Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Creative Emmy Awards brings love to Anthony Bourdain, ‘Queer Eye,’ RuPaul, Katt Williams

Originally produced Monday, September 10, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta was well represented during the Creative Emmys this past weekend, the precursor to the Primtetime Emmys and where the bulk of the awards are actually handed out. 

The late Anthony Bourdain’s show “Part Unknown” on Atlanta-based CNN received six early Emmys including Best Nonfiction Writing and Best Informational Series or Special. The show has received plenty of Emmys in prior years, but this is the most it has ever gotten in one year. 

The victor for structured reality show was Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” which shot its first two seasons in metro Atlanta. (The third season will be shot in Kansas City.) It won for best reality show 14 years ago when there was just one broad-based category. 

CNN also took home the best unstructured reality show Emmy for “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.” It won that category last year as well.

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“We live in a time when people are being persecuted and targeted very cruelly,” Bell said. His show, he said, provides a “public square to tell their version of the story.”

And who won best reality show host again? RuPaul, who spent his formative drag queen years in Atlanta. This is his third win in that category. (His show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” also won in related categories for best directing, costumes and hairstyling.)

The differences between “structured” and “unstructured” appear to be along the lines of how much of a show is “pre-planned” but that’s a fine line. “Queer Eye” competed against the likes of “Shark Tank,” “Lip Sync Battle” and “Who Do You Think You Are?” Bell competed against shows like “Naked and Afraid,” “Intervention” (which shot a season in Atlanta) and “Deadliest Catch.”

The best reality competition show category will air on primetime next Sunday. Vying for the win: the final season of Lifetime’s “Project Runway,” which moves back to Bravo minus Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum; ‘American Ninja Warrior” on NBC, “The Amazing Race” on CBS, “The Voice” on NBC, “Top Chef” on Bravo and VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Atlanta-based Cartoon Network also took home best animated series “Rick and Morty.”

Two Atlanta-based scripted dramas up for big awards next Sunday - “Stranger Things” and “Atlanta” - took home some minor prizes this past weekend including sometimes Georgia resident Katt Williams winning for a guest role on “Atlanta” playing alligator-owning Uncle Willlie. 

The complete Creative Emmy list is here. The rest of the winners will be named next Sunday on NBC. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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