Saturday, August 19, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Who Will Likely Win for Directing 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 Directing in a Limited Series or TV Movie.

The Nominees:
  • Noah Hawley for FX's Fargo - "The Law of Vacant Places"
  • Ron Howard for National Geographic's Genius - "Einstein: Chapter One"
  • James Marsh for HBO's The Night Of - "The Art of War"
  • Ryan Murphy for FX's Feud: Bette and Joan - "And the Winner Is... (The Oscars of 1963)"
  • Jean-Marc Vallée for HBO's Big Little Lies
  • Steve Zaillian for HBO's The Night Of - "The Beach"

Instinctively, I was doubtful that the same show would win for both Writing and Directing in the limited series categories this year. Upon further research though, Olive Kitteridge accomplished just that two years ago with other projects emerging victorious in both races on numerous occasions. So now, I don't feel so bad for thinking that Ryan Murphy will prevail in both races for writing and directing the Oscars episode of Feud. That was such a phenomenal episode. If it only wins one of them though, I would think directing would have the edge because of an impressive one-shot sequence that occurs. But again, it's the rightful frontrunner in both races.

And yet, I can't count out Jean-Marc Vallée for Big Little Lies either. That was a stunning season to watch from a visual standpoint. And just like in the writing category, all seven episodes were directed by the same person. So the totality of the season is in consideration for this award. That may give him the edge up in this race. It certainly helped Susanne Bier win last year for The Night Manager. She faced three episodes of The People v. O.J. Simpson and still won. That was impressive and unexpected. And now, Vallée could prevail because the rest of the field is for a specific episode.

Meanwhile, Fargo has actually won in this category before for its first season. It had the benefit of two episodes in the field. Of course, Noah Hawley didn't direct that winning episode. He's nominated for both writing and directing his episode as well. And like Murphy, I think he has the stronger odds winning as a director this year. So, he's a candidate in this race too. And so is Ron Howard. He's an Oscar-winning director making his television directorial debut for Genius. That show got more support than anyone was expecting. So, his profile could lead to a victory here as well.

And finally, the guys from The Night Of are solid contenders too. Of course, Steve Zaillian probably has the edge because he was a chief part of the creative team and directed most of the season. But James Marsh also getting in shows that the voters support this show. And Zaillian has one terrific submission episode. The premiere was easily the best episode of The Night Of. It's an extended episode that is very purposeful and deliberate with its slow build of tension. That could easily be a winning episode. So once again, the voters have an important choice to make with no wrong answers.

Should Win: Jean-Marc Vallée
Will Win: Ryan Murphy
Dark Horse: Steve Zaillian