Emmys: Why Two New Reality Categories Already Feel Like Deja Vu

It will be a surprise if structured and unstructured reality prove surprising, writes THR awards expert Scott Feinberg.
ABC/Bob D'Amico
'Shark Tank'

The structured and unstructured reality show categories were introduced in 2014, but a sense of deja vu already has settled in.

Among the structured shows, ABC's Shark Tank has won twice, so a third nom would seem automatic. Antiques Roadshow (PBS), Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Network), Mythbusters (Discovery Channel) and Undercover Boss (CBS) all have received two nominations each and could well be back. And if history does repeat itself, that leaves only one open slot. Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC) and Property Brothers (HGTV), nominated in 2014 and 2015, respectively, have claimed it in the past. But if a newcomer crashes in, look for a breakout like NBC's Little Big Shots or Spike TV's Lip Sync Battle.

On the unstructured side, it's much the same. Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch has won two years in a row. Alaska: The Last Frontier (Discovery Channel), Million Dollar Listing (Bravo) and Wahlburgers (A&E) all are two-time nominees. What could fill out the ballot? Critics' Choice TV Award winner Pawn Stars has one of the strongest shots, with Intervention (A&E), Naked and Afraid (Discovery Channel), Flipping Out (Bravo) and Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan (BBC America) scrambling to take the fifth slot. One title that won't be in the running in this category — even though E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians will — is E!'s I Am Cait, about Caitlyn Jenner's new life. That show, perhaps as a measure of its higher ambitions, will be vying instead in the best documentary or nonfiction series category.

This story first appeared in the June 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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