Due to the Television Academy’s new rules regarding the miniseries and television movie category, they have been redefined as two separate categories this year: Best Limited Series and Best TV Movie. In order to qualify as a “limited series,” the series must have at least two episodes that equals 150 minutes. Added onto that is the requirement that no recurrent plotlines or characters can carry over from one season to another. The series’ narrative is relegated to that season only and has to have a definitive conclusion by its end. Due to this new ruling, shows such as HBO’s True Detective now qualify as being a “limited series” opposed to being a drama series, to which its producers will have to petition this ruling when its second season is eligible next year, if they choose to do so. This new ruling works to the benefit of anthology series, such as FX’s American Horror Story or Fargo. However, this ruling does challenge shows such as FOX’s Miniseries 24: Live Another Day whose narrative is a continuation of the former drama series and whose conclusion was left open-ended for the prospect of another miniseries. However, with the show creators recently announcing there are no plans to continue the 24 franchise, an exception has been made to 24: Live Another Day and it has been inducted into the Limited Series category.
American Horror Story: Freak Show seems to be a safe guarantee in this category due to its loyal fan base and the anthology series getting some of its best reviews in its current four-season run. Also American Horror Story is a well-liked show amongst voters, having nominated the show tremendously in its last three seasons. ABC’s American Crime also seems to be a contender in getting a nomination with its recent good reviews and high ratings. With the theme of diversity and race being on the minds of many voters as of late, it may be hard to ignore the impact of American Crime’s narrative. It is likely HBO’s four-part Olive Kitteridge will be seeing itself a nomination after its Golden Globe nomination back in January. The Frances McDormand drama is ideal miniseries material that academy voters often nominate. The chances of Olive Kitteridge being snubbed is very unlikely. Sundance’s The Honourable Woman also is in a good position to be nominated due to its mostly good reviews and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was the Best Actress in a Miniseries winner at the Golden Globes this past January for her role as “Nessa Stein.”
The Missing also found itself with a Golden Globe nomination back in January, heightening its chances of a nomination. The Missing is a lesser known miniseries and could easily slip past through the minds of voters. However, The Missing has been getting rave reviews from its lead actors, which could be all the voters need to give the miniseries the extra boost of being nominated. If The Missing could loses out out on being nominated, it could allow for History Channel’s Houdini or Texas Rising or Lifetime’s The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe to be nominated, though the likelihood of this happening is small. However, if voters indeed want to nominate a biopic or historical miniseries, it is more likely to be the epic Wolf Hall miniseries, whose reception has been nothing short of praise. The historical drama has also been a steady favorite with audiences who have found, as a result of the miniseries, a renewed interest in the history of England regarding Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VIII and their impact on the legacy of the royal throne.
Below are Dan’s predictions for Best Limited Series
1. American Horror Story: Freak Show
2. The Missing
3. Wolf Hall
4. Olive Kitteridge
5. The Honourable Woman
Spoiler: American Crime
Long Shot: 24: Live Another Day