It's intrinsic to reality TV's connection to its audience — the fact that once-obscure personalities can become people whose lives viewers are invested in, and that this interest, combined with ambition in the industry, can fuel more onscreen opportunities. Susan Young examines the phenomenon with first-person accounts from Tim Gunn, Melissa Rycroft and more in the lead story for the Variety Road to the Emmys: Reality, Nonfiction and Competition section.

The coverage also includes breakdowns of the nominees in reality program, reality-competition program, reality host, nonfiction series and nonfiction special.

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