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Anthony Bourdain Wins Posthumous Emmy for Writing ‘Parts Unknown’

The late chef/author was recognized for his work on the Kenya episode of CNN’s hit show

Anthony Bourdain poses with street art outside Patterson’s Outlaw Art Gallery in the Lower East Side episode of Parts Unknown. David Scott Holloway

At the Creative Arts Emmys over the weekend, CNN’s culinary travel show Parts Unknown received two awards, including one that recognizes late star Anthony Bourdain’s work as a writer.

The show won in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program for the Kenya episode, which was the last installment that Bourdain completed before he died. Bourdain famously wrote all his narration on Parts Unknown, and this episode — where he tours Kenya with his fellow Emmy Award-winning CNN host W. Kamau Bell — has a particularly moving post-credits note:

Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is: I do... at least this time out. I do my best. I look. I listen. But in the end I know it’s my story — not Kamau’s, not Kenya’s, or Kenyans’. Those stories are yet to be heard.

This is one of the essential Parts Unknown episodes, and a particularly strong example of Bourdain’s thoughtful approach to writing for a travel TV show. On Saturday night, the Parts Unknown team also picked up an award in the category of Outstanding Informational Series or Special. Last year, Bourdain and the Parts Unknown team won these same two awards, as well as four others. Parts Unknown concluded its run last November with a Lower East Side-themed episode featuring Bourdain talking to the artists who inspired him in his youth.

In other Emmys news, Netflix’s smash makeover show Queer Eye picked up awards in the categories of Outstanding Structured Reality Program, Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program (Hisham Abed for the episode “Black Girl Magic”), and Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program. Queer Eye fans will get to see the members of the Fab Five — all of whom appeared at the Emmys on Saturday — descend upon Tokyo in a new season landing on Netflix this November.

While Saturday night marked the end of Parts Unknown’s awards run, Anthony Bourdain fans might still get another show inspired by the late author/chef’s work: Sony Pictures Animation is developing a series based on Hungry Ghosts, the graphic novels that Bourdain wrote with collaborator Joel Rose. The project was announced earlier this summer, but there’s no word yet on when the animated Hungry Ghosts might go into production.

The rest of the Emmy Awards will be announced this Sunday, September 22 in a ceremony that will be broadcast on Fox starting at 8 p.m. EST.

Creative Arts Emmy Awards Full Winners List [Deadline]
‘Parts Unknown’ and ‘Queer Eye’ Score a Ton of Emmy Nominations [E]