NBC's upstart The Voice upset Fox's American Idol in this year's Emmy nominations. In its first season, The Voice was nominated for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. American Idol was passed over in the category, ending a nine-year streak in which it was nominated. (It never won. It lost eight times to CBS's The Amazing Race and once to Bravo's Top Chef.)
Both of those shows are nominated again this year. The other finalists are ABC's Dancing With The Stars, Fox's So You Think You Can Dance and Lifetime's Project Runway.
Idol had a bit of good news. Ryan Seacrest was nominated for Outstanding Host For A Reality or Reality-Competition Program for the fifth straight year. Carson Daly, the host of The Voice, failed to make the finals. More surprisingly, Jeff Probst, the host of CBS's Survivor, who won the last four years in a row, wasn't nominated. Seacrest will face Tom Bergeron, host of Dancing With The Stars; Cat Deeley, host of So You Think You Can Dance; Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race; and Betty White, host of NBC's Betty White's Off Their Rockers.
Tony Bennett, who won for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special five years ago with his NBC special Tony Bennett: An American Classic, may be headed for a repeat victory. Tony Bennett: Duets II is nominated in the renamed category, Outstanding Variety Special. It aired as part of PBS's Great Performances. Its chief rival is CBS's The Kennedy Center Honors, which has won in this category the last three years in a row. The other finalists are Mel Brooks And Dick Cavett Together Again (HBO); Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute To America's Golden Girl (NBC) and Kathy Griffin: Tired Hooker (Bravo).
Two other specials were nominated in the category of Outstanding Special Class Programs. They are Louis C.K. Live At The Beacon Theatre (FX Networks) and Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel And The L.A. Phil Celebrate Gershwin (PBS' Great Performances). These two specials are vying with the latest editions of the Oscars, Grammys, Tonys and Golden Globes. (The Emmy telecast isn't eligible to vie for an Emmy.)
Documentaries about two music legends are competing for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special. They are George Harrison: Living In The Material World (HBO) and Paul Simon's Graceland Journey: Under African Skies (A&E). They face Bobby Fischer Against The World (HBO), Gloria: In Her Own Words (HBO) and 6 Days To Air: The Making Of South Park (Comedy Central).
Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, which has won as Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series for the past nine years, is nominated again this year in the renamed category, Outstanding Variety Series. It faces another Comedy Central hit, The Colbert Report; NBC's Saturday Night Live and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon; ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live; and HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher.