This American Life Wins Two Emmys!

September 16, 2008

To paraphrase Meat Loaf, two out of five ain't bad. On Saturday, the second season of our This American Life TV series on Showtime won two Emmys for Outstanding Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming! Up until the weekend of the ceremony, we'd all been kind of shrugging it off. We wouldn't be in the big televised ceremony that the stars are at -- our categories were presented as part of the "Creative Arts" Emmys which includes all sorts of tech awards -- Best Sound Editing for a Series, Best Makeup without Prosthetics, that kind of thing -- and some of the nonfiction and reality show awards. Since it wasn't the big Emmy ceremony, what was the big deal? But then we got there and suddenly it seemed very big and official and there was a red carpet and actual TV stars and now we wanted to win very badly. We lost the first three awards we were up for: Cinematography, Writing and Editing. It started to feel like this wasn't our crowd, like we weren't going to win anything. And then, when they read the nominees for Best Nonfiction Series, the camera man roaming the aisle next to me flipped through some notes and then trained his camera on James Lipton, the host of Inside the Actors Studio, one of our competitors. About a half-dozen of us saw this and we turned to each other and said "Okay, we're dead." And then we won! When they called our names, it was truly a shock. It was like one of those movies where they fake you out with an ending where everything goes wrong and the main character dies and you're sad and then A-Ha! Psych! And everything works out great. It was very exciting. Although this is not the big Emmys ceremony, this one will be broadcast September 20 on E!