The Emmy for “Outstanding Reality Program” can be a bit of a fickle beast. Unlike the “Best Reality Competition Program, which has gone to Amazing Race all but once, this category has been all over the place since 2001 (with the exception of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition both earning two Emmys). Also the 2009 winner Intervention and the 2010 winner Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution aren’t nominated this year, making it even harder to predict who will take home the Emmy.

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List won in 2007 and 2008 but has been unable to snag the trophy since, although Kathy has managed to get herself nominated for a Grammy. Season 6 brought all of Kathy’s usual insanity and hilarity with appearances by Liza Minnelli and Levi Johnston (also let’s not forget her ongoing feud with Sarah Palin). What Kathy has going for her is not groundbreaking reality TV, but that it’s the show’s final season. As an Emmy favorite, the Academy may want to pay a final homage to the show they adore by giving Kathy her third Emmy, but I doubt it.

Antiques Road Show is making its seventh, yes seventh attempt to win a Primetime Emmy. Since 2005 the PBS show has been nominated, but has yet to take home a statue. Hmm I wonder why? Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy a trip to grandma’s attic just as much as the next person, but I think that after seven years it’s safe to say its chances have expired. I think losing to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last year proves that the Academy likes revolutions, just not antiques from them.

Deadliest Catch has a legitimate shot at taking home the statue this year. This is the first year the show is competing in the “Reality Program” category whereas prior years it was unsuccessful as a “Non-Fiction Series.” With seven seasons already aired and an eighth on the way, Discovery’s Deadliest Catch went from being a show about the dangers of crab fishing to one about a family in turmoil. This season fans were moved to tears as they watched two sons say goodbye to their father, Capt. Phil Harris. The show has the ability to capture some very real moments, which ironically are few and far between in reality shows.

Undercover Boss is back for it’s second nomination. This show is the type of “reality” programming where every tug at our heartstrings is carefully thought out. As each high-powered Exec goes “undercover” (aka stops shaving and throws on a hat) they always manage to end up working closely with someone who has a harrowing life tale. The Exec learns some stuff that he didn’t know before while he was clean-shaven in his corner office. Then the employees get a raise and a trip to Florida, and all is well in the world. Good TV, but not Emmy TV.

If you want to start obsessively cleaning your house watch A&E’s Hoarders, which seems to have taken Intervention’s place. However, the show still tackles a different type of addiction – to anything besides drugs. Basically stuffed animals or even real animals (no rats are not off limits) are a hoarders’ equivalent to crack. It’s a train wreck you can’t look away from even when the clutter moves into downright squalor, filled with feces and dead animals. With Intervention winning the Emmy in 2009, A&E has proven to be a contender, giving Hoarders a small chance and a potential trophy to hoard.

If you like watching stuff blow up, then Discovery’s Mythbusters is the show for you. Already on its ninth season, each episode deals with a couple of “myths,” such as “can you beat the breathalyzer test?” No, no you can’t. It’s Mythbusters third nomination and it’s a season that featured the most high-powered guest, President Obama, as part of the White House Science Fair. However, I don’t think Obama will have enough pull to get them the Emmy.

Ultimately this is a tough year to predict because the two previous winners are not nominated, but I think the dramatic impact of Deadliest Catch’s previous season is enough to earn them the trophy and rightfully so. It is the first year it’s competing in the “Outstanding Reality Program” and it would be the perfect tribute to the late Capt. Phil Harris and his sons. However, although it’s chances are slim, I would not be completely surprised if Hoarders, like Intervention two years prior, manages to sneak in and take it.

Road to the Emmys Series

August 24: Miniseries/TV Movie Acting Roundup – Dantzler Smith

August 25: Outstanding Miniseries or TV Movie – Dantzler Smith

August 26: Outstanding Reality Competition Host – Erica Scandariato

August 29: Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series – Phil Wallace

August 30: Outstanding Reality Program – Erica Scandariato

August 31: Outstanding Reality Competition Program – Savanna New

September 1: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy – Dave Morris

September 2: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy – Kendra Beltran

September 6: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama – Angela Stern

September 7: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama – Adam Spunberg

September 8: Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Megan Lane

September 9: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series – Megan Lane

September 12: Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – Kit Bowen

September 13: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series – Andrew Payne

September 14: Outstanding Comedy Series – Rebecca Rose

September 15: Outstanding Drama Series – Andrew Payne

September 18: 63rd Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards