We're kicking off the three-part Emmy preview with Miniseries/TV Movie, the categories I know the least about thanks to my non-subscribing to premium channels/not even really watching TV outside of Netflix or Hulu, but hey look, movie stars. This will be followed up with Drama tomorrow, and Comedy on Saturday, and then the ceremony is Sunday night.
BEST MINISERIES/TV MOVIE
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Pillars of the Earth
Too Big to Fail
Before the Creative Arts Emmys last Saturday night, it seemed that Mildred Pierce would be the one to beat here. But then, suddenly, The Kennedys, despite the critical derision, looked like a strong contender, and now has become the spoiler. But I'm not so sure that The Kennedys are the real threat here, given that Downton Abbey just became the Guinness Book of World Records-sanctioned Best Show Ever. I still think Mildred Pierce is going to take this, but I won't be surprised if Downton Abbey takes it instead, even though it's not really a miniseries anymore, what with it's season two.
BEST ACTOR IN A MINISERIES/TV MOVIE
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail
I really want to see Elba win this one; I haven't actually seen Luther, but I hear it's terrific and I'm just a big Elba fan in general. Ramirez has the added benefit of receiving year-end critical raves from film and television critics last year, which should raise his profile among voters. However, this will probably go to one of the Kennedys, most likely Kinnear, who's playing JFK.
BEST ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES/TV MOVIE
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Taraji P. Henson, Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece)
I still don't see any reason why Winslet won't win this one. I suppose it's possible that McGovern could spoil, but Winslet's an A-lister, gave a predictably-incredible performance, and has the campaign resources of HBO behind her. Plus, Emmy loves Oscar winners.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES/TV MOVIE
Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Brian F. O'Byrne, Mildred Pierce
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
James Woods, Too Big to Fail
I honestly have no clue who to choose here. These are all terrific actors, and I have no doubt that any of them could win. But if I'm going to guess, I'm going to go with Pearce, who's all-around terrific and has the meaty role of Monte Beragon, the new man in Mildred's life.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN MINISERIES/TV MOVIE
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce
Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce
Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce
Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece)
No doubt there's still some heat from Leo's Oscar win in February, which makes her a strong contender. However, I fear that the Mildred Pierce women will suffer from vote-splitting. Besides, when you need to do a show about class differences in Britain, you can't do much better than the wonderful Smith, who I'm going to go ahead and say is going to take home this Emmy.
BEST DIRECTION OF A MINISERIES/TV MOVIE
Olivier Assayas, Carlos
Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini, Cinema Verite
Brian Percival, Downton Abbey ("Part One")
Todd Haynes, Mildred Pierce
Curtis Hanson, Too Big to Fail
Even though there are plenty of beloved directors here, I'm guessing Too Big to Fail, Carlos, and Cinema Verite just don't have enough heat to pull off a victory here. As you can see, this is probably going to echo the race for Miniseries/TV Movie, and I'm guessing they'll want to reward Haynes, who's gained quite a following over the years for films such as I'm Not There and Far From Heaven and will see his first foray into television rewarded.
BEST WRITING FOR A MINISERIES/TV MOVIE
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Todd Haynes & Jon Raymond, Mildred Pierce
Steven Moffat, Sherlock: A Study in Pink (Masterpiece)
Peter Gould, Too Big to Fail
Heidi Thomas, Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece)
Judging by the talent of the writers here, I wish I could say that I thought it was more of a contest. But as great as Moffat, Haynes, and Thomas are, I don't see any of them pulling off the upset over Fellowes. Not only has Downton Abbey received a lot of critical praise for it's writing, but Fellowes has won an Oscar for mining the same territory in Gosford Park. He'll likely add an Emmy to his trophy collection Sunday night.