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Emmy Predictions: Best Reality Program Categories

I continue my series of Emmy predictions with the programs eligible in the categories for Best Reality-Competition Program, Best Reality Host and Best Reality Program. I’m going to take a look at the categories and make groupings: Tier One, Tier Two and Tier Three. Tier One placements are for people/programs that I fully expect to get an Emmy nomination. Tier Two are people/programs that are still in the running but could be left out. And Tier Three are people/programs that I don’t expect to be nominated, but they would be a little bit of a surprise. Let’s take a look at the categories…

BEST REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM:
TIER ONE:
The Amazing Race
Top Chef
The Voice

*I would be shocked if any of these three programs missed the cut. The Amazing Race and Top Chef are the only two shows to ever win in this category. The Voice is more popular than ever. I could actually see a scenario where The Voice becomes the third show to win an Emmy here. It’s gotten great notices and it’s one of the most talked about shows of the year. Watch out for a possible upset.*

TIER TWO:
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Masterchef
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Survivor

*It’ll be interesting to see what happens here. Dancing with the Stars has been consistently nominated, but they have had two poorly received seasons this year. It’s not a lock as it has previously been. Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance are in that same boat too. I expect them to be nominated but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them left off the nomination list. American Idol was finally left off last year in favor of The Voice. This season was even worse, but it’s still one of the most watched shows and the controversy with Mariah & Nicki. Survivor is a strong contender for a return appearance. It had two of its most talked about seasons this past year and that could help bring it back into the fold. Masterchef has been campaigning hard for a nomination. Gordon Ramsay has even been making the rounds promoting it and doing Emmy roundtables. Don’t be surprised if it shows up on Emmy nomination morning.*

TIER THREE:
America’s Got Talent
Big Brother
The Biggest Loser: Challenge America
The Glee Project
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The X Factor

*These are way, way outside contenders. America’s Got Talent, Big Brother and The Biggest Loser are reality television mainstays that have never received nominations. Will it change this year? The Glee Project and RuPaul’s Drag Race are fan favorites, but may not be appealing to the Emmy voters.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
The Amazing Race
Masterchef
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

*I really think Dancing with the Stars is going to be left off this list. It wasn’t good this year and I don’t see Emmy voters pulling for it. But what’s going to replace it? It’s hard to make a return to the list, which doesn’t look good for American Idol and Survivor. That leaves Masterchef, which really has been pushing for a nomination. I think it will work out for them. In terms of a potential winner: it’s going to be a close call between The Amazing Race and The Voice.*

BEST HOST – REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM:
TIER ONE:
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Carson Daly, The Voice

*Tom Bergeron is safe, even if I don’t think DWTS is going to get a Series nomination. I’m also comfortable predicting Carson Daly. With the success of The Voice this year and a possible upset in the main category, I would be surprised if that love didn’t carry over to a nomination for Carson Daly.

TIER TWO:
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, Project Runway
Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers

*There are a lot of people vying for those final three spots. Jeff Probst getting left off of the list last year (after winning 4 years in a row) was one of the most shocking snubs in Emmy history. Betty White is an Emmy favorite, but I don’t know if there love for her will translate into another nomination for a mediocre show. I’m really rooting for Project Runway to get back in here now that Tim Gunn is credited with Heidi Klum. It’s a long time coming and I would be thrilled to see Tim Gunn finally nominated. I could see any combination of people from this tier nominated though.*

TIER THREE:
Nick Cannon, America’s Got Talent
RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s Drag Race
Jamie Hyneman & Adam Savage, MythBusters
Gordon Ramsay, Masterchef
Mark L. Walberg, Antiques Roadshow

*While these people are on the far edges of possible nominees, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see them sneak in and grab a spot. I just don’t think it’s likely with so many other worthy contenders from more Emmy friendly shows.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Carson Daly, The Voice
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, Project Runway
Jeff Probst, Survivor

*It was tough to narrow down the contenders from the second tier. I think Jeff Probst will be making a return appearance. His snub last year was enough to generate some press, conversation, and a little bit of sympathy. I think that’s enough to propel him to another nomination. The addition of Tim Gunn as a co-host to Heidi Klum’s nomination will help Project Runway get noticed here. And I’m really just hope-dicting a return for Cat Deeley, who is my favorite reality host and should be a potential winner. But once again, I wouldn’t be surprised if Phil Keoghan, Ryan Seacrest of Betty White were all included here. It’s a tough race to call.*

BEST REALITY PROGRAM:
TIER ONE:
Antiques Roadshow
Deadliest Catch
MythBusters
Undercover Boss

*The Emmys love to nominate the same shows over and over again. Antiques Roadshow has been nominated every year since 2005, MythBusters has been nominated every year since 2009, and Undercover Boss has been nominated every year since 2010 (including a win last year). I expect all of them to easily pick up another nomination. Deadliest Catch is also an Emmy favorite that has been flipping-flopping between this category and Non-Fiction Series. It won this category in 2011.*

TIER TWO:
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Catfish: The TV Show
Intervention
Kitchen Nightmares
Shark Tank
Whale Wars

*Shark Tank was nominated last year, but I’m not completely confident it will get back in with a more competitive field. You can never count out Betty White and Intervention won this category in 2009, so they are very much in the running. Whale Wars has received numerous technical nominations, but it never translated into a Program nomination. Kitchen Nightmares got a lot of press for its season finale episode. Maybe that was some good inadvertent Emmy campaigning. And Catfish: The TV Show has been catapulted into the spotlight after the Manti T’eo story. Some more inadvertent Emmy campaigning that could help it out.*

TIER THREE:
Duck Dynasty
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Storage Wars

*I can also rename this tier of programs the ‘Popular Shows’ tier. These are all extremely successful shows that are on people’s radar, but may not necessarily be “classy” enough for Emmy voters to appreciate.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Antiques Roadshow
Catfish: The TV Show
Deadliest Catch
MythBusters
Shark Tank
Undercover Boss

*I’m calling the final two spots for Catfish and Shark Tank. I think they’re both popular enough. Plus I think they are on the more ‘respectable’ side of reality programs, which is what Emmy voters seem to like in this category (based on who they have previously nominated here). In terms of winning: I think that Deadliest Catch will probably pick up another trophy.*

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