For the 3rd straight year, Bennett Awards produced unique recognition awards for the NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) Realty Breakthrough Awards. These recognition awards are designed to honor reality programs and people that broke through the clutter in the proceeding year, as well as becoming part of the cultural conversation and generally altering the expectations of what constitutes a reality program. Recognition awards were presented in nine categories: Documentary, Docusoap, Factual Entertainment, Game Shows, Reality Competition, Reality Hosts, Reality Personalities, Structured Reality, and Unstructured Reality.
The 2017 award winners in each of these categories were:
- Best Documentary – O.J.: Made in America
- Best Docusoap – Chrisley Knows Best
- Best Factual Entertainment – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- Best Game Show – Hollywood Game Night
- Best Reality Competition – The Voice
- Best Reality Host – Steve Harvey
- Best Reality Personality – Blake Shelton
- Best Structured Reality – Shark Tank
- Best Unstructured Reality – Hard Knocks
As in previous years, NATPE selected the unique Bennett sculpture award “Distinction” for these awards. These sculptures were cast in silver-plated pewter, and then mounted on marble bases with personalized engravings of the NATPE logotype, award category, and recipient name.
These sculpture awards were presented to recipients at a special awards ceremony held during the NATPE17 conference on January 17, 2017, at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami, Florida. Bob Saget hosted the event.