Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Killer Films & John Wells Prods w/ MGM and HBO Miniseries
Why It Was Nominated: Well, it was nominated for pretty much every other Emmy and so surely had to for this one. It hauled in a chart-topping 21 in all and already has won three award following last Saturday’s Creative Arts soiree. Todd Haynes’ five-part remake of the 1945 noir based on the James M. Cain book is another typically lavish, expensive, exquisite HBO multi-parter that the pay-cabler generally turns into real gold.
Why It Has To Win: Kate Winslet brings an Oscar-level cinematic cache’ to Mildred Pierce, which has historically proven to be catnip for the TV academy. The original won an Academy Award for Joan Crawford in 1945, and this one almost certainly will earn an Emmy for Winslet. Also, HBO doesn’t often lose with its big-budget miniseries, earning triumphs five times in the last 10 years (including last year for The Pacific). Plus, are voters really going to reject the year’s most decorated nominee in the most prestigious category?
Why It Can’t Possibly Win: Trust us that this one ain’t in the bag. Firstly, this is the first time the made-for-TV movie and miniseries categories have been combined with the elimination this year of the miniseries stand-alone. It’s also a fact that while HBO has won in TV-movie an astonishing 17 of the past 19 years, including seven years in a row, it only wins in alternate years with its miniseries (and it won last year). Then there is this: PBS’s Masterpiece project Downton Abbey suddenly looks unbeatable. Notes a voting writer: “I don’t know anyone who isn’t voting for Downton Abbey. It’s one of those things that if you fail to honor, you’ll feel really embarrassed about 10 years from now.”