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All the Emmy-nominated reality shows and hosts, including a few surprises

All the Emmy-nominated reality shows and hosts, including a few surprises
Chrishell Stause and Heather Rae Young on Netflix's Selling Sunset, one of the few new reality shows to get an Emmy nomination. (Photo by Netflix)

The 73rd annual Emmy award nominees were announced today, and to prepare, I copied and pasted last year’s nominations into a new document, so I’d have the categories all ready. As it turned out, I had most of the nominated shows and hosts ready too, because yet again, the Television Academy has mostly nominated the same shows from last year.

I get frustrated by this because there is so much great reality TV, and to see it get passed over for the same shows which just keep pumping out mediocre seasons (I’m looking at you, The Voice) is disappointing.

While last year’s reality TV nominees were a bit better, a lot of the new shows that had appeared—Love is Blind, Cheer, The Masked Singer—are not nominated this year, either because they didn’t air or because they were replaced by shows that did (The Amazing Race took The Masked Singer’s spot in the competition category, for example).

There are some surprises: Gail Simmons got a nomination for Top Chef Portland alongside longtime nominees Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio. The biggest change came in the unstructured reality category, which has four new shows represented, including Bravo’s Below Deck and Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking. The only show that was nominated last year and again nominated this year was RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked.

In these categories, the only shows not nominated this year that were nominated last year were shows that didn’t actually air, such as NBC’s Making It:

  • reality show host
  • structured reality show
  • unstructured reality show
  • reality show casting

Here are the nominees in the 10 major unscripted TV categories. For all nominees, including technical awards, see the full list of nominees.

Emmy statue Television Academy

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series

  • Allen vs. Farrow, HBO
  • American Masters, PBS
  • City So Real, National Geographic
  • Pretend It’s a City, Netflix
  • Secrets of the Whales, Disney+

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special

  • Boys State, Apple TV+
  • Framing Britney Spears (The New York Times Presents), FX
  • The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, HBO
  • The Social Dilemma, Netflix
  • Tina, HBO

Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series Or Special

  • My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, Netflix
  • Oprah With Meghan And Harry: A CBS Primetime Special, CBS
  • Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy, CNN
  • United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell, CNN
  • Vice, Showtime

Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction Or Reality Series

  • Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: Pandemic Video Diaries: Vaxxed And Waxxed, TBS
  • Inside Pixar, Disney+
  • Pose: Identity, Family, Community, FX
  • Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen, Bravo
  • Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man, YouTube

Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program

  • Queer Eye, Netflix
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, VH1
  • Shark Tank, ABC
  • Top Chef, Bravo
  • The Voice, NBC

Outstanding Directing For A Reality Program

  • Amazing Race, CBS
  • Queer Eye, Netflix
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, VH1
  • Top Chef, Bravo
  • The Voice, NBC

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

  • Becoming, Disney+
  • Below Deck, Bravo
  • Indian Matchmaking, Netflix
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, VH1
  • Selling Sunset, Netflix

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Competition Program

  • Nicole Byer, Nailed It!, Netflix
  • Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye, Netflix
  • RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race, VH1
  • Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank, ABC
  • Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Top Chef, Bravo

Outstanding Competition Program

  • The Amazing Race, CBS
  • Nailed It!, Netflix
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, VH1
  • Top Chef, Bravo
  • The Voice, NBC

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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