Although the number of entries is not as robust as it used to be, the longform category still boasts formidable roles from a balance of U.S. and U.K. actors and actresses. However, no matter how bright the star wattage, the TV Academy will nearly always choose a defining performance of an iconic historical figure in the end. Here’s a detailed look at each nominee and their chances to take home an Emmy this year:
KEVIN COSTNER (Hatfields & McCoys, History)
Emmy Pedigree: Though Costner doesn’t boast a track record with the Emmys, that certainly won’t tarnish his odds of winning as this has continually been the category for movie stars to get lauded and win on their first time out. Further greasing his wheels heading into the race is Costner’s Oscar blood, having collected best picture and director trophies early on in his career for his iconic western, Dances With Wolves.
What We Say: Competing against costar Bill Paxton means they could cancel each other out.
Related: The Miniseries/TV Movie Race
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH (Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia, PBS)
Emmy Pedigree: This first-time Emmy nominee (who also scored on the big screen last year in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has gotten a lot of attention for playing famed detective Sherlock Holmes in a modern-day world, including a surprise … Read More »
For 34 years running, miniseries have been holding the record for most Emmy wins by a program in a single year: first Roots, then Angels in America, followed by current record holder John Adams. Now, following last night’s vote by the TV Academy, the storied TV genre will no longer have its own best program category as it is merging with best TV movie. The combined best TV movie/miniseries field is being expanded to 6 nominees.
There was no outcry today from producers and cable networks that make miniseries. Gary Goetzman from one of the biggest players in the genre, Playtone, which produced 3 Emmy winners for best miniseries, Band of Brothers, John Adams and The Pacific, took the news in stride. “I think they should merge all categories into one, best program of the year,” he quipped. “Just name the winner and we can all go and hit the bar.”
The board of the TV Academy was acting within its rulebook, which triggered the category consolidation because of the lack of qualifying minis in the past 2 years that led to only 2 getting nominated in the top category in both 2009 and 2010. Ironically, 2011 is shaping up to be stronger for miniseries than the last 2 years with 3 solid contenders: HBO’s Mildred Pierce, Sundance Channel’s co-production Carlos and Starz’s acquisition Pillars of the Earth.
So who are the winners and losers from the folding of the best miniseries … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It’s almost considered a foregone conclusion that HBO’s The Pacific will sweep the Emmy Award categories for miniseries, due in no small part to the writing work of co-executive producer Bruce C. McKenna who scripted 7 of the 10 installments and is nominated along with Robert Schenkkan for penning the final episode. Now, HBO’s sister company Warner Bros is getting in on his WWII action. The studio has made a preemptive buy of The Battle of Midway, a McKenna pitch for a 3D film about the June 4-6, 1942, turning point of the war. I’m told the studio bought the pitch late last week, and that it is being fast tracked, with McKenna expected to turn in a script in 8 weeks for a film that will likely carry a price tag around $200 million.
I’m told Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road will be the producer of WB’s pic. The Battle of Midway took place six months after the demoralizing surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. When it was over, the supremacy of the Imperial Japanese Navy was lost along with 4 of its aircraft carriers and 1 heavy cruiser. The Japanese never recovered. The Pacific miniseries, which reportedly cost north of $200 million, has already won 7 Creative Arts Emmy Awards; it’s up for 24 total. The mini was exec produced by Steven Spielberg and Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, the same guys … Read More »