PBS Emmy contenders pit ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ against ‘Downton Abbey’

After a 34-year absence, the British import “Upstairs, Downstairs” is posed to make an Emmy Awards comeback this year as a new series aired on PBS as part of “Masterpiece.” From 1974 to 1977, the original version claimed 7 wins out of 16 nominations including three as Best Drama Series (1974, 1975, 1977) and one as Best Limited Series in 1976. Jean Marsh, who co-created the series with Eileen Atkins, starred as Rose the dutiful maid and won her 1975 Best Drama Actress bid. She returns to the role for this continuation which also casts Emmy champ Atkins (“Cranford”) as the matriarch of the new “upstairs” family.

One of the main Emmy rivals for “Upstairs, Downstairs” could be “Downton Abbey,” another saga about the lives of the English aristocracy and their servants. Created by Oscar-winning scripter Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”), this miniseries is set in Edwardian England and boasts an impressive cast including the scene-stealing Oscar and Emmy winner Maggie Smith as the dowager Duchess.


GoldDerby has learned exclusively the category placements for all of the PBS movie and miniseries candidates this year.  In addition to those mentioned above, the impressive list includes Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, Emmy champs Gillian Anderson and Kenneth Branagh and Emmy nominee Kim Cattrall.

BEST MOVIE/MINISERIES
“Any Human Heart”
“Downton Abbey”
“Sherlock: A Study in Pink”
“Upstairs, Downstairs”
“Wallander II: The Fifth Woman”

BEST MOVIE/MINISERIES ACTOR
Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey”
Kenneth Branagh, “Wallander II”
Jim Broadbent, “Any Human Heart”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Ed Stoppard, “Upstairs Downstairs”

BEST MOVIE/MINISERIES ACTRESS
Hayley Atwell, “Any Human Heart”
Keeley Hawes, “Upstairs Downstairs”
Jean Marsh, “Upstairs Downstairs”
Elizabeth McGovern, “Downton Abbey”

BEST MOVIE/MINISERIES SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brendan Coyle, “Downton Abbey”
Martin Freeman, “Sherlock”
Matthew Macfadyen, “Any Human Heart”
Adrian Scarborough, “Upstairs Downstairs”

BEST MOVIE/MINISERIES SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Eileen Atkins, “Upstairs Downstairs”
Gillian Anderson, “Any Human Heart”
Kim Cattrall, “Any Human Heart”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”

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