Top Chef, the smash food competition series produced by Magical Elves for Bravo, cooked up an upset last night at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmys held in Los Angeles. The foodie favorite unseated The Amazing Race as the outstanding reality competition program, ending Race‘s amazing seven-year streak as winner of the category.
The Top Chef victory is also significant in that it represents the first time a cable program has won in the category since its inception. It was Top Chef‘s fourth consecutive nomination and Bravo’s overall ninth nomination in six years.
‘Since the beginning, Top Chef has delivered quality, expertise and passion that has resonated with our foodie fans and critics alike,’ said Lauren Zalaznick, president, NBCU Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks. ‘In this highly competitive television landscape, we’re incredibly proud that Bravo was the first cable network to be nominated in this category and now the only one to win. That alone is a testament to the strength and talent of the network’s quality programming that resonates with our audience.’
Top Chef was also up against American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and Project Runway in the category. While there was plenty of buzz surrounding the category this year, with everyone from Survivor‘s Jeff Probst to The Apprentice‘s Donald Trump weighing in on Race‘s Emmy dominance, most insiders pegged the contest this year to be between Idol and Race. Odds-makers didn’t seem to regard Chef as a contender, with The Las Vegas Weekly‘s ‘Playground’ blog giving it a 12 to 1 shot in its Emmy odds entry.
Magical Elves co-founder Dan Cutforth, upon accepting the Emmy, told the audience that he and partner Jane Lipsitz did not expect the upset, and as a result he didn’t prepare a speech. Indeed, Lipsitz sat out the ceremony and stayed home.
Magical Elves are currently taping the next season of Top Chef.