September 19, 2012

SBD AWARDWATCH: Movie/Miniseries Emmys


The Emmy Awards are coming up on Sunday, and over the next few days, we’re going to take a look at the nominees in major categories, and what should–and will–win.  Today, the Movie/Miniseries section of the awards.  A few notes about these categories.  First, last year DOWNTON ABBEY was in this portion of the awards, and dominated the field–but this year, the series decided to enter the more prestigious Best Drama competition (which was permitted because Downton tells a continuing story that extends from season to season).  The same rule worked in reverse for AMERICAN HORROR STORY, which will return as a series this fall, but which was considered a Movie/Miniseries because it will come back with a different storyline and characters.  Also, you may recall that Movie and Miniseries used to be separate categories until the number of both (especially on the broadcast networks, where they’re next to nonexistent), began to dwindle.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

American Horror Story

Game Change

Hatfields & McCoys

Hemingway & Gellhorn


Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece)

WILL WIN: HATFIELDS & MCOYS was a blockbuster no one saw coming, and better than most expected.  It’s likely to be awarded for both those accomplishments.  The other contender, American Horror Story, will prove to be just too strange for Academy voters.

SHOULD WIN:  GAME CHANGE was a superb, smart film about recent American politics, but the reason these categories used to be separate is that it’s hard for a 2-hour movie to compete with gigantic miniseries. 


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Connie Britton, American Horror Story

Julianne Moore, Game Change

Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn

Ashley Judd, Missing

Emma Thompson, The Song Of Lunch (Masterpiece)

WILL WIN:  JULIANNE MOORE managed the tricky feat of playing Sarah Palin and not Tina-Fey-as-Sarah-Palin.  Also, Emmy voters love when movie stars do TV.

SHOULD WIN:  MOORE, although Britton provided the only note of recognizable human reality on American Horror Story, a notable accomplishment in itself.  (Oddity note:  you may not have thought Ashley Judd was starring in a miniseries with Missing, but since the show was canceled and couldn’t continue its story, it qualified for this easier category.)


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Woody Harrelson, Game Change

Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys

Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys

Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn

Idris Elba, Luther

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece)

WILL WIN:  KEVIN COSTNER.  He produced as well as starred in the year’s phenom, and he’s a movie name.

SHOULD WIN:  IDRIS ELBA, as the tortured detective at the center of Luther.  (Note:  Woody Harrelson should have been entered as Supporting Actor for his excellent performance in Game Change.)


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or A Movie

Frances Conroy, American Horror Story

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story

Sarah Paulson, Game Change

Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys

Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece)

WILL WIN:  JESSICA LANGE, who chewed up the scenery, the drapes, the camera and very possibly the American Horror Story crew.  It was a tour de force of hamminess… plus she’s a movie star.

SHOULD WIN:  Struggle against LANGE is fruitless, although Sarah Paulson was excellent in what was, unavoidably, a much smaller part.  It’s too bad Jena Malone wasn’t nominated for her Hatfields & McCoys role.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story

Ed Harris, Game Change

Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys

David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn

Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece)

WILL WIN:  TOM BERENGER didn’t give the best performance in Hatfields & McCoys (Powers Boothe was more impressive), but he’ll be carried along with the show’s tide. 

SHOULD WIN:  DENIS O’HARE.  I’m still not sure what, or who, O’Hare was playing, but he was awfully creepy doing it.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."