‘Boss’ tries to muscle reality competish

'Kathy Griffin' eyes third Emmy

It’s out with the old, or at least some of it, and in with the new for the reality program category.

The Academy unexpectedly gave last year’s winner, A&E’s “Intervention,” the cold shoulder while opening its doors to some fresh broadcast blood. Along with the omission of “Intervention,” three-time nom “Dog Whisperer” also got the boot.

In their places, the competish boasts two freshman hits: ABC’s “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” and CBS’ “Undercover Boss.” The new pair of noms face off against four vets, including Bravo’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” and two Discovery series, “Dirty Jobs” and “Mythbusters.”

Whether or not the aging shows still interest voters remains to be seen, but in the past, Griffin’s backstage look at the inner workings of Hollywood has been a topic of intrigue for the Academy. This is the fifth consecutive Emmy nom for “D-List,” which won in 2007 and again in 2008.

Meanwhile, this year’s nod reps a sixth nomination for “Roadshow,” a third for “Dirty Jobs” and second for “Mythbusters.” In other words, these nominees all clearly have their fans at the TV Academy.

While the Acad kept up with tradition and ignored popular celeb-based reality shows including “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” and “Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” they also snubbed top-rated, cultural phenoms such as “Jersey Shore,” “Jon and Kate Plus 8” and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

“Antiques Roadshow”
Emmy pedigree: Seven previous noms
Best scene: The underwhelming reaction from the owner of a collection of Chinese carved jade objects when she discovers that her property is worth an estimated value as high as $1.07 million — the highest-value appraisal on the show in the series’ 13-year history.
Why it might win: Show is a Nielsen winner, with almost 10 million weekly viewers and consistently a favorite among Emmy voters.
Maybe not: Will awarding a show about antiques make the TV Acad look stodgy?

“Dirty Jobs”
Emmy pedigree: Two previous noms
Best scene: Mike Rowe and crew take in Hawaii’s spectacular views as high-rise window washers dangling 40 stories above downtown Honolulu.
Why it might win: The show’s uniqueness and dedication to underappreciated workers could help it stand out.
Maybe not: The odd and often cringe-inducing nature of many episodes may make it a tough sell.

“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Best scene: Oliver discovering that elementary school lunch ladies prepare a cheese-soaked pizza for breakfast only to follow that processed meal with chicken nuggets for lunch.
Why it might win: Emmy voters have been fans of producer Craig Armstrong’s work in the past. Plus, the show has a laudable goal — a noteworthy trait in the category.
Maybe not: Not only is the show green, it faces some stiff veteran competition.

“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List”
Emmy pedigree: Two wins, plus two previous noms
Best scene: In her many attempts to raise her Hollywood profile, Griffin campaigns to win a Grammy by cold calling former Grammy winners at their homes.
Why it might win: Winning two years in a row means voters have established a connection to Griffin.
Maybe not: Although “Intervention” is out, “The D-List” has brand new A-list competition to contend with.

Emmy pedigree: One previous nom
Best scene: Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage confirm that duct tape is capable of lifting a 5,000 pound car, but not for long.
Why it might win: Critics and viewers alike are fans of this ratings-earner that sets the record straight.
Maybe not: May be a bit too gimmicky for Emmy voters.

“Undercover Boss”
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Best scene: Waste Management president Larry O’Donnell gets fired after unsuccessfully attempting to collect garbage for his own organization.
Why it might win: Premiering out of the Super Bowl, the CBS skein is one of the biggest success stories of the past season — reality or otherwise.
Maybe not: With so much marketing muscle behind it compared to others here, is giving it the big honor an unfair abundance of riches?

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