YouTube Series ‘Hot Ones’ Enters Emmys Talk Series Category, ‘Chicken Shop Date’ and ‘Good Mythical Morning’ on Short Form Ballots (EXCLUSIVE)

The Emmy race just got a bit more spicy.

Three popular YouTube web series have found their content creators taking a chance on themselves, which could significantly impact the Emmy race in some categories. The spicy chicken wing interview series “Hot Ones,” hosted by Sean Evans, has successfully petitioned to be included in the outstanding talk series category. It will compete against late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert.

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Created by Chris Schonberger and produced by Complex Media, “Hot Ones” has garnered over three billion views since its debut in 2015. With three seasons airing per calendar year, seasons 21-23, totaling 36 episodes, all fall within the Emmy eligibility window from June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024. The show has featured celebrity guests like John Mulaney, Sydney Sweeney and Jamie Dornan, and has scored massive viewership on episodes with Jennifer Lawrence (15 million), Conan O’Brien (9.5 million), Stephen Curry (8.2 million) and *NSYNC (6.7 million). Its engaging and viral format could disrupt the talk series category, which lacks a clear frontrunner. In 2022, “Hot Ones” was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding talk show entertainment, with Evans receiving a talk show host nomination the previous year.

The upcoming 24th season of “Hot Ones” will premiere on Thursday, May 23. It will feature “Furiosa” star Chris Hemsworth and will be eligible for the next Emmys cycle.

“Good Mythical Morning,” created by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (better known as Rhett & Link), is also back on the Emmy ballot after a thwarted attempt to enter the talk series race in 2018. This time, it will compete in the outstanding short form comedy, drama or variety series category, going up against Apple’s 2022 winner “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” and potential newcomer “Very Important People” from Dropout.

Each episode of “GMM” features Rhett and Link playing a game with varying formats, often including taste tests. With three seasons in the eligibility calendar (Seasons 23-25), four episodes are available on the TV Academy’s viewing platform for members’ consideration: “International Late Night Snacks,” “Are These Bad Valentine’s Gifts,” “Biggest Stadium Foods in America,” and “How Does This Product Work,” which together have garnered over 5.1 million views on YouTube. The show has produced over 2,500 episodes since its debut in 2012, with the hosts amassing 32 million subscribers.

Read: All Primetime Emmy predictions in every category on Variety’s Awards Circuit.

British creator Amelia Dimoldenberg, fresh off her stint as the Oscars’ social media ambassador, is entering the short form race for the first time with her series “Chicken Shop Date.”

Since its debut in 2014, with 88 episodes in total, “Chicken Shop Date” has featured Dimoldenberg meeting a celebrity guest at a local chicken shop for a date and engaging in casual, awkward and sometimes flirtatious conversation. Nine episodes within the eligibility window include her sit-downs with Cher, Paul Mescal and her YouTube counterpart: Sean Evans of “Hot Ones.”

While YouTube hasn’t made any formal submissions for the Emmys for its creators, this could change soon. Including these popular web programs indicates a growing desire for recognition by the TV Academy. In a recent guest column, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan urged the Emmys to allow more content creators into the Primetime Emmy space. “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” a short-form adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice,” became the first web series to win an Emmy in 2013 for outstanding creative achievement in interactive media (original interactive program). Others have followed, including “Emma Approved” (2015), “NASA JPL: Cassini’s Grand Finale” (2018), “NASA and SpaceX: The Interactive Demo-1 Launch” (2019) and “Create Together” (2020), all of which streamed on YouTube.

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