Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Miniseries or Movie race.
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.” Read More »
PBS will air a two-hour version of its groundbreaking 1973 reality series An American Family on July 7, the pubcaster announced today. The original 12-hour series, which centered on the Loud family from Santa Barbara, Calif., aired in 1973 but has not been seen nationally in more than 20 years. PBS said the edited An American Family: Anniversary Edition “provides provides a fresh perspective to viewers who may have missed the original series airing nearly 40 years ago”; to further seek out new audiences, the two-hour version will stream on PBS’ Facebook page beginning June 27. The rebroadcast comes on the heels of HBO’s fictionalized account of the making of the series, Cinema Verite, which starred Tim Robbins, Diane Lane and James Gandolfini and aired back in April.
- Cinema Verite is about the groundbreaking 1970s PBS series An American Family, considered the first reality show. Reality TV “was such an intellectual exercise in the beginning, and it’s turned to such shit,” Gandolfini said. Asked if he watches reality TV, he said that he has “seen Real Housewives of Atlanta — that was extraordinary.” Jersey Shore? “No no no.”
- After the session, a beaming Gandolfini was asked why he had never looked so happy and smiling at previous TCAs. “Because I was on The Sopranos,” he said. “Because I worked 150 hours a week on a show, beating up women.” As for the long-gestating Sopranos movie, he indicated that it isn’t happening.
Kate Winslet, star of HBO’s upcoming mini-series Mildred Pierce and James Gandolfini, co-star of the the network’s upcoming film Cinema Verite, were on hand for their projects’ panels at TCA today. Here are a few amusing soundbites from the two:
- Winslet, who took part via satellite from Paris, on the difference between working in film and TV: “Film, shmilm. I’m telling you television is so much harder.”
- Winslet said she only watched the first 5 minutes of the 1945 movie starring Joan Crawford before turning it off. “I wouldn’t have been able to unsee it. I wanted to honor the book and be true to it.”
EXCLUSIVE: Lolita Davidovich and Kathleen Quinlan have been added to the cast of of HBO’s original movie Cinema Verite, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the groundbreaking 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family about the Loud family. Willam Belli and Nick Eversman also have been cast in the film, while Steve Hytner has joined CMT’s comedy pilot The Hard Life.
On Cinema Verite, Quinlan, repped by Fortitude and DF Management, will play Mary, one of Patty Loud’s (Diane Lane) best friends who introduces Patty to producer Gilbert Craig (James Gandolfini) and talks her into letting her family be the subject of his documentary. Davidovich, repped by Fortitude and Binder & Assoc., will play Patty Loud’s sexy and fashionable best friend, whom Patty accuses of having an affair with her husband Bill (Tim Robbins). Patty and Bill eventually separate and she files for divorce all during filming.
The Hard Life is a single-camera half-hour that explores the contrast of modern parenting vs. old school parenting. It centers on parents Bobby (Matthew Lillard) and Gina (Gillian Vigman). Hytner, repped by Stone Manners Salners, will play Bobby’s father seen in 1974 flashbacks: your typically strict 60′s/70′s dad – unwavering, no-nonsense and blunt, with a kids-should-be-seen-and-not-heard perspective on parenting.