A Look Back at the 2017 NATPE Reality Breakthrough Awards

The third NATPE Reality Breakthrough Awards recognized reality shows deemed capable of changing expectations of the genre.

The Voice and Chrisley Knows Best were among the winners at NATPE’s third Reality Breakthrough Awards, which were hosted by comedian and Fuller House star Bob Saget.

The ceremony recognized innovative reality content and talent, honoring seven series that “broke through the clutter” in the preceding year to alter expectations of what constitutes a reality program.

The Voice, which airs on NBC, won Best Reality Competition, coming ahead of America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior, Dancing With the Stars and Top Chef.

Meanwhile, USA Network’s Chrisley Knows Best won in the Best Docusoap category for the third year running, beating shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Lindsie Chrisley, daughter of self-made millionaire Todd Chrisley, was on hand to accept the award and said she “was glad we won it collectively, so my Dad couldn’t say he’s ‘A talent’ and we’re all ‘F talent.’”

Asked why she thought the show continued to receive so much recognition in the industry, Lindsie Chrisley told NATPE Daily it was down to the family’s unique dynamic. “Every day is a new beginning for us. Every day brings a new challenge and no day has ever been the same since we started in 2012,” she explained.

Meanwhile, NBC’s Hollywood Game Night was named Best Game Show, edging past rivals such as Celebrity Family Feud, Family Feud, Match Game and The $100,000 Pyramid.

HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was awarded Best Factual Show, beating Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Vice, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Elsewhere, ESPN’s O.J.: Made in America beat Netflix duo Chef’s Table and Making a Murderer to Best Documentary, while ABC’s Shark Tank and HBO’s Hard Knocks won in the Structured Reality and Unstructured Reality categories, respectively.

Ken Rodgers, coordinating producer at Hard Knocks producer NFL Films, said: “We’ve been on the air for 16 years now and we’ve finally broken through. I’d like to thank my bosses for sending me to Miami and really to accept this on behalf of the memory of the founder of our company, Steve Sabol, who passed away in 2012.”

Singer-songwriter Blake Shelton was victorious over the likes of Bear Grylls, Caitlyn Jenner, Reza Farahan and Todd Chrisley in the Reality Personality category. In the Reality Hosts category, Steve Harvey triumphed over Andy Cohen, Jane Lynch, Nick Cannon and RuPaul Charles.

The nominees and winners were selected by a panel of judges that included Chachi Senior, senior VP of original programming at Spike TV; Corie Henson, executive VP of alternative entertainment at 20th Century Fox Television Distribution; Denise Contis, executive VP of development and production at Discovery; Rob Mills, senior VP of alternative series, specials and late-night at ABC; and Russ McCarroll, senior VP of development and programming at History.

There are brand-new shows. There are classic shows. There are shows that have been slowly growing in their appeal and their influence. The NATPE Reality Breakthrough Award is designed to honor those reality programs that “broke through the clutter” in the preceding year and “made some noise,” became part of the cultural conversation and generally altered our expectations of what constitutes a reality program. Original formats that have aired in network, cable or syndication are eligible.

This article was originally published in the NATPE Daily. Read more from NATPE Daily Day 2.