Comedian Garry Shandling, kicking off the Emmy telecast, joked that the winner in the reality category wouldn't be the actual winner; instead, a camera would follow him home to his family, where he would be revealed as a loser.
It was certainly one small step for the men who produced the series, creator Bertram Van Munster and Hollywood mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, among others. But what of that one giant leap for mankind?
Leave that to the commentators. After all, an Emmy is an Emmy. The statuette for best reality/competition program isn't shaped differently from the one for best drama.
In winning, "The Amazing Race" beat fellow reality shows "Survivor" on CBS and Fox's "American Idol." But also vying for the award were the Bob Hope tribute "100 Years of Hope and Humor" and "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Passions: America's Greatest Love Stories."
Having fashioned a category two years ago — the "special class program" — to bring popular staged reality series such as "Survivor" into the fray, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences this year changed the title to "reality/competition program."
The category made for strange nominee bedfellows, the humor of Hope going up against the survivalist "Amazing Race."