Monday, August 14, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Who Will Likely Win for Lead Actress 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. First up for analysis is Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie.

The Nominees:
  • Carrie Coon for FX's Fargo
  • Felicity Huffman for ABC's American Crime
  • Nicole Kidman for HBO's Big Little Lies
  • Jessica Lange for FX's Feud: Bette and Joan
  • Susan Sarandon for FX's Feud: Bette and Joan
  • Reese Witherspoon for HBO's Big Little Lies

Long before the Emmy nominations were announced last month, this category felt like the most competitive field of the entire nominations. There were probably only 8-9 solid contenders in the race. But all of them did exceptional work which makes it so crushing that 2-3 of them were snubbed. But it's also difficult to argue with the people who actually did get nominated. They all did tremendous work this year. It once again proves that limited series and anthologies really are the most interesting genre in television at the moment. They are able to lure top talent to the medium and give them the type of material that they just aren't getting anywhere else. That's very impressive. Yes, it still ultimately feels like a race between FX's Feud and HBO's Big Little Lies. Most of the limited series categories will play out like that. But this race, it is especially true because both series were fronted by multiple Oscar winning actresses.

For months, it has also seemed like the race will ultimately be a tossup between Jessica Lange and Nicole Kidman. Of their respective series, they had the far flashier roles. Susan Sarandon and Reese Witherspoon did tremendous work as well. In any other year, they would be the frontrunners in this race. But Lange and Kidman were given the storylines and material that Emmy voters typically reward. Lange is playing an over-the-top icon from Hollywood's past. Kidman has these big monologues with her character in therapy for a truly dark story. Both were so impressive to watch. When both shows were on at the same time in the spring, it felt like a great time to be a fan of television. Furthermore, Lange won in this category for her previous collaboration with Ryan Murphy. Meanwhile, David E. Kelley has written Emmy-winning roles for over 30 actors across his career. Kidman could easily join those ranks this year. So both have legitimate shots of winning in this race.

With most of the conversation being about Feud and Big Little Lies, Carrie Coon and Felicity Huffman could get lost in the shuffle. Huffman has been a perennial nominee in this category for American Crime but has never won while Coon got critical acclaim for her two performances this year (on Fargo and HBO's The Leftovers). If the voters truly can't decide between Feud and Big Little Lies, one of these two actresses could sneak in with a surprise. The voters clearly have a ton of affection for Fargo as well. It has been a multiple Emmy-winning series for its two previous seasons. Coon was terrific in the third season. But again, so was Huffman in playing a role completely different than the characters she did in the first two years. She may suffer from her show being cancelled and having less buzz than the other series. But then again, everyone in this category did phenomenal work this year. So, it would be hard to argue against any of them walking away with the trophy.

Should Win: Jessica Lange
Will Win: Nicole Kidman
Dark Horse: Carrie Coon