Emmy 2007 Analysis: 'American Idol'
American Idol is a little like Susan Lucci.  Idol hasn't reached the sort of award futility that Lucci endured, but it has to be just as painful.  Idol is the biggest show in the world, a ratings monster, a cultural phenomenon which has created numerous pop stars.  The only thing it hasn't accomplished, it seems, is the recognition that comes with an Emmy win.  The “Outstanding Reality-competition Program” category was introduced into the Emmys in 2003 and American Idol has been nominated every year since its inception.  It's also lost every year to The Amazing Race.  Why is this?  And, is this the year that trend comes to a screeching halt?

The Amazing Race, my favorite reality show ever (just so you know my allegiances), is a flawlessly presented TV show with a ridiculously complicated production.  The producers have to coordinate flights, locales stretching the globe, accommodations and film it all, then condense days worth of footage into coherent 42-minute-pieces of reality goodness.

American Idol is a similarly large undertaking but, by nature, it's a bit sloppy.  As a result of its insane profitability, FOX produces as many episodes of Idol as they possibly can.  Even the biggest Idol fan would likely admit that FOX could easily trim the show's production schedule.  As a result, I think, academy voters pass over American Idol.  The nomination is in appreciation of Idol's incredible popularity and deftly produced live shows.  Seacrest and company run about as smooth a live broadcast as you'll find on TV, an awesome feat considering the large scope of Idol.

Still, the Emmys continue to reward the tight presentation of an epic show like The Amazing Race, over the tight production of a global phenomenon that lasts 6 weeks too long, like American Idol.  It's hard to argue with that. 

For whoever is interested, here are all of the Emmy nominations that American Idol received this year:

Outstanding Reality-competition Program
Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
Outstanding Lighting Direction (electronic, Multi-camera) For Vmc Programming
Outstanding Picture Editing For Reality Programming
Outstanding Multi-camera Picture Editing For A Series
Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special ("Idol Gives Back")
Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video For A Series

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)