Yesterday, the Film Academy of the Philippines announced Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa as the country’s submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards that will happen on February 2017. The film bested nine other entries which includes Berlin winner Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, Cinemalaya Best Picture Pamilya Ordinaryo, and the last minute addition Ang Babaeng Humayo by Lav Diaz.
This is the first time for director Brillante Mendoza who has been shortlisted thrice before (2009 for Kinatay, 2013 for Thy Womb, and 2015 for Taklub). Mendoza has also won Best Director at Cannes Film Festival back in 2009, also for Kinatay. In a way, he’s – for lack of a better term – overdue for an Oscar submission. Why he hasn’t represented us thus far is really surprising.
Ma’Rosa, tells a day in the life of a poor family, headed by their matriarch Rosa (played by Jaclyn Jose), as they scramble to find the money to pay off the corrupt policemen that have arrested them or dealing drugs. Back in May, it competed at the Cannes Film Festival Main Competition section where it pulled off the historic Best Actress win for Jose, being the first Filipina and Southeast Asian actress to do so. Certainly, it has the clout and the festival exposure.
Now let’s dissect its chances. Can Ma’Rosa pull off that elusive first nomination for the Philippines? For those counting, we’ve submitted 27 times in the past — back from our very first in 1953 for Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan up to last year’s Heneral Luna from Jerrold Tarog) to no avail. No nomination and no shortlist mention.
As mentioned above, one of the things going for Ma’Rosa is its festival exposure. Not only did it take a home a prize at Cannes, it also played at the Toronto Film Festival. It has partnered with sales agency company Films Distribution which also distributed current Best Foreign Language Film winner Son of Saul. Impressive, right? Well not in the sense you’re thinking of. It has to be clarified though. Films Distribution is not an Oscar-campaigner studio per se. It’s not the same as Focus Features or Fox Searchlight or even The Weinstein Company. Son of Saul‘s win last year was due to being campaigned by Focus Features which handled its whole awards run campaign. Ma’Rosa doesn’t have that.. yet. In reality, the most Films Distribution can do is to help the movie gain more festival exposure. Going by a quick search shows that after Toronto, it’s also heading to BFI London, which is good. More festival exposure is always better.
Reviews by foreign critics is always a factor too. It has to be mentioned first that Mendoza is really as divisive when it comes to foreign critics. Remember when the late Roger Ebert mentioned that Kinatay surpassed Vincet Gallo’s The Brown Bunny as “the worst film in Canes history?” So it’s a bit of delight that Ma’Rosa is probably one of the better-reviewed films in his filmography. While critics still had reservations, they were more welcoming than the usual. THR mentioned “Thankfully, and as in his other features, Mendoza again manages to turn his locations into a character in its own right. ” Variety’s Maggie Lee summed it best when she said “Boasting a simple, coherent plot shot with real-time, handheld verismo, it’s a work of understated confidence that will not disappoint his festival acolytes, but probably won’t win many new converts.”
A lot has been mentioned about how we, at a certain extent, can be helped by our own country’s narrative right now. As the world probably knows already, we’re very vocal in our battle with the issue of drugs. And many feel that the movie is timely and that can help buzz. Historically, not really. This category really doesn’t care about that, to be frank. A year after Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture, a significant amount of queer films were submitted for Best Foreign language Film including our own Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros. The total number of gay films nominated that year? Zero. In 2010, an election year in many countries, a lot of them rode that narrative, again including us when we submitted Dondon Santos’ Noy and Brazil went with Lula. Number of election themed nominated movies that year? Zero. This whole controversy reminded me just three years ago when we went with Transit as our submission (make no mistake, still a great film, just not a great Oscar entry) over the snubbed On the Job and the FAP’s reasoning was that they don’t want to submit a film that showed the negative side of the country. Submitting Ma’Rosa I guess is a huge leap to the other direction, if that means something.
The biggest factor that can probably help Ma’Rosa is its Cannes win. Sure its only Best Actress (and by only I mean that in the hierarchy of Cannes wins, its in the lower tier alongside Best Actor and Best Screenplay. This sentence, by no means, does not intend to take anything away from the marvelous Jaclyn Jose), but a win is still a win. And that it’s still buzz. For a movie that was perceived as a non-event of some sort at Cannes (it was one of the least buzzed films of the competition, but then it’s pretty understandable since he’s competing with the likes of veterans and/or those with Hollywood cast), how it ended up going home with a win is a win itself already.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Three days ago, it was announced that Lav Diaz’ Ang Babaeng Humayo will go for a September 23 release, which would make it eligible for this year since it’ll be meeting the necessary requirements to contend. The huge amount of buzz over its historic Golden Lion win (the highest honor ever received by a Filipino movie in history) is too much to ignore. Sure, it’s a Lav Diaz film which means it runs for more than three hours, and that didn’t help Norte two years ago. That said, foreign critics being unanimously positive about it, plus the film being called as his most accessible (especially since Diaz is another name that’s divisive to foreign critics), with a sure huge company to back its campaign (Charo Santos was the president of the biggest TV network in the country), it’s basically a decision too obvious to make by that time. That’s why it’s a tad surprising that the announcement happened yesterday. This prompted Humayo to move back to a September 28 screening, which will make it ineligible for next year’s submission too. That, and the buzz over Golden Lion and the Toronto inclusion will be old news by then. Let it be clear though that none of this should be pointed against Ma’Rosa, Mendoza, or any of his team, since decision wasn’t really theirs.
A few weeks ago pre-Venice Film Fest, I wrote about the possible submissions and strongly felt that none of the films would do the trick. In that case, why not throw a bone to Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa. But the whole Golden Lion win affected everything. My final verdict says that nope we ain’t getting that nomination nor that Top 9 mention. If anything, my takeaway with this year is that we’ve finally acknowledged and submitted Mendoza’s work (which was already beyond deserving back in 2009 when we had that tragic Ded na si Lolo submission), but at the expense of a stronger contender. I’d love to be wrong though.
Off to next year.
It’s the time of the year! By September, the Film Academy of the Philippines will submit one movie to the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences (AMPAS) that will be our bid to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards. This will be our 28th participating year and we are yet to receive a nomination.
To qualify as an eligible submission, the Academy’s rule states that “The motion picture must be first released in the country submitting it no earlier than October 1, 2015, and no later than September 30, 2016, and be first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.”
Currently nine countries have already announced their submissions with our likely winner, Germany’s Toni Erdmann, in the longlist already. So which film will be our best bet to advance forward? I’ve divided them in three different categories.
DISCLAIMER: It has to be cleared that this ISN’T the final shortlist from the Film Academy of the Philippines yet, and are just mere speculations and recommendations.
ANINO SA LIKOD NG BUWAN
Director: Jun Lana
Screenplay: Jun Lana
Cast: LJ Reyes, Luis Alandy, Anthony Falcon
Philippine Release Date: July 20, 2016
Amidst conflict between the military and communists, three people are confronted with a difficult dilemma.
Jun Lana, no stranger from Oscar representative (he directed our 2012 submission Bwakaw), is in contention yet again for his latest effort which is a one-long two-hour take staged just like a play with only three characters interacting all throughout the movie. The film also has participated alongside many different international festivals both in Asia and Europe (though none in the Big 4 major film festivals). That said, the film is unanimously considered as one of the best from 2015 among local critics.
Director: Joel Lamangan
Screenplay: Bienvenido Santiago
Cast: Dennis Trillo, Bela Padilla, Gabby Concepcion
Philippine Release Date: October 7, 2015
Felix Ysagun Manalo is a sprawling historical epic that traces the origin of Iglesia Ni Cristo (The Church of Christ) which is established in the Philippines from its humble beginnings in 1914 through the present day.
Definitely one of the most divisive films of last year, Felix Manalo is epic in its landscape detailing one of the most important personalities among Iglesia ni Cristo’s history. This almost three-hour movie boasts so much of its lavish production design and staging, that it would tick all boxes in an “baity Oscar film” checklist. But beyond the grandeur is a straightforward storytelling, and one that was considered as “weak” and “safe” by most critics. That said, never underestimate the taste of the FAP to include this in the shortlist, as they’re one easily swayed by buzz regardless if those were organic or fabricated.
HELE SA HIWAGANG HAPIS
Director: Lav Diaz
Screenplay: Lav Diaz
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual, Susan Africa
Philippine Release Date: March 26, 2016
In the midst of revolution, a young poet and the man that ruined his life travel through the jungle in search of safety. At the same time, a grieving widow encounters mystical beings on a mountain while searching for the body of her beloved revolutionary.
Winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year (with jury president Meryl Streep awarding them), there’s no doubt that this is one of the two most-buzzed films we have in world cinema for this year. Imagine if we submitted this and have Oscar winner Meryl Streep and Oscar nominee Clive Owen campaign this right? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves as that’s a bit of a reaching. The thing with Hele is that we have already attempted to submit a Diaz film back in 2014 via Norte which is half the running time of this one and arguably his most universal effort thus far, and yet the Academy didn’t give in to it.
HONOR THY FATHER
Director: Erik Matti
Screenplay: Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Meryll Soriano, Tirso Cruz III
Philippine Release Date: December 25, 2015
A family is caught in a financial ruin after being involved in a ponzi scheme.
With an Erik Matti film in contention yet again, it reminds me of probably the biggest miss we had not submitting On the Job back in 2013. What made that more infuriating was the committee’s response that they don’t want to submit a film that shows a negative image of the Philippines. Yeah, right. Anyway, Matti is back again this time with the MMFF entry Honor Thy Father which made its premiere a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival. Honor‘s best shot is that I can see the film appealing to the Western crowd with its theme and execution. That said, the film feels bit of an after thought by now, but with every controversy that the film has encountered, it just ended up soaring higher. Maybe, FAP atones to Erik Matti this time around?
IGNACIO DE LOYOLA
Director: Paolo Dy, Cathy Azanza
Screenplay: Paolo Dy
Cast: Andreas Munoz, Javier Godino, Julio Perillan
Philippine Release Date: July 27, 2016
In 16th Century Spain, a soldier born of nobility gives his life of luxury to become a pilgrim devoted to God and his people.
Watch out Felix Manalo, there’s another religious biography in contention. Kidding aside, I can already imagine the FAP members creaming themselves over this one. For one, the casting of a foreign star in lead role will make them think it can add extra buzz to our own entry (this isn’t an Oscar rule after all. Lots of foreign actors starred in films from other countries which ended up as submissions. Case in point: French star Emmanuelle Riva in Austria’s Amour, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal in Chilean film No, and even our own Angeli Bayani in Sinagpore’s Ilo-ilo). Plus, the religious theme somehow gives it more importance and a “good image” per se in representing the country (which apparently is an unwritten rule; see: On the Job again in 2013).
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Screenplay: Troy Espiritu
Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Andi Eigenmann, Julio Diaz, Felix Roco, Jomari Angeles
Philippine Release Date: July 6, 2016
A poor family scrambles to find the money to pay off the corrupt policemen that have arrested the parents for dealing drugs.
Sure it was one of the least buzzed entries at Cannes main competition this year, until the great Jaclyn Jose earned the coveted Best Actress win and the rest, as they say, is history. Ma’Rosa is currently participating now at Toronto International Film Festival and I think it has the most buzz for any Filipino film competing for this year when it comes to foreign exposure. And at this stage, after all his trips to Cannes and Berlin and Venice and TIFF, isn’t Brillante Mendoza overdue for a Filipino Oscar submission? I lobbied that Taklub was our best shot last year, but they can make up for it with Ma’Rosa this year.
Director: Eduardo Roy Jr.
Screenplay: Eduardo Roy Jr.
Cast: Ronwaldo Martin, Hasmine Killip, Sue Prado, Moira Lang
Philippine Release Date: August 31, 2016
Jane and Aries are teenage parents. They make a living out of stealing on the streets… until fate hits back at them.
After sweeping major awards at the recently concluded Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival including wins for Best Picture, Best Director for Eduardo Roy Jr., and Best Actress for newcomer Hasmine Killip, this runaway favorite is getting an instant cinema release in time for the Oscar cutoff. Add the fact that it’s also heading to Venice under the “Venice Days” sidebar (think of it as their answer to Cannes’ Directors Fortnight section), and it’s on the right track. This also has the makings to appeal to an international audience,
POTENTIAL SHORTLIST MENTIONS:
Don’t be surprised to see any of these films in this group make it in the final shortlist.
Director: Paul Soriano
Screenplay: Froilan Medina
Cast: Enrique Gil, Ricky Davao, Christopher de Leon, Shaina Magdayao
Philippine Release Date: July 13, 2016
With Paul Soriano helming it (one of the producers of our 2013 Oscar submission “Transit“), this suspense drama about an abducted son also brags of an ensemble composed of some of the biggest names in the country both newbies and veterans.
ANG HAPIS AT HIMAGSIK NI HERMANO PULI
Director: Gil Portes
Screenplay: Enrique Ramos
Cast: Aljur Abrenica, Louise delos Reyes, Enzo Pineda, Menggie Cobarrubias
Philippine Release Date: September 21, 2016
In the tradition of our love for hero films — some of which are deserved (last year’s Heneral Luna), some of which are good (Supremo), and some which are just flat out terrible (El Presidente), let’s say hello to Hermano Puli.
Director: Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez
Screenplay: Henrie Enaje, Henry dela Cruz, Sigfreid Barros Sanchez
Cast: Dina Bonnevie, Ejay Falcon, Joonee Gamboa, Tom Rodriguez
Philippine Release Date: June 8, 2016
Only because of its serious topical theme (with them even doing special screening this National Heroes Day), I can see this political themed film making a (not so) surprise appearance in the shortlist. Think of how Kamkam by Joel Lamangan made it to the Top 4 in 2014.
A SECOND CHANCE
Director: Cathy Garcia-Molina
Screenplay: Henrie Enaje, Henry dela Cruz, Sigreid Barros Sanchez
Cast: Carmi Raymundo, Vanesssa Valdez, Cathy Garcia-Molina
Philippine Release Date: November 25, 2015
We have that one slot, almost always reserved to those box office hits that tackle more serious topics than the usual. Not to say that they aren’t deserving since most of them actually are, but they happen to end up in the shortlist. Examples include 2008’s Caregiver, or 2010’s Sa’yo Lamang, maybe even last year’s That Thing Called Tadhana can somewhat be considered.
Director: King Palisoc
Screenplay: Zig Marasigan
Cast: JM de Guzman, Nico Antonio, Rochelle Pangilinan
Philippine Release Date: February 17, 2016
As for starters, the producers of this film were also the producers of our previous submission Heneral Luna, so if anything, they;d sure be willing to campaign. This film got good to great reviews with solid performances from the leads, but if you compare it to other entries, it’s a tad low-key (in terms of buzz and not of film quality). And if it’s already low-key here, can you imagine how it would fare to the foreign market?
Director: Dan Villegas
Screenplay: Paul Sta. Ana
Cast: Jennylyn Mercado, Jericho Rosales, Lorna Tolentino
Philippine Release Date: December 25, 2015
For an MMFF film, this one got solid reviews and even swept the Gabi ng Parangal of last year. This is also from the Dan Villegas and Jennylyn Mercado team-up, which reminds us that English Only Please, was part of the short-list that year.
So these movies have appeared in different indie film festivals but haven’t fulfilled the seven-day commercial distribution yet. This does not mean that these movies are bad obviously they’re not because there have been buzz for some of them to be submitted. Well, they still have the whole month of September to book a screening if they plan to be considered eligible. Or they can wait for next year instead. For what it’s worth, some films who made it in the shortlist the previous years aren’t from the same year where they participated in festivals. As for examples, the 2008 Cinemalaya film Boses only got a commercial screening in 2012, and thus was included in the shortlist for the 2012 Oscars. Same goes for Ian Lorenos’ Alagwa which gave Jericho Rosales his Urian in 2012 but was in the 2014 shortlist.
For this year, I think we can trim it down to three films which would all be decent submissions by any means. For starters, there’s the John Lloyd starrer Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis with its Berlin victory, but is simply hindered by the 8-hr running time. Not that Lav Diaz needs Oscars anyway to validate his impressive work; it’s just that sometimes the Academy just doesn’t fit into a certain director’s style. Then there’s the other John Lloyd starrer Honor Thy Father, which I can see a scenario with it connecting to a foreign audience, if they’re gonna push it hard and run aggressive with it. That’s a big if, by the way. In the end, maybe Jaclyn Jose’s Cannes win can also be Brillante Mendoza’s first RP submission to the Academy. It’s doing its assignment by participating in TIFF and its Cannes win, but us submitting a Mendoza film for once won’t do us any harm, regardless of the end result if it gets in or not.
Share your thoughts with me! You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
Before Emmy nominee Anthony Anderson and Lauren Graham announce the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations tomorrow, we’ll finish our four-part predictions series over here at Tit for Tat. Since we’re already done with reality and variety, TV movie and limited series, as well as comedy yesterday, we’re left with the TV dramas.
Last year, Game of Thrones swept last year, and while that’s bound to happen again, let’s see who can expect some nominations for themselves.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Better Call Saul, “Klick” (Vince Gilligan)
• Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards” (Miguel Sapochnik)
• Game of Thrones, “The Door” (Jack Bender)
• Homeland, “The Tradition of Hospitality” (Lesli Linka Glatter)
• Horace and Pete, “Episode 10” (Louis C.K.)
• Vinyl, “Pilot” (Martin Scorsese)
Seventh nominee: Game of Thrones, “Home” (Jeremy Podeswa)
It’s a tad surprising that Game of Thrones hasn’t won yet for any of their Episode 9, but they have been nominated for it, so expect at least two nominations for the show again. Then there’s legendary director Martin Scorsese in contention again after winning for the Boardwalk Empire pilot back in 2011. Sure Vinyl is dead by now and was also canceled by HBO already, but that won’t stop them from name-checking and recognizing it here. Vince Gilligan hasn’t won for Directing for any Breaking Bad episode, maybe Better Call Saul can seal the deal for him. I also think Louis C.K. can also pull off his usual directing and writing nominations he usually does in the Comedy genre. Lastly, Homeland has been nominated thrice in its last four seasons, but with a resurgence, I expect that it will be a mainstay here the same way Boardwalk Empire was during its run.
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• The Americans, “Persona Non Grata” (Joe Weisberg & Joel Fields)
• Better Call Saul, “Klick” (Heather Marion & Vince Gilligan)
• Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards” (David Benioff & D.B. Weiss)
• Horace and Pete, “Episode 3” (Louis C.K.)
• The Leftovers, “International Assassin” (Damon Lindelof & Nick Cuse)
• Mr. Robot, “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov” (Sam Esmail)
Seventh nominee: Downton Abbey, “August 1925” (Julian Fellowes)
As we all know, the writers branch are the most experimental and least sheepy when it comes to nominations; thus nominations for shows like Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, and The Americans the previous years. Speaking of The Americans, I think they’ll get a consecutive nomination here again for this year. Another out of the box pick I trust them to do is The Leftovers‘ much-buzzed episode “International Assassin.” Both Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones are also poised to return here with nominations for their prominent episodes this season. I expect them to welcome new shows such as Mr. Robot and Horace and Pete with nominations too.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Ellen Burstyn, “House of Cards”
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex”
• Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black”
• Laurie Metcalfe, “Horace and Pete”
• Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
• Cicely Tyson, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Seventh nominee: Stockard Channing, “The Good Wife”
Previous winners Allison Janney and Margo Martindale are likely bound to return as long as they’re still eligible, so those are two slots taken already. Then there are those previous nominees such as Natasha Lyonne of Orange is the New Black and Cicely Tyson for How to Get Away with Murder to come back as well. As mentioned yesterday in the Comedy Guest Actress, I think Ellen Burstyn will also pick up a second Guest Actress nomination for her turn in House of Cards. This is the same actress they nominated for a 15-second appearance back in 2006 and a win for the short-lived small show Political Animals. To complete the list, expect another Emmy favorite Laurie Metcalfe to earn another nomination for her much talked about episode in Horace & Pete. The talks are even about her winning this category.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Beau Bridges, “Bloodline”
• Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife”
• Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife”
• Pablo Schreiber, “Orange is the New Black”
• Max von Sydow, “Game of Thrones”
Seventh nominee: David Strathairn, “The Blacklist”
As for starters, there’s current Emmy champ Reg E. Cathey who’s eligible again this year for House of Cards. The rest is a mix of previous nominated performances and familiar faces that are usually nominated. There’s 2x nominee Josh Charles who comes back on The Good Wife‘s final episode, as well as thrice-nominated Michael J. Fox for the same show as well. Last year’s nominee Pablo Schreiber can also expect to hear his name called again for his infamous Pornstache role in Orange is the New Black. With Dame Diana Rigg moving to Supporting now, Oscar nominee Max von Sydow can be the Guest acting nominee from Game of Thrones this year. And lastly, there’s Beau Bridges, who has been a mainstay in the guest actor categories, previously for shows such as Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, The Closer and Masters of Sex to score another nomination, this time for Bloodline.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”
• Edie Falco, “Horace and Pete”
• Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Seventh nominee: Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul”
Five of last year’s nominees are all eligible again this year, and I expect current champ Uzo Aduba to be nominated as the representative of Orange is the New Black. Christine Baranski has been nominated all previous six years of The Good Wife that it would be weird if she missed out on the last year of the show’s eligibility. I don’t see Game of Thrones slowing down for this year at least, so expect the pair of Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke to get in too. Dame Maggie Smith was surprisingly snubbed last year and was replaced by co-star Joanne Froggatt, but I expect the reverse results for them this year, especially on Downton Abbey‘s final season. As for the newbie in the group, maybe they’d welcome 4x winner Edie Falco in her first drama since The Sopranos.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Alan Alda, “Horace and Pete”
• Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
• Michael McKean, “Better Call Saul”
• Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot”
Seventh nominee: Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
Welp, Peter Dinklage will be a mainstay in this category as long as Game of Thrones is on air, so that’s one slot for him. There’s also Jonathan Banks of Better Call Saul and Jim Carter of Downton Abbey to return as well. Joining them as newbies of the group are Alan Alda of Horace & Pete who last won nine years ago for the final season of The West Wing. There’s also Golden Globe winner Christian Slater of Mr. Robot, and while I see a scenario that they give him the obvious snub, I still think he’d get in. The last spot I think is a battle of the Michaels — House of Cards‘ Michael Kelly vs. Better Call Saul‘s Michael McKean, though I expect the latter to get in instead.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Claire Danes, “Homeland”
• Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
• Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
• Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
• Keri Russell, “The Americans”
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Seventh nominee: Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
It’s a boring category this year, as we all know Viola Davis will easily score her second consecutive Emmy for the role of Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder. We can also expect both Robin Wright and Claire Danes to get nominated for the respective seasons of their shows too. In a more stacked group, someone like Taraji P. Henson can be snubbed after Empire lost its buzz, but we think she can squeeze in another year for a nomination. 2x Emmy winner for this performance, Julianna Margulies can either get one last nod or just be completely forgotten, but I guess she has the clout enough to pull off. Last slot can be between three different women: there’s Michelle Dockery who will also come back after sitting out for a year, there’s Tatiana Maslany who got the surprise inclusion last year. However, I’m going out on a limb and predict that the Emmys will finally realize The Americans do exist and nominate Keri Russell.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Steve Buscemi, “Horace and Pete”
• Paul Giammatti, “Billions”
• Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
• Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
• Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Seventh nominee: Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Aside from returning nominees Kevin Spacey of House of Cards, and Bob Odenkirk of Better Call Saul, the rest can be a lineup of new names in this category. As for starters, there’s the men of Horace & Pete. While both Louis C.K. and Steve Buscemi can get in, I guess the former will get his due in the writing and directing categories while multiple acting nominee Buscemi gets in solely here. Then there’s another Emmy favorite Paul Giammatti who was just nominated for his guest stint in Inside Amy Schumer last year. While Billions has the option to go with him or Emmy winner Damian Lewis, we’re going with the more familiar name between the two. Rami Malek of Mr. Robot can be seen as too much of an outlier here, but we’re holding on the idea that the Emmys will embrace the show somehow; thus I’m including him. To round up the list, Bloodline‘s Kyle Chandler and Ray Donovan‘s Liev Schreiber can easily score another nod, same goes for Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey, but just like my risk in the Lead Actress, I’ll go on a limb and predict Matthew Rhys of The Americans to score a nomination too.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:
• Better Call Saul (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• Homeland (Showtime)
• House of Cards (Showtime)
• Mr. Robot (USA)
• Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Eighth nominee: Horace and Pete (louisck.net)
Now this one can see a lot of movements to maybe really limited ones. Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul. Downton Abbey, House of Cards, and Homeland are sure nominations, I think. three shows are competing however for the last two slots. There’s Orange is the New Black who happened to be the subject of many of ATAS’ weird rule changes which makes you think they’re sabotaging it. That said, it has survived last year despite four nods, and the love for Season 4 can overcome the Season 3 blah-ness. Then there’s Mr. Robot, which I’m still somehow pessimistic that the Emmys will embrace. It’s a USA show, and the title might make voters think it’s about a techy show and they won’t touch it (true story). Then there’s Horace & Pete, a show made and starred by a group of Emmy winners. It has all the factors of a shoo-in nomination really, but the question is, with aggressive campaigning and all, will voters really acknowledge such? Any of the three missing is a feasible scenario, and since there are only two slots, I’ll go crazy and predict a Horace & Pete snub even if it gets multiple acting nominations.
There you have it! Watch out for the Primetime Emmy announcement nomination tomorrow night, July 14 (Manila time).
After the reality and variety, plus TV movie and limited series, we continue our 2016 Emmy prediction series with the hilarious shows and performances from our comedy shows. Last year, Veep dominated winning Series, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Writing. Will they pull off the same feat again this year? Can Jim Parsons come back in the race? And will they finally give up on Modern Family?
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Any Given Saturday” (Gail Mancuso)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari)
• Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly” (Mike Judge)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Jill Solloway)
• Veep, “Kissing Your Sister” (David Mandel)
• Veep, “Mother” (Dale Stern)
Seventh nominee: Silicon Valley, “Daily Active Users” (Alec Berg)
Let’s begin by me saying that I think black-ish would have a huge Emmy breakout this season. I mean, sure maybe Anthony Anderson’s surprise nod last year was maybe due to a tie, but whatever. The improved quality of the second season had the critics pushing for it. It’s also somehow of a statement show, and it says a lot that Emmy winner Gail Mancuso decided to submit for this show instead of 4x winner Modern Family here. I’ll also probably predict a lot of Master of None here, and maybe Aziz Ansari follows Lena Dunham and Louis C.K. to pick up nods for their directing and writing efforts too. Silicon Valley, Transparent, and Veep are mainstays here and it’s just a matter of choosing which show will pick up multiple nominations. Thus, bet on current Emmy champ Veep to be it.
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Hope” (Kenya Barris)
• Lady Dynamite, “Pilot” (Pam Brady & Mitch Hurwitz)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang)
• Silicon Valley, “The Uptick” (Alec Berg)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Ali Liebegott)
• Veep, “Mother” (Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck)
Seventh nominee: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (Tina Fey & Sam Means)
It’s unfortunate that Lady Dynamite didn’t have an explosion in terms of reception, but it’s the writers we’re talking about here, and they’re more reactive to quality as compared to the other branches; thus, a pilot written by multiple Emmy winner Mitch Hurwitz does stand a chance to get nominated. After that, we have the same five shows I’m predicting for Directing, though if there’s a spoiler here, maybe Tina Fey gets back in the race, her first since 30 Rock.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Fred Armisen, “Saturday Night Live
• Larry David, “Saturday Night Live”
• Peter MacNicol, “Veep”
• Tracy Morgan, “Saturday Night Live”
• Martin Mull, “Veep”
• Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”
Seventh nominee: Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory”
Three SNL men have competed here in the past, so it’s not as if it’s something new. After all, they’re working on three entirely different narratives. Fred Armisen is a past SNL member, and we all know how much they love to nominate those previous members even in the past years alone (there’s Tina and Amy and Jimmy (winning twice) and Kirsten and Maya and Bill)! Tracy Morgan has a comeback narrative. I mean have you seen the reception to him when he presented at the Emmys last year? They LOVE him! As for Larry David, this is his first bid at an acting Emmy and him playing Bernie Sanders will help him further. Last year’s winner Bradley Whitford is back at it again, so you can pencil a nomination for him again. Then for the last two spots, I went with two Veep men: Martin Mull who played Bob Bradley, and previous Emmy nominee Peter MacNicol who I’d say is the non-SNL actor frontrunner in here.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Ellen Burstyn, “Mom”
• Claire Danes, ”Master of None”
• Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, “Saturday Night Live”
• Anjelica Huston, “Transparent”
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
Seventh nominee: Lisa Kudrow, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
I have mixed reactions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler competing as one especially since this is likely Amy Poehler’s first actual legit bid at an Emmy. But hey, if that’s what it’ll take for her to finally win, then let’s go for it. Joining her is Melissa McCarthy who got nominated for all the times she hosted SNL too, Christine Baranski who’s also a multi-guest nominee for this role. Then there’s Ellen Burstyn who’ll Allison Janney her way to both Guest Comedy and Drama nominations. Oscar winner Anjelica Huston had a much-buzzed stint on Transparent, so I think she’ll be in. Last spot is up for grabs, we have lots of contenders from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, that maybe we can get in a second Guest nod for a solo Tina Fey, or the much-buzzed Lisa Kudrow, but I’ll go on a limb and say that Claire Danes gets in for Master of None. It has that Louie guest stint vibes for me, though that show is infallible as well (Sarah fuckin Baker, everyone).
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
• Adam Driver, “Girls”
• Laurence Fishburne, “black-ish”
• Tony Hale, “Veep”
• Hugh Laurie, “Veep”
Seventh nominee: Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”
Tony Hale is a given at this point, especially after winning twice for that role already. Congratulations Ty Burrell, you’re the last man standing from Modern Family, and I think he’s here to stay for the next few years. It would be such an Emmy thing to do to finally stop nominating Adam Driver since he finally made it big as a movie star, but if he can survive last year’s almost Girls shut-out, then maybe he can still squeeze in a nod or two. Tituss Burgess also seems like a possible consecutive nod. His is a role that this category loves if we’re to base it on the history of this. Andre Braugher can easily score another nod, but I think voters are already over Brooklyn Nine Nine by now, and while it is Andre Braugher we’re talking about, there’s a lot of other veterans they can nominate here… which leads me to Laurence Fishburne in black-ish. It’s a tad surprising that even after so many years, Hale has been the only Veep supporting actor nominated but maybe winning Series last year can finally score them an additional acting nod. Since there’s no consensus on who the second actor might be (Tim Simons is probably what critics will push, but Gary Cole is the only other male nominated performance from this show), so go the easy route and predict the most prominent one in the group; thus it’s Hugh Laurie.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
• Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
• Allison Janney, “Mom”
• Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Judith Light, “Transparent”
• Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Seventh nominee: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
It’s hilarious that all eight(!) women from last year are still eligible to be nominated again this year, but since I don’t think we’re going eight here again, I’d say Mayim Bialik and Niecy Nash are the first to go. Allison Janney is definitely back and in contention for a third straight win here, and so is Anna Chlumsky. Jane Krakowski is someone they love to nominate (however, winning is a different story), so I think she’ll be back as well. And it’s safe to say that they won’t be cutting Kate McKinnon in an election season of all years, so there’s four. The last two slots are between 2x previous Emmy champ Julie Bowen of Modern Family and the two Transparent ladies — last year’s nominee Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light. All three make sense as nominees, but I feel Modern Family is going on a decline here, thus cutting Bowen off in the process.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
• Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
• Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle”
• Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
• William H. Macy, “Shameless”
• Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Seventh nominee: Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Let’s begin with those that will surely be back. Of course, there’s no better way to start this than with Jeffrey Tambor who’ll even probably win this again (and deservedly so). After his surprise nod last year, I think Anthony Anderson will be back too, as well as perennial Emmy favorite William H. Macy. Will Forte scooped three major surprise nods last year, so I feel like in a relatively empty category like this one, he has the industry support and clout to pull off another one.Now this is where it gets tricky — sure Louis C.K. and Matt Leblanc aren’t eligible this time around so it’s opening up a free slot (since there are seven nominees last year). I’m currently predicting Aziz Anzari, as mentioned above already, to have his Louis C.K. (or Lena Dunham or Will Forte or whatever) moment, but I won’t be surprised if he gets Ellie Kemeper-ed in the end, meaning lead star of the nominated show snubbed. For now, I’d keep him in. As for that last slot, we can have a Jim Parsons come back again (yes as much as we’re sick of him and his show now) and Don Cheadle has been nominated all seasons his show was eligible (and this is the final season so there’s that), but I’mma go risky and put in Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal here only because I think Amazon’s really, really aggressive campaigning will at least bear one good result for them.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Lena Dunham, “Girls”
• Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
• Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
• Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
• Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Seventh nominee: Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”
The question here basically is who are the five other women Julia Louis Dreyfus is beating for that fifth consecutive Emmy? As for starters, there’s Lily Tomlin who got in last year for Grace and Frankie without her partner Jane Fonda. Maybe both of them gets nominated this year, who knows? Then there’s Ellie Kemper who missed last year, but then again, last year is the most competitive category of the race since whenever so maybe it’s safe to say she’s in this year (or is she?) To continue my black-ish breakout year narrative, there’s also Tracee Ellis Ross who’ll be the first black woman to be nominated since Phylicia Rashad exactly 30 years ago (talk about narrative)! With a clear resurgence in quality, I think Lena Dunham will also be back after a year of absence. This can be a way to reward her and her season since Girls feels like an afterthought already. Now I’m definitely crazy for excluding Amy Schumer out. Sure, she doesn’t have a breakthrough big year like last year because not all years can be like that, but the lukewarm reception of this Inside Amy Schumer season feels like it’s ripe for a possible miss. Think of the other one time-nominated performances here (Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross in Desperate Housewives, Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Laura Linney in The Big C, Sarah Silverman in The Sarah Silverman Program, Lea Michele in Glee, Taylor Schilling in Orange is the New Black) — all those in really huge breakout seasons that they snubbed after. After all, I think she can get her due in the Variety Sketch category. Now this is where it gets crazier — I’m removing Amy Schumer for a CW actress. The Emmys are so allergic of CW they don’t even nominate their guest actresses (not even when they’re as legendary as Rita Moreno). But I think that sooner or later they’ll cave in. This year, they have two in contention: Globe winner this year Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-girlfriend and Globe winner last year Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. Now I don’t think both are getting in, and while Bloom is the more current one, I’d say the Emmys will be y’know.. like the Emmys and be a year late in acknowledging Gina Rodriguez just like when they nominated Tatiana Maslany when no one’s predicting her anymore.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish (ABC)
• Master of None (Netflix)
• Modern Family (ABC)
• Silicon Valley (HBO)
• Transparent (Amazon)
• Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
• Veep (HBO)
Eighth nominee: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)
As for the Series categories, we have two slots freed up this year because of Louie having no season this year and Parks and Recreation‘s departure. While people are toying around with the idea of Modern Family missing already, I’m not sure that will happen yet for this year, at least. They probably have one or two years in them before they get dropped off. Meanwhile all the other four nominees are guaranteed to be back as well – current winner Veep, Transparent, Silicon Valley, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Considering that Netflix is really great when it comes to campaigning their own shows, I’d say Master of None gets in in a category with seven spots. And lastly, I began my mention of it and end with it too –Black-ish seems like its poised for an Emmy breakout. Not only will it be the remaining network representative (especially since Modern Family is on its way out), but it’s about family too, so expect it to be there.
Tomorrow, to complete the list, the cream of the crop among the television dramas!
Talk to me about this one on Twitter: @nikowl
68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 2: TV Movie and Limited Series Leave a comment
Before Anthony Anderson and Lauren Graham announce the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards nominees on July 14, here’s a preview on who can get nominated come Thursday. Yesterday, we tackled the Reality and Variety Series, this time the focus is on the TV Movies and the Limited Series. The past few years saw the rise in the limited series genre, now even eclipsing the acclaim of the current dramas on the boob tube. This year, we can have a rehash of the 2013 race when it’s Ryan Murphy vs. Fargo. Here are my predictions in all eight longform series categories.
OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE:
• All the Way (HBO)
• Confirmation (HBO)
• The Dresser (Starz)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (BBC)
• A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix)
Sixth nominee: Luther (BBC America)
While the Jay Roach political drama has this Emmy wrapped up already, let’s discuss which ones will join it as co-nominees. As for starters, there’s the other HBO political film Confirmation, which is basically the runner-up HBO TV movie of the year. We always have those (Hemingway & Gellhorn to Game Change, Taking Chance to Grey Gardens, You Don’t Know Jack to Temple Grandin.. you get the point). After its surprise win haul back in 2013 taking home three major Emmys, they’ll surely nominate the new Sherlock special too. Expect the Emmys to fall in love with The Dresser, albeit it being on Starz; after all, it stars two acting veterans, an Oscar-winning material, and it’s British. As for that last spot, considering how much Netflix is great at campaigning, I’m going with that A Very Murray Christmas from Emmy winner Bill Murray.
OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES:
• American Crime (ABC)
• Fargo (FX)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
• The Night Manager (AMC)
• Roots (History Channel)
Sixth nominee: Show Me A Hero (HBO)
As mentioned, the big story here is The People v. O.J. Simpson, which I expect to dominate the nominations. It was critically acclaimed, it had Ryan Murphy in a very prominent case in Murica, and it’s star-studded. Considering how much Ryan Murphy’s pilot seasons always go well with Emmy nods, expect this to be a shoo-in here. Not to be left behind of course is another FX gem, Fargo, whose first season won the Emmy of this category too. It premiering last year and being more subtle than the showy OJ showcase could cost it wins, but not nominations. ABC’s American Crime (not to be confused with American Crime Story — we saw what you did there, Ryan Murphy) is also poised to come back. After all, it’s ABC’s only push here and had a decent showing with the nods last year. Roots is one of the most iconic and memorable shows in TV history and is still an Emmy record holder, so expect the new version to at least be acknowledged with a nom. That last spot is tricky — there’s HBO’s Show Me A Hero which feels like an afterthought at this stage, but it’s HBO’s only shot here plus it stars one of Hollywood’s current it boys Oscar Isaac. But there’s also AMC’s The Night Manager which they are campaigning aggressively, stars Tom Hiddleston and multiple Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie. I can see it both go ways, but for now let’s stick with the latter.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Bryan Cranston, “All the Way”
• Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Cuba Gooding Jr., “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ian McKellen, “The Dresser”
• Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Patrick Wilson, “Fargo”
Seventh nominee: Oscar Isaac, “Show Me A Hero”
Talk about an insanely competitive category. You literally can fill this group with at least a dozen names. To be frank, I think only Bryan Cranston is a lock here. His LBJ performance which previously netted him a Tony will likely join an Emmy as well (will Oscar follow?). To a certain extent, I think Courtney B. Vance is also safe considering he’s the breakout performer among the lads in the show. Benedict Cumberbatch pulled off an upset in an equally strong category back in 2013 (against Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, and Fargo guys) so it’s not impossible for him to pull one off again this time. Then this is where it gets tricky. Patrick Wilson is probably my fourth, though the passive, subtle role can somehow hurt him especially in an insane category like this one. That said, I’m sticking with him. I also think they won’t let the opportunity of nominating any of The Dresser actors pass by. It’s tough between Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen, so you can just go eitherway (maybe even both get in?), and for now I went with McKellen. Cuba Gooding Jr. just feels like he’ll be a part of the OJ lovefest, and considering he’s playing the titular character, I’d go predict him as well. Watch out for Oscar Isaac though considering how much he’s an in-demand actor now. Other notable names to consider are The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston, Bill Murray in A Very Murray Christmas, Idris Elba in Luther, and even Sir Ben Kingsley in Tut.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
• Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
• Rachel McAdams, “True Detective”
• Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill”
• Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Kerry Washington, “Confirmation”
Seventh nominee: Blythe Danner, “Madoff”
Unlike its male counterpart, the Lead Actress category is wider than usual. Of course, one expects that Confirmation‘s Kerry Washington, Fargo‘s Kristen Dunst, and People v. OJ Simpson‘s Sarah Paulson are all but sure now. After that, there’s Emmy winner Audra McDonald for her HBO special too. We can also see two American Crime actresses in this category, but it’s safer to go with Emmy winner Felicity Huffman. As for that last spot, there’s her co-star Lili Taylor, and Emmy favorite Blythe Danner in Madoff, but let’s go daring a bit and predict that her Oscar luck would extend here so I say Rachel McAdams for True Detective.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ted Danson, “Fargo”
• Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”
• David Schwimmer, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Bokeem Woodbine, “Fargo”
Seventh nominee: John Travolta, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
What it it with male acting categories that they are really jampacked this year? The Supporting one is full of potential categories, and there’s a chance that it can go The Normal Heart way with four bids in it. That said, I’ll go predictable and include only two: Sterling K. Brown, and David Schwimmer’s TV comeback. That said, if they go star heavy, there’s John Travolta and Nathan Lane, both of whom can benefit from name-checking from voters. Martin Freeman won this category too back in 2013 against The Normal Heart group, so unless the lukewarm reviews for The Abominable Bride catches on, then he’s safe here. Ted Danson is a TV veteran, but he’s no easy bid as well, though being the veteran among Fargo supporting actors might help him. I might also be personally bias here with my prediction of Bokeem Woodbine, also from Fargo, but they nominated Alison Tolman two years ago, so there’s a precedent. Lastly, if The Night Manager is indeed a successful campaign, still Emmyless Hugh Laurie can sneak in a nomination for this as well. That said there’s also Forest Whitaker for Roots, Frank Langella for All the Way, and Denis O’Hare of AHS: Hotel to consider.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Connie Britton, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Regina King, “American Crime”
• Melissa Leo, “All the Way”
• Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Jean Smart, “Fargo”
Seventh nominee: Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”
I might be underestimating American Horror Story: Hotel this year, but not in this category. I’ve dismissed it in previous years only for it to come back stronger, though Jessica Lange’s absence really hurt it. That said, double nods for Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson are still safe bets. Speaking of safe bets, Emmy veteran Jean Smart’s cold, conniving matriarch in Fargo might even be competitive for the win. Meanwhile, a lesser known actress would definitely not be in contention considering the small of the role, but it’s Oscar and Emmy winner Melissa Leo in a supportive wife role in All the Way so it’s safe to say she’s getting in. Lastly, to continue my narrative of strong OJ Simpson love, I’m predicting that the scene-chewing performance of Connie Britton will give her another nod (I mean she got in for Nashville).
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Jay Roach)
• Fargo, “Loplop” (Keith Gordon)
• The Night Manager (Susanne Bier)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Ryan Murphy)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “The Race Card” (John Singleton)
• Roots, “Night Four” (Bruce Beresford)
Seventh nominee: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Douglas MacKinnon)
I went safe with my predictions here — only two OJ episodes, one by Ryan Murphy and one by John Singleton, then Jay Roach will surely get in as well. There’s a Fargo episode in between, from the same one who pulled off the upset win back in the first season, and then there’s Oscar winner Susanne Bier in a well-campaigned British program. Last one is between a Sherlock episode and a Roots finale from a popular 80s movie director, and since I think Sherlock won’t go as perfectly lucky as the last time, I give the edge to Roots.
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Robert Schenkkan)
• American Crime, “Episode Seven” (John Ridley)
• Fargo, “Palindrome” (Noah Hawley)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (D.V. DeVincentis)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss)
Seventh nominee: The Night Manager (David Farr)
Like in Directing, went safe here by including only two OJ Simpson episodes, All the Way, and a Fargo one too. But instead of The Night Manager, I replaced it with another British series — Sherlock considering it won this category the last time it contended. And instead of Roots, we have Oscar winner John Ridley’s penned American Crime episode to round up the group.
Next up, the LOL shows of the comedy categories as we continue our 68th Emmy nomination prediction series tomorrow.
Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl
Five days from now, Anthony Anderson and Lauren Graham will announce the nominees for the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, rewarding the best in television for the previous television season. In this special four-parter, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on which shows and performances are destined for Emmy gold this year. First up, the reality and variety series and specials.
OUTSTANDING REALITY/COMPETITION SERIES:
• The Amazing Race (CBS)
• Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
• Project Runway (Lifetime)
• So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
• Top Chef (Bravo)
• The Voice (NBC)
Seventh nominee: Survivor (NBC)
Despite the surge in popularity of other reality shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race or the previously nominated Survivor, voters in this category are probably the laziest as this is the lineup we had for the last three years. Thus, even if there are other shows that were well-received, we’re stuck with this lineup, and that’s why I’m predicting the same six. Watch out though for a comeback of some sort, either Survivor‘s resurgence finally catches on the Academy or the farewell season of American Idol, to join the race again.
OUTSTANDING REALITY/COMPETITION HOST:
• Tom Bergeron, “Dancing with the Stars”
• Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance”
• Steve Harvey, “Celebrity Family Feud”
• Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, “Project Runway”
• Jane Lynch, “Hollywood Game Night”
Sixth nominee: Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol”
Anthony Bourdain is ineligible this time around for The Taste, so that frees up a slot here, and the possibilities are endless. For now, I’m retaining three of the previous winners here – Bergeron, Klum and Gunn, and current champ Lynch – to join perennial nominee Cat Deeley. As for the newbie, I’m betting on Steve Harvey to pick up a nod, especially after his infamous Miss Universe stint in here. If not, then Ryan Seacrest probably comes back for Idol‘s series finale, or maybe RuPaul finally gets a breakthrough.
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS PROGRAM
• Grease: Live (Fox)
• Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (HBO)
• The Oscars (ABC)
• Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show (CBS)
• 69th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)
• The Wiz Live (NBC)
Seventh nominee: Grammys 2016 (CBS)
For the first time, they’ve created a specific Special Class Program that separates specials to awards ceremonies and other live events. For this one, the focus is on theatrical specials and the current trend of doing live musicals on network shows will automatically give Grease Live and The Wiz Live nominations. Among awards ceremonies, however, the Oscars and the Tonys are the one that regularly gets nominated so expect them in here as well. HBO’s Lady Day special is a good bet as well, and since it’s still up in the air if we’ll get five or six nominees here, I’m including the Pepsi Halftime Show of the SuperBowl 50 which had the Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce performance.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL
• Adele Live in New York City (NBC)
• Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo (HBO)
• Kennedy Center Honors (CBS)
• Lemonade (HBO)
• Must See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows (NBC)
Sixth nominee: Sinatra 100: An All-Star Grammy Concert (CBS)
Speaking of Beyonce, the first of the Adele vs. Beyonce face-offs yet to come for the rest of the year will surprisingly start at the Emmys. Adele’s special NBC New York special is the frontrunner here, but Beyonce’s online smash premiere of Lemonade on HBO is a certain to receive a nod too. In between, there’s Amy Schumer’s Live at the Apollo special, multiple time winner Kennedy Center Honors, and as for the last spot, I’m going with the James Burrows special only because I think Burrows is a prominent and legendary TV figure that has worked on a lot of previous Emmy winning series.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK PROGRAM
• The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
• Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
• Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
• The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
• The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
• The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Seventh nominee: Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
It’s a different category now without the usual shows (as the three from last year – the two Jimmys and John Oliver are coming back), especially from last year. With the exit of David Letterman and Jon Stewart, it frees up two spots here. Well, three if you include The Colbert Report, but then he’s just replacing himself with The Late Show. Trevor Noah taking over Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show is a shoo-in atoo. For that last spot, one can count on Real Time with Bill Maher to come back considering it’s a mainstay in this category except for its first absence last year. That said, I think HBO’s focus is now on Last Week Tonight already. I guess the popularity of his carpool karaoke series combined with the industrys penchant for him will give James Corden his first bid here for his CBS nightly show.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH PROGRAM
• Documentary Now! (IFC)
• Drunk History (Comedy Central)
• Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
• Key & Peele (Comedy Central)
• Portlandia (IFC)
• Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Seventh nominee: Billy On The Street (truTV)
They’re extending the category to six now from last year’s five. Considering that all five nominees from last year are still eligible, then expect all five to be back. As for what’s joining them, we’re counting on IFC’s Documentary Now which has Emmy nominees Fred Armisen and Bill Hader on the forefront to get nominated too.
Tomorrow, it’s the longform categories with the TV Movie and Miniseries programs!
Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl