Taking stage an annual routine for Emmy winners
Producer Bertram van Munster was sure it would be the year for “Dancing With the Stars.”But when the reality-competition series winner was announced, van Munster and the rest of “The Amazing Race” team were called up to the stage for a seventh consecutive year. “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” hit Lucky No. 7 as well with its latest win in the variety, music or comedy series heat. Stewart was typically self-effacing in accepting what has become a familiar trek up to the stage for the show’s large production staff. “We’re just happy to be up here looking more handsome than Ricky Gervais, quite frankly,” Stewart quipped. “Amazing Race’s” sixth win last year broke a record set by “Frasier” for most consecutive victories by a show from its first year of eligibility. Not only that but “Race” has prevailed in its category ever since the reality-competish trophy was established by the TV Academy. “I don’t know what to say anymore,” Van Munster joked in his acceptance remarks, but backstage he made it clear that winning hasn’t gotten old for him or the rest of the production team, which includes his wife, Elise Dongieri, who co-created the show with him, and Jerry Bruckheimer and his Bruckheimer Television crew. Jeff Probst, who again won reality-competition host for his work on “Survivor,” suggested that “Amazing Race” might take a cue from Oprah Winfrey and withdraw from the competition next year to give others a shot at the spotlight. Van Munster made it clear in his backstage remarks that such a move is “unlikely.” Although the CBS show is arguably the most ambitious reality skein on the air — with its globe-trotting format and myriad challenges — Van Munster said they’ll keep at it until the audience tells them its time to pack their suitcases and go home. The 15th edition of “Race” bows Sept. 27. “We love the show ourselves. I have a lot of creative people around me and we have tremendous ideas all around the world,” Van Munster said, adding that jet lag can be a great source of inspiration . “The Emmy (wins) are a big motivator. Jerry (Bruckheimer) is a big motivator,” he said. “It is like running a small army … But it’s fun to make complicated things.” Van Munster also noted that the Emmy streak helps cement the show’s role in fueling the contempo unscripted TV boom. He pointed to “Survivor,” “Big Brother” and “Race” as being “the locomotives for network television to be good reality TV. I’m very proud that we have set a high standard.”
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