Cat Deeley, SYTYCD, Hoarders finally nominated for Emmys

The Emmy nominees were announced this morning, and there was surprising and excellent news in the major reality TV categories: After years of being snubbed, both So You Think You Can Dance and its host Cat Deeley were nominated, as was A&E’s excellent series Hoarders.

Otherwise, those categories were very much like last year, thanks to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences general laziness. Last fall’s surprise winner Top Chef was nominated along with So You Think You Can Dance and The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and Project Runway; hosts nominated in addition to Cat were Tom Bergeron, Phil Keoghan, Jeff Probst, and Ryan Seacrest (Heidi Klum wasn’t nominated). The outstanding reality program category remains weird, with entries from Kathy Griffin to Hoarders to Antiques Roadshow.

While the big categories and shows get attention, most reality shows and documentaries got nominated in technical categories, which range from Whale Wars‘ two nominations (for cinematography and sound) to a bunch of nominations for So You Think You Can Dance‘s choreographers.

Here’s the list of reality TV-related nominees. In some categories, my list excludes nominees that aren’t reality shows or documentaries. You can see the full list of nominations and episodes that were nominated on the Emmys’ web site.

  • Outstanding Reality Competition Program: The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, and Top Chef.
  • Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program: Dancing with the Stars‘ Tom Bergeron, So You Think You Can Dance‘s Cat Deeley, The Amazing Race‘s Phil Keoghan, Survivor‘s Jeff Probst, and American Idol‘s Ryan Seacrest.
  • Outstanding Reality Program: Antiques Roadshow, Deadliest Catch, Hoarders, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, MythBusters, and Undercover Boss.
  • Outstanding Nonfiction Special: Becoming Chaz, His Way, Jaws: The Inside Story
  • Outstanding Nonfiction Series: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and 30 for 30
  • Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking: Freedom Riders, Gasland, and The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg And The Pentagon Papers.
  • Outstanding Choreography: So You Think You Can Dance‘s Mia Michaels (for Alice in Mia-Land “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” / “When We Dance” / “This Bitter Earth – On The Nature of Daylight” ), Stacey Tookey (for “Mad World” / “Sundrenched World” / “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”), Travis Wall (“Collide” / “How It Ends” / “Fix You”), Mandy Moore (“Oh Yeah” / “Boogie Shoes” / “I Surrender”), and Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo (“Scars” / “Fallin” / “Outta Your Mind”); Dancing with the Stars‘ Mark Ballas (Jive “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” / Viennese Waltz “Hedwigs Theme (Theme from Harry Potter)” / Slow Waltz “My Love” ).
  • Outstanding Cinematography For Reality Programming: The Amazing Race 18, Deadliest Catch, Intervention, Survivor Redemption Island, and Top Chef All-Stars.
  • Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Gasland, If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise, and Whale Wars.
  • Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming: The Amazing Race 18, Becoming Chaz, Gasland, and Top Chef All-Stars.
  • Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series: American Idol 10
  • Outstanding Art Direction For Variety, Music Or Nonfiction Programming: American Idol 10, episode 18
  • Outstanding Picture Editing For Reality Programming: The Amazing Race 18, Deadliest Catch, Project Runway 8, Survivor Redemption Island, The Amazing Race 16, American Idol, Whale Wars
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Or Music Series Or Special: American Idol
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming (single or multi-camera) : The Amazing Race 18, American Idol 10, and Deadliest Catch
  • Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Series: American Idol 10 and Dancing with the Stars 11.
  • Outstanding Writing For Nonfiction Programming: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Freedom Riders, and Gasland
  • Outstanding Short-Form Picture Editing: American Idol 10.
  • Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special (Non-Prosthetic): Dancing with the Stars 12
  • Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety, Music, Or Comedy Series: American Idol 10, Dancing with the Stars 12.
  • Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special: America’s Got Talent 5, Dancing with the Stars 11

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.