Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules,” Hulu’s “The Kardashians” and TLC’s “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way” are among the 45 reality programs hoping to nab their first Emmy nominations. This is down from the previous three years, which had 65, 48 and 44 submissions, respectively.
Nomination voting opened on Thursday to members of the Television Academy, with the three juggernaut-rated shows vying for consideration in the outstanding unstructured reality series category.
“Vanderpump” is coming off its biggest season yet after star Tom Sandoval was revealed to be cheating on his partner of nine years, Ariana Madix (with her best friend and fellow co-star Raquel Leviss). Dubbed on social media as “#Scandoval,” the talk surrounding the show’s 10th season has been electrifying, adding another massive hit for the Bravo network, which also steers franchise hits like “Real Housewives” and “Below Deck.” The latter has received two consecutive noms in 2021 and 2022.
An original cast member of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Lisa Vanderpump’s spin-off series might be in the most vital position of any of the network’s roster to receive recognition. Bravo and the English businesswoman have made no secret about wanting Emmy gold. During a red carpet interview with Gold Derby at the NBCU FYC House on May 23, Vanderpump said regarding wanting a nomination, “I don’t know why it means so much to me, but it does.”
With Netflix’s “Cheer” and last year’s winner “Love on the Spectrum U.S.” not eligible, Vanderpump’s wish just might come true, although it won’t be easy. Among the other shows in the running are former nominees “Selling Sunset” from Netflix and MTV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked,” which won in 2022. Others include FX’s freshman series “Welcome to Wrexham” from Ryan Reynolds and the ninth season of TLC’s famous “90 Day Fiancé” spin-off “The Other Way.”
Hulu’s “The Kardashians” missed out on a nom for its inaugural season, which the streamer boasted as its most-watched unscripted series in its history. Coming after Hulu ordered 20 more episodes of the series that follows Kourtney, Kim, and Khloé Kardashian, along with their half-sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and their mother, Kris, a new Emmy voting method this year could benefit the TV family (no matter the eye rolls you think the public will have).
The general public may not be aware of the three different reality categories at the Emmys — unstructured, structured, and competition — or even the difference between them all. Nonetheless, consumers will recognize many of the hot titles in the mix. Unstructured shows contain story elements driven by characters’ actions and lack a consistent “structured” template. At the same time, structured has elements that “mostly adhere to a recurring structured template.”
The race for structured reality has 37 shows looking for Emmy love, a slight increase from the 36 entries in 2022. Among those are two Netflix hits — the dating show “Love is Blind” and the makeover series “Queer Eye,” which set the record for most wins ever in this category last year with five. In addition, Showtime’s “Couples Therapy” and Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” looks to sneak into the lineup.
With last year’s winner for outstanding competition program “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” not eligible, the race (which returns to its original name this year, “reality competition”) finds 59 titles angling for recognition, a downtick from the 81 in 2022. Among those desiring to “receive a rose” is ABC’s two love shows, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” #BachelorNation will have to battle the talents of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” from MTV, “The Amazing Race” from CBS and “The Voice” from NBC.
What’s a reality show without a great host? There are 67 emcees vying for noms, including married couple Nick and Vanessa Lachey from “Love is Blind” and the Sharks of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary.
Meanwhile, game shows, which were moved to the Primetime ceremony for the first time this year have 25 programs up for consideration which include pop culture staples such as “Family Feud,” “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.” As a result, five nominees will be named.
Nomination voting is now open to the 20,000+ members of the Television Academy. The first round of voting ends on June 26 at 10 p.m. PT. The official nominees will be announced on Tuesday, July 12. The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment, are (tentatively scheduled pending the outcome of the WGA strike) on Monday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Fox. The two-night Creative Arts Emmys are scheduled for Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.
Emmy predictions are updated every Thursday on Variety Awards Circuit.