'Dancing' leads reality TV Emmy Awards field for second straight year
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/17/2008
Eighteen reality television shows received a total of 50 nominations in today's announcement of the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominees -- with the number of shows and the amount of total nominations representing the highest figures ever for both.
Leading the 2007-2008 reality TV Emmy Awards nomination field for the second consecutive year is ABC's Dancing with the Stars, which received eight nominations from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences -- the same number it received last year.
However Dancing with the Stars is hoping for a reversal of fortune, as it was shut out in all eight categories it received 2006-2007 Emmy nominations in. Dancing with the Stars received six nominations in its first season in 2005-2006 and won two.
Despite airing only one edition during the 2007-2008 season, CBS' The Amazing Race -- the most successful reality show at the Emmys with 10 statuettes (including three last year) -- received six nominations, placing it second behind only Dancing with the Stars. The Amazing Race had been nominated for five Emmys for three straight years before earning six nods this year.
Most notably, The Amazing Race was once again been nominated in the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program category, which it has won every year since the Academy first created the Emmy Awards category five years ago.
Despite The Amazing Race's Emmy dominance, show host Phil Keoghan failed to receive a nod in the Academy's new Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program category.
While American Idol was able to snap its Emmy losing streak last year, the Fox mega-hit actually saw its number of nominations decrease for the third year in a row -- from eight in 2005-2006 to seven last year and to five this year.
American Idol has been nominated for 34 Primetime Emmy Awards since it was first eligible in 2003 but has won only one, which came last year and was awarded to the show's first annual Idol Gives Back charity event.
Bravo's Project Runway received its highest total of nominations ever with five. This is the show's fourth year of eligibility. Project Runway had received three nods for each of the last two years and one in its first year, however the show has yet to record a win and is 0 for 7.
Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch received four nominations for the second consecutive year after receiving three in its first year of eligibility. Deadliest Catch's nomination haul was also tied by Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, which went 2 for 2 in Emmy victories last year, its second of eligibility.
CBS' Survivor received three nominations, up two from the single nomination it received last year, which was the first time the show had ever received fewer than four nods.
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However Survivor was left out of the running for the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program award for the second consecutive year and only the second time since the category was created in 2003. Survivor was first Emmy Award eligible in 2001 when it received five nominations and scored two wins. It has not been victorious since then.
Bravo's Top Chef also received three nominations in its third year of eligibility, which is up from the two nominations it received last year.
ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition received two nominations for the second year in a row, including its third straight nod in the Outstanding Reality Program category. While Extreme Makeover: Home Edition won the award in 2005-2006 and in 2006-2007, Bravo'sKathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List claimed the category last year.
My Life on the D-List will have a chance to repeat as the show has once again received a nod in the Outstanding Reality Program category, as did A&E's Intervention, which received a total of two nominations. In addition, Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs received its first nod in the Outstanding Reality Program category.
My Life on the D-List, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Intervention and Dirty Jobs will compete for the Outstanding Reality Program Emmy against PBS' Antiques Roadshow, which -- despite the Academy's categorization -- would not normally be considered "reality TV" by most television viewers. Antiques Roadshow has received a nod in the category for four consecutive years.
In addition to My Life on the D-List and Dirty Jobs, also rounding out the nominations with one apiece are Fox's Hell's Kitchen; History's Ice Road Truckers; CBS' Kid Nation and Pirate Master; A&E's Little People, Big World; and Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor.
The 50 2007-2008 primetime season reality TV nominations (which required a program to air by May 31, 2008) continued the genre's upswing from 39 nominations in 2007-2008; 34 nominations in 2005-06; 26 nominations in 2004-05; 23 nominations in 2003-04; and 11 nominations in 2002-2003 -- the first year that a formal "reality TV" category was introduced to the Emmys.
The 18 shows nominated is also up from the 14 programs nominated in 2007, the eight programs nominated in 2006, and the nine programs nominated in each of the two previous years.
In the network reality TV race, CBS was able to edge both ABC and Fox in total nominations by a score of 11 to 10, with Bravo scoring eight nods and NBC having none for the second straight year.
The largest number of Emmys presented to reality shows for a single primetime season happened just last year, when The Amazing Race received three, So You Think You Can Dance received two, and American Idol and My Life on the D-List each won one for a total of seven. It bested the previous record of five, which occurred in 2006-2007 when The Amazing Race won three and Dancing with the Stars was awarded two.
Thanks to this year's nominations, the top five reality television programs in all-time Emmy nominations has also changed.
Taking the top spot from Survivor (33) is American Idol (34), while The Amazing Race (26) remained in third and Dancing with the Stars (22) stayed in fourth. Project Runway (12) entered the Top 5 for the first time, bumping out The Apprentice (8).
The 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented on Saturday, September 13 (in the "creative arts" categories) and Sunday, September 21 (in the "major" categories, including Outstanding Reality-competition Program).
A complete list of reality TV nominees for the 2007-08 Emmy Awards can be found here.