Hi everyone. Like last year, I will be hosting a series of comprehensive Emmy discussion and analysis as I predict 30 of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards categories. It will be done in the next few days leading up to the actual ceremony on August 25. For this year, we will be doing all comedy, drama, longform, and reality categories as we learn more about the submissions for most of them. Let’s begin with one of the easiest calls for the night… Outstanding TV Movie!
After three years of being combined, this year marked the separation of the television movies from the miniseries. While this isn’t the actual ideal year to do that (given the lack of legit contenders for both), we still managed to come up with a decent batch of nominees here.
NatGeo finally had their first contender in the history of this category via Killing Kennedy, a topic that hasn’t been done to death among TV movies yet (note the sarcasm). This film, which was an adaptation of the 2012 non-fiction title, focused on the point of view of former Marine Lee Oswald leading up to the infamous assassination of President Kennedy. This film surprisingly has managed to keep its buzz afloat among the guilds earning WGA, SAG, and DGA nods for it. However, I’m inclined to believe that it will have a hard time getting nominated had there been a combined TV movie/Miniseries category this year.
The first HBO contender we have is Stephen Frears’ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. Like Killing Kennedy, I really don’t think it will be nominated in a combined longform category, and the only thing it has in its advantage is that from HBO. Heck this can’t even be compared to the lesser HBO films like You Don’t Know Jack, Hemingway & Gellhorn, Bernard & Doris, or Live From Baghdad since those films managed to reap up nods and would have managed to have the prime HBO slot in any other year. This one is simply non-existent which leads me to…
Fret not HBO since we all know what your priority is. It’s Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart. Based from the Tony winning material of the same name, this is definitely the top tier contender from this year’s batch of TV movies. It has well known names attached to it, it is political, historical, and socially relevant. It is star studded, produced by Brad Pitt, and got really great reviews. Like there’s not much competition for it already.
Probably in its most successful Emmy nom haul yet (with 12 nominations), it really amazes me why Sherlock: His Last Vowrefuses to campaign in Miniseries and just choose one episode to pass as a TV movie. Sure the length might fool you, but in a year where TV movies are being separated from miniseries, this doesn’t make much sense. Then again, it probably won’t hear its name be called either way, but I guess they should consider moving to Miniseries in their next years especially given the weak competition there.
And the token Lifetime slot here goes to the 2014 adaptation of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful. It’s one of Lifetime’s stronger efforts in a long time, so a part of me is quite shocked that it only received two nominations. It seems like it was really just seen as the Cicely Tyson show than awarding the TV movie altogether.
By now you should have easily guessed what would win here. Yep, The Normal Heart will win this in a cakewalk. I think there will be at least a competition of some sort had it battled with the miniseries, but the separation is a blessing in disguise for the whole team. I really don’t see a scenario where it loses in the end, and for what its worth, it really is deserving of its Emmy win.
PREDICTION: The Normal Heart (HBO)
ALTERNATE: Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
01. “The Normal Heart”
02. “Sherlock: His Last Vow”
03. “The Trip to Bountiful”
04. “Killing Kennedy”
05. “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
There you have it! Check in soon to see the rest of the 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl