Emmys 2013: Jeff Probst says format is the star in reality TV

It's easy enough to pick out the star of a sitcom or drama: Just look for the person whose character the title refers to or whose name comes up first in the credits. Reality TV, however, can be trickier. Is it the host? One of the judges? A contestant?

At a recent Envelope Emmy Roundtable about reality TV, longtime "Survivor" host Jeff Probst offered his own theory.

"The star of 'Survivor' is the format," Probst said. "It works. It works all over the world." He added that the same could be said of his fellow panelists' shows: Carson Daly's "The Voice," Mark Cuban's "Shark Tank" and Cat Deeley's "So You Think You Can Dance?"

The other panelists were inclined to agree. Daly said, "At the end of the day, it's nice when your format has the legs — certainly 'Survivor' is really the quintessential example of that, to go that many seasons."

Deeley spoke of another element that keeps people tuning in to the shows. "I think what people really connect with are the human stories," she said. "It's the human elements. It's the 'Will they, won't they?' It's the 'Can they do it?'"

For more from the panel, including their thoughts about dumbing down reality TV, watch the video.