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'America's Got Talent' hasn't got Emmys. Why?

July 5, 2011 |  3:21 pm

For several TV seasons , NBC's reality competition series "America's Got Talent" has been the most watched show of the summer. Even NBC's successful "The Voice" failed to live up to the ratings highs of its network competitor. But when it comes to the industry's top awards shows, "Talent" has never received its due. What gives?

Now in its sixth season, this extreme talent contest hasn't received a single Emmy nomination -- not even a throwaway nod in the technical races. To make matters worse, when the first Critics' Choice Television Awards nominations were announced earlier this year, "Talent" was again passed over for the likes of Emmy favorites "American Idol," "The Amazing Race," "Dancing With the Stars," "Project Runway" and last year's Emmy champ, "Top Chef." The sole surprise nod was for "RuPaul's Drag Race."

Perhaps Emmy voters find "Talent" too silly? Performance acts include singers, dancers and comedians plus everything and everyone in between, so the lack of a singular focus might also lessen the show's hopes. Or maybe voters don't think the judges (Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel) or host (Nick Cannon) hold a candle to the popular on-screen talents on "American Idol" or "Dancing With the Stars."

There's also a question of the performers themselves. Of the five previous winners, only one has made a name for himself: Season 2 winner Terry Fator. A ventriloquist and impressionist, Fator headlines his own show at the Mirage in Las Vegas. "Talent" series producer Simon Cowell even admitted in 2008 on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that Fator was one of the "two most talented people on the planet." One successful contender out of five complete seasons isn't a great track record.

Whatever the case, audiences continue watching "Talent" in droves. Just as in years past, the current season is heating up NBC's schedule for the summer. With auditions nearing their end, the next step in the show's process is taking all the successful acts to Las Vegas.


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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Piers Morgan, left, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel. Credit: NBC