The TV Movie category has hardly evoked any tremendous competition since television trended in the direction of miniseries. As a result, this gives the HBO network, who excels at producing TV films, an opportunity to win an Emmy without any real threat to themselves. Not only has HBO produced this year’s frontrunner, Bessie, but its major competition, Nightingale, is ALSO produced by HBO. This doesn’t diminish the fact that both films are worthy of being nominated. Bessie is the typical film biopic HBO is known for making, with Queen Latifah offering her best performance since her role in 2002’s Chicago. Nightingale is HBO’s more artistic film, which was filmed in the format of a one-man show with its sole actor, David Oyelowo, having an opportunity to show off his acting talents in a performance guaranteed to wow audiences.
The true competition in this category is Bessie versus Nightingale, with Bessie already being the obvious winner. Therefore, the remaining three slots in this category are close to irrelevant and the odds for these nominees winning will be close-to-none. Bluntly said, their nomination will be their award. Lifetime has been promoting many of its TV films this year, such as Whitney and Stockholm, Pennsylvania. While both of these films are average films, getting mixed reviews from critics, they may have more of a chance of being nominated based upon the acting quality within the films. Cynthia Nixon’s supporting work in Stockholm, Pennsylvania has been getting some attention with critics and voters, which may also boost the film’s chances of being nominated as well. There is also some small hype behind the Agatha Christie murder mystery film, Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case. This film was also produced by Lifetime, yet the film’s chances seem minimal when considering none of the Poirot films starring David Suchet have ever been nominated for an Emmy. However, voters may show their appreciation for the long-standing series by awarding it with its first nomination. Or voters could show their love for BBC’s A Poet in New York, which is getting some last minute traction with critics, but hasn’t grabbed too much attention from viewers.
Netflix is heavily promoting Derek: The Final Chapter and it is likely to be nominated as an ode to Ricky Gervais, who acted, starred, and wrote the TV film that concluded his comedy series. Voters like Gervais, as indicated with his surprise nomination last year in the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category, and that could benefit his chances of being nominated. Considering National Geographic’s adaptations of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy have both been nominated in the past, this trend will probably be granted to the third installment in the series: Killing Jesus.
Below are Dan’s predictions for Best TV Movie:
3. Derek: The Final Chapter
4. Stockholm, Pennsylvania
5. Killing Jesus
Spoiler: A Poet in New York
Long Shot: Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case