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Real Competitors

June 11, 2008|TOM O'NEIL

SPOTLIGHT: Winning this Emmy category would be a sweet dessert and ultimate prize for Guy Fieri, who now has his own TV series in "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" after winning Bobby Flay's reality show, "The Next Food Network Star," in 2006.




"American Masters"


"Deadliest Catch"


"The Jewish Americans"

"Meerkat Manor"

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, June 14, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
In Contention: The In Contention column on potential Emmy nominees in Wednesday's edition of The Envelope said "E! True Hollywood Story" has never been nominated for the prime-time television award. The show has received three nominations.

"This American Life"

SPOTLIGHT: Despite media and viewer mega-hype, "Meerkat Manor" hasn't been nominated in this category yet, but it got a hefty push at the tail end of Emmy eligibility and the start of the voting period as Animal Planet ballyhooed a special heart-tugging movie version focusing on the animals' matriarch -- the formidable Flower, otherwise known as the "Kalahari Desert Rose."


"Ax Men"

"Good Eats"

"Ice Road Truckers"

"Inside the Actors' Studio"

"Locked Up Abroad"

"Modern Marvels"

"Orangutan Island"


SPOTLIGHT: While "Inside the Actors' Studio" and the interview program's host, James Lipton, convey unbridled adoration toward industry insiders who appear on the show, the love has so far not been returned by the industry. Despite 11 past nominations in this category, the show has never won the golden statue.


"Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations"

"Big Ideas for a Small Planet"

"E! True Hollywood Story"

"The First 48"

"Human Body: Pushing the Limits"

"Myths and Legends"

"1,000 Places to See Before You Die"

SPOTLIGHT: Strange but true: "E! True Hollywood Story" has never been nominated despite airing consistently excellent exposes of a very strange town since 1996. This year, it told its ultimate story in the episode submitted to Emmy jurors: Britney Spears.




"Aftermath: Population Zero"

"Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq"

"At the Death House Door"

"AFI's 100 Years . . . 100 Movies: 10th Anniversary"

"Autism: The Musical"

"In God's Name"

"Islam vs. Islamists: Voices From the Muslim Center"

"Life After People"

"Nureyev: The Russian Years"

"Spielberg on Spielberg"

SPOTLIGHT: "Autism: The Musical" could get its big, grand finale at the Emmys. Early on, it swept up awards on the film-festival scene, then TV critics and viewers sang its praises once it was aired by HBO.



"Behind the Great Wall"


"Life and Death of Anna Nicole"

"Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story"

"Role Model: Gene Wilder"

"Saving a Species: Gorillas on the Brink"

"Martin Scorsese Presents: Val Lewton, The Man in the Shadows"

SPOTLIGHT: "Role Model" seems like a dreaded role model for reality TV: giving a celeb the forum to gush over another celeb. But Alec Baldwin's salute to Gene Wilder was so good that TCM hopes to turn these specials into a series.


"The Believers"

"The DC Sniper's Wife"

"A Global Warning?"

"Kike Like Me"

"Private Screenings Norman Jewison"

"Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen"

"Semper Fi: One Marine's Journey"

SPOTLIGHT: For small networks to break into the Emmy show, they need to rattle the rafters. Just as Logo's "The Believers" did. But beware: Viewers shouldn't believe their eyes when they see men and women sing in the Transcendence Gospel Choir. They're really transgendered women and men crooning their case to God over the damning voices of fundamentalists.



Gold Derby blogger Tom O'Neil predicts the Emmy season for The Envelope. For ongoing discussion of the Emmy race and other campaigns for gold -- Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys and more -- visit The

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