Following in the same vein as every recent awards show of note, the CBS-produced 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards announced that Stephen Colbert will be hosting the festivities. When CBS had the Tony Awards, it named late-night talk show host James Corden as the emcee. NBC uses Jimmy Fallon when it has an awards show to produce, like the Golden Globes earlier this month. And ABC leans on its late-night Jimmy, Jimmy Kimmel.
The trend is obvious and rather intelligent. Each network wants to have a good show with an able host leading the way. Who better to pop in and out of a conversation to keep the show moving like a talk show host? Each network knows its man (or men, in CBS’ case) is capable of such a job because it sees him night after night.
The bonus of this technique is getting “free” publicity for each channel’s late-night man. Surely CBS will make it known that Colbert, the upcoming Emmys host, happens to have his own show that viewers can check out weeknights on CBS!
One more factor plays to Colbert’s favor in this instance. Colbert is more politically charged in his comedy and nature than any of his main competitors on network television. As Rolling Stone points out, CBS may be hoping to gather a slightly bigger audience with those tuning in to see where Colbert goes with his opportunity. As surprising as it may sound, this will be the first time Colbert has ever hosted the Emmys.