Emmy Predictions: Unstructured Reality Program – ‘The Kardashians’ and ‘The Real World’ Seek First Time Recognition

Other contenders include '90 Day Fiancé,' 'Cheer,' 'Love on the Spectrum,' 'RuPaul's Drag Race Untucked' and 'Selling Sunset'

The Kardashians Hulu
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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

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UPDATED: June 23, 2022



With National Geographic’s “Life Below Zero” in this category now, and shows like “The Kardashians” and “The Real World” having a good shot at first time noms, this race could look very different from previous years

Hulu spent a lot of dollars to bring arguably the most famous family onto its streaming platform, and they’re not shying away about trying to get it some Emmy attention for the first time. Unsure if the TV Academy will warm up to “The Kardashians,” the family that everyone loves to hate (or hate to love), but they’re the closest they’ve ever to Emmy attention since “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” was never in an earshot in its 15 seasons.

The one that started it all, the nostalgia was in overdrive revisiting the casts of Los Angeles and New Orleans in the past year, with the latter being the best outing yet of the Paramount+ revival series “The Real World Homecoming.” Yet, despite being the kickoff for reality TV, “The Real World” has never received an Emmy nomination. Time to change that? I’d imagine so, especially with the dynamic returning cast of Danny, Melissa, Tokyo, Kelley and more. As Daniel D’Addario, chief tv critic for Variety stated in his column, “As chewily, imperfectly complicated as these threads were, there were as many elements of this season that stuck in the mind for their utter unresolvability. The picture that emerged as the season wore on was of a group of people who were uniquely equipped to understand one another’s experience but uniquely incentivized, after cameras stopped rolling, to move forward without one another’s company.”

The spin-off series “Untucked” from the darling “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” which has won multiple Emmys, hasn’t been a definite go-to for the TV Academy, winning its first Emmy last year in this category. So can it be an ongoing occurrence for VH1 moving forward? The show is also fresh off its win at the fourth annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards.

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Chelsea Lazkani, Jason Oppenheim, Christine Quinn and Brett Oppenheim on ‘Selling Sunset.’ Mitchell Haaseth/Netflix

There’s nothing like a show that takes place in Hollywood’s backyard, as the look at the real estate brokers of The Oppenheim Group is coming off their first Emmy nom last year. Nabbing two MTV Movie + TV Awards this year, including best docu-reality show and best reality star for Chrishell Stause, “Selling Sunset” has a solid stronghold in this category leading to the opening of Emmy voting. So perhaps they will bring home a big Emmy commission this season?

Coming off a surprise nomination during the last Emmy ceremony, the Bravo series “Below Deck: Mediterranean” has now been a well-regarded show that gets love from critics and consumers, a rarity in the reality climate.

Representing reality television with substance, the purely human Showtime series “Couples Therapy” takes a raw view of couples. Even though it has yet to find love from the Emmys, there’s always time for a first-timer to enter the mix.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub.

The nomination round of voting runs from June 16 to June 27. The official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Tuesday, July 12.

The list of programs and potential nominees listed below is incomplete and is subject to change. The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: “RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked” (VH1)


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1 “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked” VH1
2 “Selling Sunset” Netflix
3 “Life Below Zero” National Geographic
4 “The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans” Paramount+
5 “The Kardashians” Hulu
6 “90 Day Fiancé” TLC
7 “Below Deck Mediterranean” Bravo
8 “Love on the Spectrum” Netflix
9 “Couples Therapy” Showtime
10 “Cheer” Netflix
11 “Critter Fixers: Country Vets” National Geographic
12 “Crikey! It’s the Irwins” Discovery+
13 “Intervention” A&E
14 “Deadliest Catch” Discovery Channel
15 “My Unorthodox Life” Netflix
16 “Bachelor in Paradise” ABC
17 “Chillin Island” HBO
18 “Married at First Sight” Lifetime
19 “We’re Here” HBO
20 “The Real Housewives of Miami” Peacock
“911 Crisis Center”
“Bling Empire” To be added
“Born for Business” Peacock
“Brat Loves Judy”
“Braxton Family Values” To be added
“Canine Intervention” To be added
“Chrisley Knows Best” To be added
“Cold Justice”
“Coming Out Colton”
“Court Cam” To be added
“Darcey & Stacey” To be added
“Doubling Down with The Derricos”
“Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet”
“Everybody Loves Natti” Amazon Prime Video
“Family Karma”
“Fastest Cars in the Dirty South”
“Gold Rush”
“Growing Up Chrisley”
“Heartland Docs, DVM”
“House of Ho” To be added
“Kendra Sells Hollywood”
“Ladies Who List: Atlanta”
“Leave It to Geege”
“Life After Death with Tyler Henry”
“Love Off the Grid”
“Married to Medicine” To be added
“Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”
“Million Dollar Wheels”
“Naked and Afraid of Love”
“Naked and Afraid XL” To be added
“Paris in Love” Peacock
“Pig Royalty”
“Pop Goes the Vet with Dr. Joya”
“Selling the Hamptons”
“sMothered” To be added
“Summer House”
“Sweet Life: Los Angeles” HBO
“Tampa Baes”
“The Bradshaw Bunch” To be added
“The Curse of Oak Island” To be added
“The D’Amelio Show”
“The Expats International Ingrams” To be added
“The First 48”
“The Lost Kitchen”
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” To be added
“The Real Housewives of Potomac” Peacock
“The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” Peacock
“Twentysomethings: Austin”
“Undercover Billionaire” To be added
“Welcome Home Nikki Glaser?”

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes - Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.