Continuing my three-part Emmy predictions series, here are my choices in the Limited Series and Movies categories. The programs themselves have been separated into two different nominee groups, but all other categories related to the two have been merged for Emmy efficiency, including performers.
Be sure to read my predictions in the Comedy categories.
With limited/mini/event series now all the rage on broadcast and cable, Outstanding Limited Series suddenly has become one of the most exciting categories in this or any other awards show, overshadowing even Movies. The winner of that category – HBO’s “Bessie” (which would have been my prediction and preference) – was announced last Saturday night at the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony.
Outstanding Limited Series
The nominees in this category are ABC’s “American Crime,” FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” SundanceTV’s “The Honorable Woman,” HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge” and PBS’ “Wolf Hall.”
Looking at this list it is immediately clear that any one of four of them could win and there wouldn’t be a squawk heard anywhere about it. They are all that good. Three of them – “American Crime,” “The Honorable Woman” and “Olive Kitteridge” -- have a contemporary urgency that makes them timely and important, while “Wolf Hall” is an instant timeless classic. That being said unless your head has been in the sand for the better part of a year it’s pretty clear which one is going to win (in multiple categories) on Sunday night.
Only “American Horror Story: Freak Show” seems out of place, because while its production values were strong and its performances fearless the series itself didn’t tell much of a tale at all. I’d call it a hot mess, to use an exhausted but accurate phrase.
Prediction: “Olive Kitteridge” (a slam dunk)
Preference: “American Crime” (the boldest broadcast experiment of recent years)
Should have been nominated: BET’s egregiously overlooked “The Book of Negroes”
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
The nominees in this category are: Adrian Brody of History’s “Houdini,” Ricky Gervais of Netflix’s “Derek,” Timothy Hutton of ABC’s “American Crime,” Richard Jenkins of HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge,” David Oyelowo of HBO’s “Nightingale” and Mark Rylance of PBS’ “Wolf Hall”
There is no clear front-runner here, though Richard Jenkins would appear to have the advantage given the awards momentum “Olive Kitteridge” has maintained since late last year. But watch out for David Oyelowo, who gave a blistering performance in “Nightingale,” a movie that drew no attention at all.
Prediction: David Oyelowo
Preference: Timothy Hutton (in an underappreciated, gut-wrenching performance)
Should have been nominated: James Nesbitt of Starz’ “The Missing”
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
The nominees in this category are Maggie Gyllenhaal of SundanceTV’s “The Honorable Woman,” Felicity Huffman of ABC’s “American Crime,” Jessica Lange of FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” Queen Latifah of HBO’s “Bessie,” Frances McDormand of HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge” and Emma Thompson of PBS’ “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
The outcome here comes down to HBO’s two show-stoppers, both sensational in the title roles of their respective productions: Frances McDormand of “Olive Kitteridge” and Queen Latifah of “Bessie.”
Prediction: Frances McDormand
Preference: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Should have been nominated: Aunjanue Ellis of BET’s “The Book of Negroes”
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
The nominees in this category are Richard Cabral of ABC’s “American Crime,” Damian Lewis of PBS’ “Wolf Hall," Bill Murray of HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge,” Denis O’Hare of FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” Michael Kenneth Williams of HBO’s “Bessie” and Finn Wittrock of FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”
Here’s yet another category in which HBO has a lock. Bill Murray will take home the Emmy for his brief supporting role in “Olive Kitteridge.”
Prediction: Bill Murray
Preference: Damian Lewis
Should have been nominated: Cory Michael Smith of “Olive Kitteridge,” Elvis Nolasco of “American Crime”
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
The nominees in this category are Angela Bassett of FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” Kathy Bates of FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” Zoe Kazan of HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge,” Regina King of ABC’s “American Crime,”Mo’Nique of HBO’s “Bessie” and Sarah Paulson of FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”
Sarah Paulson (pictured at top) of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” would seem the likely choice for her one-of-a-kind portrayal of conjoined twins but any one of these women could win.
Prediction: Sarah Paulson
Preference: Sarah Paulson
Should have been nominated: Janet McTeer of “The Honorable Woman”
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