Question: Maybe I'm missing something here, but please explain to me how Deal or No Deal is considered reality, and why Howie Mandel is nominated for an Emmy as the host of such a show. I understand that the Emmys make a distinction between reality and reality-competition programs, and it's understandable how shows such as Survivor and Dancing with the Stars fit into the latter category. But if you ask me, Deal or No Deal is strictly a game show. It's no less of one than The Price Is Right or Wheel of Fortune. Is Deal lumped into the reality categories because there's simply nowhere else to put it? Or does someone honestly believe that the all-too-familiar pick-the-right-case snorefest is in some way a reality show? Howie Mandel's Emmy nomination in a "reality" category is puzzling enough on its own, and it's downright criminal when it takes up a slot that should have gone to The Amazing Race's far superior Phil Keoghan.
Answer: Couldn't agree more about the shameful snub of Phil Keoghan, and it's hardly a secret I'm no fan of the tedious Deal or No Deal. But these reality categories tend to be grabbags — look at the "reality program" category that lumps together Antiques Roadshow, Dirty Jobs, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Intervention and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, for example. While you're right that Deal is more of a traditional game show at heart (and not a very good one, if you ask me), it is a prime-time hit and is unscripted, so by the loose definition of this still-evolving genre, it qualifies. However you feel about Howie, who I never thought I'd be mentioning in the same sentence as "Emmy-nominated," he is undoubtedly a big part of that show's success, so this wasn't a huge surprise to me. But I'll be rooting this year for Tom Bergeron (a master at live TV) or Jeff Probst (who presided over some amazing tribal councils last season and never looks like he's coasting).