harmon (executive producers), Tanisha Whitfield (supervising producer), Tonia Davis, Ethan Lewis (produced by), Oprah Winfrey (host)

  2. Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi” (Hulu)
    Padma Lakshmi (executive producer, host), David Shadrack Smith, Rachel Tung (executive producer), Lauren Budabin (co-executive producer), Matthew Alvarez (producer)

  3. Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” (CNN)
    Stanley Tucci (executive producer, host), Shauna Minoprio, Robin O’Sullivan, Amy Entelis, Lyle Gamm, Jon Adler (executive producers), Katie Isaacson (supervising producer), Fiona Cleary, Nadya Mahdi (series producers), Francesco Ficarra (producer)

  4. My Next Guest with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy” (Netflix)
    Tom Keaney, Mary Barclay, John Skidmore, Justin Wilkes, Michael Steed (executive producers), Razan Ghalayini (co-executive producer), Tommy Alter (producer)

  5. United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell” (CNN)
    W. Kamau Bell (executive producer, host), Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig, Morgan Fallon, Amy Entelis, Lyle Gamm (executive producers), Dwayne Kennedy (supervising producer), Crystal Isaac, Andrew Ford (producers)



All Other Eligible Titles (Alphabetical Order)

“The Hair Tales” (Hulu); “Planet Sex With Cara Delevingne” (Hulu)


2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Exceptional Merit

Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau  people monitor 'The Territory.'
BAD AXE, from left: Chun Siev, Rachel Siev, 2022. © IFC Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

Weekly Commentary (Updated Aug. 28, 2023): A race determined by a jury is always difficult to predict but I’m thinking it’s a two-horse race between Paramount’s “Last Flight Home” and Nat Geo’s “The Territory” after both competing last year at the Academy Awards.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Primetime Emmy predictions in the major categories.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Creative Arts predictions in all categories.

The final Emmy voting rounds open on Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. PT and close on Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. PST. The 75th Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. The Creative Arts ceremony will occur on Saturday, Jan. 6, and Sunday, Jan. 7. An edited version will air on FXX on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET. All events will take place at the Peacock Theater at LA Live.

2022 winner — “When Claude Got Shot” (PBS)


And the Nominees Are:


  1. The Territory” (National Geographic)
    Alex Pritz, Darren Aronofsky, Sigrid Dyekjær, Will N. Miller, Gabriel Uchida, Lizzie Gillett (produced by), Txai Suruí (executive producer)

  2. Last Flight Home” (Paramount+)
    Ondi Timoner, David Turner (produced by)

  3. Aftershock” (Hulu)
    Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee (a film by)

  4. The Accused: Damned or Devoted?” (PBS)
    Mohammed Ali Naqvi (produced and directed by)


Emmy Awards Predictions Categories

DRAMA SERIES | COMEDY SERIES | LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES | TV MOVIE | LEAD ACTOR (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTOR (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | LEAD ACTRESS (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTRESS (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | TALK SERIES | SCRIPTED VARIETY | GAME SHOW | DIRECTING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | WRITING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | REALITY (COMPETITION, STRUCTURED, UNSTRUCTURED, HOST)

Creative Arts and Other Emmy Categories

GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY) | GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY) | VOICE-OVER | SHORT FORM | DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC | ANIMATED | OTHER CATEGORIES

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans, and executives.

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