Reality Emmy nominees replay of last year
Showtime's 'This American Life' is the only newcomerWhile the drama and comedy series categories enjoyed a renaissance this year, aside from honoring reality hosts for the first time, Emmy's major unscripted categories largely followed last year's script.
The competition series nominees are CBS' five-time winner "The Amazing Race," Fox's "American Idol," ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and Bravo's "Project Runway" and "Top Chef," all of which were in the category last year.
Jane Lipsitz, executive producer of "Chef" and "Runway," is back in a position of competing against herself. This time, there's the added twist that she's leaving "Runway" once the series shifts to Lifetime next year.
"We're just so thrilled about both 'Top Chef' and 'Runway,' particularly 'Top Chef' since last year was the first year it was nominated," she said. "It's particularly meaningful for 'Runway' because we're finishing up our last season so we're emotional about the show right now so getting nominated for it is important and special."
For the second consecutive year, CBS' "Survivor" is a notable absence from the competition series list. The snub is even more surprising this year as the veteran reality show's most recent cycle garnered strong critical praise.
"I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was a little disappointed that 'Survivor' wasn't nominated," said "Survivor" host Jeff Probst, who picked up a nomination in the host category. "We're coming off two of our very best seasons."
The nominees for outstanding nonfiction series also were familiar. Discovery Channel's "The Deadliest Catch," PBS' "American Masters," Biography Channel's "Biography" and Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio" all received nominations again this year.
Showtime's "This American Life" was the only newcomer, filling a spot vacated by Discovery's one-shot miniseries "Planet Earth."
Outstanding reality program had a couple new faces, with A&E's "Intervention" and Discovery's "Dirty Jobs" landing in the category for the first time, joining returning nominees ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Bravo's "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" and PBS' "Antiques Roadshow"
"Dirty Jobs" executive producer Craig Piligian said his expectations were so low, he didn't even know Emmy nominations were being announced Thursday.
"It's a good little show," Piligian said. "(Host) Mike Rowe works so hard for it, he gets hurt and bit and cut and we're pleased the academy has responded to it."
For the newly created category of reality host, Ryan Seacrest ("Idol"), Tom Bergeron ("Dancing"), Howie Mandel ("Deal or No Deal"), Heidi Klum ("Runway") and Probst ("Survivor") received nominations.
"I'm not about to try and shrug it off as no big deal," Probst said. "It kicks ass. There are a ton of really good hosts who weren't nominated, but I'm certainly delighted I was one of the ones selected."
Bergeron wasn't as pumped.
"Even if my name had not been among the five nominees, I'm just pleased the category exists," he said.
Still, Bergeron already has worked up a strategy to beat the competition: "I'm going to have dimples put in to compete with Probst, shaving my head to compete with Howie, waxing my legs to compete with Heidi and cutting 20 years off my resume to compete with Ryan."
Kimberly Nordyke contributed to this report.