Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Who Will Likely Win for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie?

The nominations are in for The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting is happening now. So, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie.

The Nominees:
  • Riz Ahmed for HBO's The Night Of
  • Benedict Cumberbatch for PBS' Sherlock: The Lying Detective
  • Robert De Niro for HBO's The Wizard of Lies
  • Ewan McGregor for FX's Fargo
  • Geoffrey Rush for National Geographic's Genius
  • John Turturro for HBO's The Night Of

Like I've been saying for awhile now, the race for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie just isn't as exciting as some of the other categories in this genre. The six nominees are still stellar actors who did tremendous work this year. It was easy to predict which six guys would get the nominations. But now, predicting a winner is a little more difficult. I don't see a clear frontrunner in this race. In fact, it kinda seems like a six-way tie. That's interesting. As such, any of them could emerge victorious and it would make sense. The voters could simply rewarding the Oscar-winning film actors for spending some time in TV - Robert De Niro and Geoffrey Rush. The voters could reward the best performance - Riz Ahmed and John Turturro. The voters could reward the most visible work via a dual role - Ewan McGregor. Or the voters could crown someone who has already won in this category for the role he is nominated for - Benedict Cumberbatch. There are many options which makes this an interesting category to talk about.

Conventional wisdom would have Robert De Niro walking away with the trophy simply because the Emmys can still be star-struck about film actors showing up at the awards ceremony. The lines are getting more blurred than ever between TV and film. Lots of esteemed and well-regarded actors are signing onto TV shows because it's where the most fascinating roles are. Of course, De Niro just did an HBO movie. However, those have strong track records in the acting categories as well. And yet, is there any buzz circulating around The Wizard of Lies? It aired in May but I never really heard anyone talking about it in a good or bad way. That's strange. HBO movies tend to get more attention than that. But this one just sort of exists. It wouldn't be surprising if De Niro won. But it wouldn't be all that exciting either.

Hollywood voters tend to really appreciate actors acting opposite themselves. Dual roles can be very technically challenging but very rewarding when it comes to awards recognition. It took years for Tatiana Maslany to get recognized for Orphan Black. But she did ultimately win. And now, Ewan McGregor has the opportunity to win for playing two brothers. Fargo is probably the most beloved show nominated in this category. It has more nominations than the other categories. That widespread support could help McGregor. And yet, none of the leading men from past Fargo seasons have won in this category. Patrick Wilson wasn't even nominated while Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman ultimately lost to Benedict Cumberbatch. It would make for an interesting story if Cumberbatch once again prevailed. Voters have loved Sherlock a ton over the years. But the buzz has died down considerably on that show - especially with the erratic schedule it's produced on.

And finally, having two nominees in the category could greatly help The Night Of's chances of winning. Or they could cancel each other out because the voters don't know who to throw their support behind. John Turturro has been in the industry for a long time doing strong and sturdy work. Meanwhile, this was a career-defining performance from Riz Ahmed. If I was a voter, I'd give it to one of them. But again, The Night Of aired a long time ago. It still got a ton of nominations. The actor's branch has a ton of love for the show. But is it enough support? It won't take much across the voter board to crown a winner in this category. It's a tossup. Everyone has a legitimate shot. Playing a historical figure has always been a winning strategy too. So, perhaps Geoffrey Rush will win!

Should Win: Riz Ahmed
Will Win: Ewan McGregor
Dark Horse: John Turturro