Edgy, first-rate and thought-provoking; are words that best describe winners of the Outstanding Reality Program Emmy. There have been eight winners within the categories’ history and two programs winning back to back Emmys; Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2005 & 2006) and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (2007 & 2008). What makes a program edgy and thought-provoking is their originality and individualism which defines what a show really is. Extreme Makeover is a show that not only makes over the deserving persons home but makes their lives better by providing them with their essential needs, giving them hope and comfort, which alone makes this show standout from the rest of the reality programs.  This year Emmy has expanded the playing field with six nominees, one more from last year.

Nominated five times with no wins is PBS anchor program, Antiques Roadshow. Anybody who has ever switched the channel to PBS on weekend afternoons has seen this educational and informative show of regular folk bringing their historic treasures and family heirlooms to get appraised and figure how much the item is worth. This show was nominated for the past five years for a reason; I like the show for its historic information about the items, it gives people the satisfaction to never throw anything away no matter how old anyone tells you that item is.  Unfortunately that’s what the show just does; I just think Emmy needed a filler nomination and this is it.  Ouch! Sorry, but it’s true.

This past spring we needed an English celebrity chef to smack us across the face so we could see the crap we have been putting in our bodies all these years. Executive producers Ryan Seacrest and Jamie Oliver gave us six weeks of reality in U.S. obesity with, ABC’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. This show has it all, original concept focusing on recent health issues, and provides a look into exactly what is a chicken nugget really made out of. Revolution deserves a nomination and a win. I love the statistical choice of location, filming in the unhealthiest city in the country; Huntington, West Virginia.

This year marks CBS’s first year to have an outstanding reality program nomination with Undercover Boss. This program follows CEO’s and executives from familiar companies like7-Eleven and White Castle to work undercover as a regular hourly employee with unsuspecting co-workers. The premise is original, sentimental and personal. But what it lacks is its believability. Well, I suppose it’s their editing, in which each episode has the same ending, with the executive announcing that he has been working undercover as a “common employee” to its fellow salaried employees.  Deserves the nomination but does not deserve a win.

Mike Rowe should be getting back pay for the different jobs he goes through in his three year old Discovery Channel program Dirty Jobs. From septic cleaner to recycling warehouse worker Mr. Rowe shows us the different jobs as small as they are, provides an important part in our lives. Nominated last year and losing to A&E’s Intervention, this show is interesting due to its look into different jobs we pencil pushers and gossip readers do not know about, and gives the viewer appreciation of what regular Americans are doing to help make to country run great. The shows great hope Rowe keeps up the good work and finally gets an Emmy along down the road.

Have you ever wondered: If a soda cup could kill a driver if thrown out the window penetrating the windshield of the passing car? If someone can literally be knocked out of their socks?  And would a flaming trail of gasoline from a moving vehicle catch up to its tank and cause it to explode? For six years Jamie and Adam have been a household name for those who love science and for those who have seen crazy stunts on television and movies but don’t have the time or friends to help do those things. Nominated for a second straight year Mythbusters, the show about tackling the biggest myths/stunts in Hollywood so we don’t have to, the show brings lots of originality in terms of the concept to each episode. The show has shelled out around 170 episodes so far and currently in its 8th season. If I were running things I would only be concerned if eating pop rocks and drinking soda won’t make your stomach explode. Six years is an amazing feat for a reality show, and this may also bring some competition to D-List and Food Revolution, but I have a feeling that we’ll see Mythbusters win next year.

If you want edgy reality programs then Bravo should be the channel you should be tuned to. This year Bravo brings Emmy winner for two years Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Nominated again this year, the program revolves around self-proclaimed D-list celebrity Kathy Griffin and her adventures with Hollywood celebrities and executives and her colorful life. Different from all other nominees in the past, we know Kathy as a hilarious stand-up comedian and actress, but following a celebrity’s daily life…totally cool. This concept first started with MTV’s The Osbournes (2002) following this crazy families every move intrigues us. D-List should win but might receive competition from Jamie Oliver’s show.

My pick for this year’s winner would go to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, based on the recent issue of the countries dire need to get healthy. It was all the qualities of what a reality show really is. The original concept of educating our children to make better eating choices and also to make eating healthier and fun, makes this show a winner.

Road to the Emmys Series

July 5: Nomination Preview Podcast – Lilit Marcus, Andrew Payne, Rebecca Rose, and Phil Wallace

July 8: Nomination Analysis Podcast – Rebecca Rose, Dantzler Smith, Phil Wallace, and Bryce Van Kooten

July 12: Outstanding Host: Reality Show or Reality Competition – Adam Spunberg

July 14: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie – Adam Spunberg

July 15: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie – Phil Wallace

July 19: Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie – Phil Wallace

July 21: Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie – Gene Williams

July 26: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special – Savanna New

July 28: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series – Dantzler Smith

August 2: Outstanding Reality Program – Gene Williams

August 4: Outstanding Reality Competition Program – Savanna New

August 7: Outstanding Made for TV Movie – Savanna New

August 8: Outstanding Miniseries – Adam Spunberg

August 9: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Rebecca Rose

August 10: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Kit Bowen

August 11: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Rebecca Rose

August 12: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Andrew Payne

August 16: Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Phil Wallace

August 17: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series – Steve Neumann

August 18: Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – Andrew Payne

August 19: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series – Bryce Van Kooten

August 23: Outstanding Comedy Series – Kit Bowen

August 25: Outstanding Drama Series – Adam Spunberg

August 29: 62nd Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards