Reality TV Emmy nominations will, sadly, probably look very familiar

Tomorrow morning, the nominees for prime-time Emmy awards will be announced, and for the three major reality TV categories, there’s unlikely to be much change.

RealScreen asked me to look at the possible contenders, and my sad conclusion is that they’ll probably look a lot like last year’s: in fact, the same five shows have been nominated for best competition series for three years in a row. They are The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, and Top Chef.

As I wrote, I’d love to see Runway‘s place taken by Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (weaker in the past few seasons but still deserving), ABC’s Shark Tank, NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice, or CBS’ Survivor, which has been going strong lately. As to hosts, I think Heidi Klum’s nomination should go to Cat Deeley; Heidi’s a great judge, but she’s not a host, and Cat deserves recognition. The others nominated last year are probably a lock for a re-nomination.

In the non-competition category, I think A&E’s compelling Hoarders and Animal Planet’s outstanding Whale Wars deserve nominations instead of weird nominees like Antiques Roadshow. But I’m not expecting to be surprised.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.