When the Emmy nominations were announced two weeks ago, we deemed them to be pretty great. One of the reasons for this was that Conan’s version of The Tonight Show was nominated in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series category and Jay Leno’s version of The Tonight Show was not — a small bit of cosmic justice. But now, Deon Cole, one of Conan’s writers, tweets the news that this category will not be televised:
NOT "NBC" but the powers that be has sent us an email saying that the category we are nominated for will not be televised this year! really?
Since the Emmys are airing on NBC this year (and hosted by another NBC late-nighter, Jimmy Fallon), it's possible the "powers that be" are a little more sensitive to NBC's desires than they otherwise might be. If the Emmys don't want to be seen as secret agents of Jay Leno, they should (1) televise this category, or (2) cross their fingers and hope The Daily Show wins for the eighth year in a row, making the excuse that they weren't trying to snub Conan, just trying to save all of us from a really boring award, seem remotely plausible.
UPDATE: So the Emmys really aren't trying to snub Conan! The un-televised category will actually be for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series not for Outstanding Variety Series, which means Conan could still give at least one "booyah" speech to the millions watching at home. Hit the jump for the — totally reasonable! — explanation for the writing category's exclusion.
As of last year, the Directing and Writing for Series and Directing and Writing for Specials categories will switch off being televised: Each will be on the prime-time show every other year. Last year Series Writers and Directors were televised, so this year it's Specials Writers and Directors' turn. That's why Conan's Tonight Show staff won't be on the big show, not thanks to some all-powerful, covert, pro–Jay Leno faction (which, of course, may still exist).