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'The Amazing Race' continues Emmy run, Jeff Probst wins best host

By John Bracchitta and Steve Rogers, 09/22/2008 

A pair of CBS reality TV pioneers came away victorious during last night's live broadcast of the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, with The Amazing Race continuing its Outstanding Reality-competition Program award dominance and Survivor host Jeff Probst winning the inaugural Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program statuette.


It was the sixth year in a row that The Amazing Race has captured the Outstanding Reality-competition Program award, and it remains the only show to win the award since the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences first created the category in 2002.

The award was presented by Don Rickles and Kathy Griffin -- who won the Outstanding Reality Program Emmy at last week's Creative Arts Awards for Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.

"Thanks [to] the Academy. Thanks Academy, thanks CBS, and thanks to the phenomenal people that make this happen together with us," The Amazing Race co-creator and executive producer Bertram van Munster told the audience.  "It's really an -- of course it's extraordinary what's happening tonight so thank you very much."

The win raised The Amazing Race's Emmy award total to 11 since it was first eligible in 2002 however it represented the only win out of the six nominations the show had received for this year's awards.  Overall, The Amazing Race has received 26 nominations since it premiered in 2001.

The Amazing Race had competed with Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, Top Chef and American Idol in the Outstanding Reality-competition Program category. 

Probst defeated Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron, Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel, Project Runway host Heidi Klum, and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest to win the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program award.

In recognition of the new award, the five reality hosts had also served as the co-hosts of the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony.  The Academy board had approved the addition of the new Emmy Award category earlier this year.

Probst's Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program was presented by Jimmy Kimmel Live! host Jimmy Kimmel.  Kimmel parodied a reality results show-style format to present the award.  After calling all five reality host nominees out on stage, Kimmel recapped some imaginary judges comments before announcing the winner would be revealed after a short commercial break.

"Thank you very much. I will be short because we're [running] long and part of the reason I know is [because of] the five hosts up here tonight," Probst said after Kimmel finally revealed his Emmy win.  "This has been a great experience for me -- for all of us -- and we really feel honored to be a part of this family, thank you for letting reality in. To [Survivor producer] Mark Burnett and to [CBS CEO] Leslie Moonves, thank you for quite honestly changing my life.  [To my agent] Sean Perry, thank you for keeping me on track."

"And finally, to the Survivor family that I work with -- year in, year out all over the work, we are a traveling band of gypsies -- thank you for making me look good enough to warrant one of these, I share it with you," Probst continued.  "I don't know how we'll divvy it up, but I'm sure the guys in the Art Department will figure it out.  Thanks for having us tonight, goodnight."

Although the show has received 31 nominations, Probst's win represents Survivor's first Emmy victory since the show won the Outstanding Non-Fiction Program and Outstanding Sound Mixing For Non-Fiction Programming awards during its first year of eligibility in 2001.

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