FEINBERG FORECAST: Emmy Projections for the Reality Categories

Can NBC's "The Voice" and "Project Runway" hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn triumph again? Does the success of a series correlate with the prospects of its emcee? THR's awards analyst investigates.
Tyler Golden/NBC
"The Voice"

This story first appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 


The Amazing Race (CBS)
Since the establishment of the reality competition series category in 2003, this globetrotting adventure show has been nominated every year and won in all but two: 2010, when Top Chef upended it, and last year, when The Voice pulled off an upset. It undoubtedly benefits from each episode having its own independent story arc, since voters evaluate the nominees on the basis of just one. And while its six total noms this year, on the heels of a Critics' Choice Award nom, offer encouraging signs about its prospects, the second straight snub of its host Phil Keoghan does not.

Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
In 12 years on the air this dancing competition, which pairs celebs with pros, has been nominated an impressive nine times -- but has never won. This year, it had the most total viewers of any reality competition show on TV, and it landed seven total noms (including yet another for its popular host -- see below) -- coincidentally, the same number as the other dance show in the race, So You Think You Can Dance. Only The Voice had more, with 10.

Project Runway (Lifetime)
This nom is the tenth in a row for the fashion design program, the hosts of which won last year's hosting Emmy and account for another of its five total noms this year. Also a Critics' Choice Award nominee this year, its Emmy prospects certainly won't be hurt by having in its corner Harvey Weinstein, one of its executive producers, who also happens to be the greatest awards campaigner of all time. But shows rarely win for the first time in any category this far into their runs.

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
The fourth straight nom for this show, which seeks to identify the dancer who can best handle a variety of challenges, comes thanks to the benevolence of Fox, which nearly canceled it after last season's anemic ratings. Co-creator and judge Nigel Lythgoe pleaded with people to tune in this season, and
ratings did tick up slightly (a Justin Bieber cameo didn't hurt). It heads into this race with seven total noms -- just like Dancing with the Stars.

Top Chef (Bravo)
The cooking competition's eighth consecutive nom in this category (it won in 2010) is impressive, but the fact that it is its only nom this year is not; indeed, all of its fellow nominees in this category have more. (The snub of host Padma Lakshmi, in particular, strikes me as a bad omen.) This season, which took place in New Orleans, has already been recognized with a Critics' Choice Award nomination. But with so many cooking shows now on the air, one has to wonder: have voters simply tired of the genre?

This show, famous for putting big-name judges in huge swivel chairs, last year became the first singing competition ever to win this category. This year, it's back in the running with its third consecutive nomination and has a lot going for it again: the highest ratings of any reality competition show on TV in the coveted 18-49 demo; the second most viewers of any reality competition show, period; and a Critics' Choice Award nomination. It wound up with an impressive 10 Emmy noms -- but, somewhat oddly, host Carson Daly is not among them.


Tom Bergeron
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
The affable everyman, a vet of many popular shows, is the only host to have been nominated all seven years of this category's existence. He scored a win in 2012, was upended last year but could conceivably bounce back this year. He was a Critics' Choice Award nominee.

Anthony Bourdain
The Taste (ABC)
This is the second straight year in which the cerebral celebrity chef was nominated for both this show and his CNN program Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (which won in the category of best informational series or special last year). Taste struggled to retain viewers, but he's still popular (his Emmy nom total is now at 10).

Cat Deeley
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
The bubbly blonde Brit has been with the show for 10 seasons and has earned four noms. Her recent Critics' Choice Award nom helps, but there are bigger names in this category and her show's relatively poor ratings also put her at a disadvantage.

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn
Project Runway (Lifetime)
Last year's winners -- the supermodel and the fashion consultant -- could repeat: Klum earned three noms without Gunn, but it's their rapport that makes them so effective and endearing to fashion novices and aficionados alike.

Jane Lynch -- LIKELY WINNER!
Hollywood Game Night (NBC)
Emceeing the Peacock Network's cash-prize trivia show, which pairs Average Joes with celebs, allows the 2010 Emmy winner (for Glee) and 2011 Emmys host to showcase her improv talents. Whatever she's doing is working: every episode has won its Friday time slot.

Betty White
Betty White's Off Their Rockers (Lifetime)
With 21 noms and five wins to her name, there's no question that the 92-year-old is among the TV Academy's favorites. Is this particular show, a variation of Jackass for the elderly (which NBC canceled and Lifetime picked up before this past season), one of her finest? No, but that didn't keep her from earning her third straight nom for hosting it.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg