TV critics’ awards reality nominees: slightly less embarrassing than last year’s

The nominees for the Television Critics Association’s annual awards have been announced, and in the Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming category, we’ve once again embarrassed ourselves, though less than last year, as two high-quality series deserving of recognition have been nominated: The Glee Project and So You Think You Can Dance. The others, ugh.

The press release details all nominees in all categories, but here are the reality nominees:

  • The Amazing Race, CBS
  • Dancing with the Stars, ABC
  • The Glee Project, Oxygen
  • So You Think You Can Dance, Fox
  • The Voice, NBC

This represents some progress over last year’s nominations. But it’s still disappointing. Primarily, we’ve nominated all competition series, which represent just a fraction of actual unscripted television. What about the docudramas, the series that take us into other people’s lives?

And the actual nominees, ugh. By no objective standard does The Amazing Race belong there, especially since it won last year. Dancing with the Stars and The Voice do what they do well, but did they just have “outstanding” seasons? No. (The Voice actually got worse.)

Forgive me for being grumpy that the genre I love gets little respect, especially from a group full of smart people who (are supposed to) think critically about television, and especially when there are so many deserving series that we could acknowledge, highlight, and bring attention to with an award–even popular ones on broadcast networks.

But alas, these are what they are. So now I have to decide between So You Think You Can Dance and The Glee Project, and I’m not yet sure which way I’ll vote.

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.