MIAMI — History’s “Alone,” HBO’s “The Jinx” and USA Network’s “Chrisley Knows Best” were among the winners of NATPE’s second annual Reality Breakthrough Awards, handed out Tuesday afternoon in a land-speed record 20 minutes.
Tru TV’s “Billy on the Street” won for game show. Discovery’s “Naked & Afraid” took the realty category for the second year in a row. Howie Mandel hosted the ceremony at Miami’s Eden Roc Hotel as part of the NATPE conference that runs through Thursday.
Mandel made light of the light turnout among the winners and the nature of the luncheon crowd consisting mostly of TV execs.
“Just by the look on your faces I can tell Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett-Smith are going to boycott this event,” Mandel quipped, referring to the burgeoning controversy of about the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations.
When no one came forward to accept the “Billy on the Street” trophy, Mandel joked: “I guess they’re on the street.”
“Chrisley” patriarch Todd Chrisley was on hand to bask in the glow of his second consecutive win in the docusoap category. The show about his Atlanta-based clan has been “a great ride for my family,” he said. “We hope to continue doing what we do as long as you guys want it.”
“The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” was recognized in the factual category. “Alone,” a show that sends people off to survive in the wilderness with only what they can carry in a backpack, prevailed in the reality-competition category.
Russ McCarroll, senior VP of development and programming at History, said he was happy to collect the judo on behalf of “Alone” producers at Leftfield Entertainment, particularly company founder Brent Montgomery, who is now CEO of Leftfield parent ITV America.
“Now Brent can stop saying he’s never won anything,” McCarroll said.
The Breakthrough kudos are selected by a panel of 19 execs from broadcast and cable networks and talent agencies.