No, it's not a mistake.
As the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 55th annual primetime Emmy Awards yesterday, many were baffled by the list of nods in the reality/competition program category.
Vying for an Emmy are reality favorites American Idol, The Amazing Race, Survivor and--100 Years of Hope and Humor and AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Passions: America's Greatest Love Stories? Has the TV Academy lost its grip on reality?
According to Variety, the problem lies in the category's name, which until this year was known as "nonfiction program (special class)." That primetime category was created in 2001 to reward the growing reality TV genre, or, as the Academy put it, to award a trophy to "programming that depicts people and/or events in dramatic circumstances with the primary intent to entertain."
This year, however, the Academy decided to rename the category to a more modern sounding "reality/competition program," but neglected to revise the category's eligibility requirement. The result is a strange mishmash of shows that just don't fit in any other category. The newly renamed category is also dubbed "area awards," which means programs are not competing against each other and could all receive trophies--provided two-thirds of the category's judges approve.
TV Academy awards VP John Leverence told Variety that with the continually growing roster of competition-style reality shows such as Survivor, it is probable that Academy officials will consider another category change in the future.
"There will probably be a lot of discussion about converting this into a series category, where the reality shows compete head-to-head," Leverence said. "That's probably the direction we're heading with reality. And then maybe a new special-class award for the orphan shows that don't fit anywhere else."
The American Film Institute's top 100 lists now include the best American screen romances--and Casablanca wins the top honors.
The ultra-romantic film starring Humphrey Bogart as bar owner Rick Blaine and the exquisite Ingrid Bergman as his long-lost love, Ilsa, took the No. 1 spot when CBS aired the special AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Tuesday night.
The rest of the top 10, in order, included Gone with the Wind, West Side Story, Roman Holiday, An Affair to Remember, The Way We Were, Doctor Zhivago, It's a Wonderful Life, Love Story and City Lights.
The oldest film to make it on the list was the 1920 Way Down East, which came in at No. 71, while the most recent film was the 1998 Shakespeare in Love at No. 50.
The range was very broad: from the hilarious, such as Annie Hall (No. 11) and When Harry Met Sally... (No. 25), to the tragic, such as Wuthering Heights (No. 15) and Titanic (No. 37).
During the broadcast, a myriad of directors, producers and actors gave their two cents about the choices on the list and pondered the question: What makes a love story great?
"At the end of the day, it's what happens between a man and a woman on the screen," When Harry Met Sally... said director Rob Reiner , who also had two other films make it to the list, The American President (No. 75) and The Princess Bride (No. 88). "It's a very different approach to that in all three cases with my films."
Director Sydney Pollack, whose film Out of Africa was No. 13 on the list, added, "When there's real closure in a love story and it's resolved in a happy way, it doesn't reverberate as much afterward. That's been true from Greek tragedy on, from Shakespeare on. Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Heloise and Abelard. Many great love stories have been about unobtainability."
According to AP, AFI began its tradition of annual lists on different movie themes four years ago. The top 100 screen romances were chosen by about 1,800 directors, actors, studio executives, critics and others in Hollywood, who voted from a field of 400 nominated films.
The American Film Institute celebrates 100 of American film's greatest love stories. Casablanca topped the list, followed by Gone with the Wind, West Side Story, Roman Holiday and An Affair to Remember.