Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Which Program Will Likely Win for Limited Series?

The nominations are in for The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting has occurred. So, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Limited Series.

The Nominees:
  • HBO's Big Little Lies
  • FX's Fargo
  • FX's Feud: Bette and Joan
  • National Geographic's Genius
  • HBO's The Night Of

The Creative Arts Emmys can always be an eye-opening experience. There is always a week between when those technical awards are announced and the big primetime ceremony. The various races can change a lot in that week. Voting has already been completed. The winners themselves won't change. But the perception of the awards has changed for the people predicting them. Those technical categories show which series have the support and which don't. It's a good indicator for which shows are eventually going to win in the big categories. For the various categories in the limited series field, I've been continually saying that it's a race between FX's Feud and HBO's Big Little Lies. After the Creative Arts Emmys, I'm not sure that's still the case. Big Little Lies performed well by winning three times. But Feud underperformed with only two victories (it somehow lost Main Title Design to Stranger Things!). And The Night Of overperformed with four. So, this race no longer seems as clear as it used to be. That's why it's so exciting to look at things with renewed perception just a couple days before the actual ceremony.

As of right now though, it seems like Big Little Lies is going to walk away with the top prize. It even has stronger odds at winning in writing and directing now too. It's just such a big project that's been asking to be rewarded with tons of Emmys since it was first announced. It was a collection of A-list talent that all got to do wonderful and dynamic work. It was a show that broke through the cultural zeitgeist in a larger way than any of its competitors. It grew in the ratings with each passing episode. It's mystery was gripping. It was a clear-cut story with a key beginning, middle and end that was phenomenal to watch. It was a great seven hour miniseries. If it wins here, it'll probably lead to a renewal which isn't all that necessary. But it would make for an interesting story to write about.

And yet, it's surprising to see how widespread the support for The Night Of is. It was a great show as well that was bolstered by some terrific performances and direction. Riz Ahmed or John Turturro could easily surprise with a Lead Actor win. That would be very deserving and makes sure the show is honored somewhere at the primetime awards. But it's very much in the conversation now. The show aired over a year ago. The voters really had to remember it when voting in the final round. But it picking up awards for cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing and picture editing shows strong support. It would be an upset if it won here. But it's definitely more possible now than it was just a few days ago. It gives HBO two solid chances of winning here.

Of course, FX has two strong contenders as well. The support doesn't really seem to be with Fargo this year. That's disappointing. But it's a past winner too for its first season. So, the show hasn't been completely unnoticed. This season started off slow and familiar but really grew into something memorable and distinctive. But Feud felt like it had the same trajectory as The People v. O.J. Simpson last year. Both shows came from Ryan Murphy doing strong and new work in his career. It was toplined by two great actresses delivering some amazing performances. I still think the race for Lead Actress is a tossup. But I definitely have more pause now about believing it will be a big night for Feud. It would still be a very deserving winner. It just seems to be losing momentum at the moment. At this stage of things, that's not great.

Should Win: Fargo
Will Win: Big Little Lies
Dark Horse: The Night Of