Hurray, Emmys bring back separate miniseries category

Three years after merging Best Miniseries with Best TV Movie, the Emmys are splitting this category into two again. This follows an uptick in the production of longer form programming that was forced to compete with telefilms for one award. 

With the return of the separate miniseries race, among the strongest competitors is likely to be Fox’s “24: Live Another Day,” a 12 episode version of the 2006 Drama Series champ. Its fiercest foe might be HBO’s anthology “True Detective.” Among the other hopefuls are first-ever minis from Discovery (“Klondike”) and FX (“Fargo”) as well as Lifetime’s “Bonnie & Clyde” and returning favorites “American Horror Story,” “Luther” and “Sherlock.” 

The TV academy had axed the separate miniseries prize in 2011 after two years in a row in which only a pair of nominees contended. All of the other races, including acting, directing and writing, have considered the two genres together since the late 1970s. These categories will all be bumped from five to six nominees this year. 

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In 2010, HBO’s epic 10-part miniseries “The Pacific” prevailed over the PBS production “Return to Cranford.” In 2009, it was the pubcaster’s “Little Dorrit” that won over the paycaster’s “Generation Kill.” HBO won Best Miniseries seven times since 1998. Even though a mini-series need only have two parts, the broadcast networks had not contended in the category since 2005 when the CBS production of “Elvis” lost to the PBS’s “The Lost Prince.”

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In the first year of the merged race in 2011, the seven episodes of PBS’ “Downton Abbey” prevailed over the eight episodes of both “The Kennedys” (History) and “The Pillars of the Earth” (Starz) as well as the five episodes of HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” and the paycaster’s telefilms “Cinema Verite” and “Too Big to Fail” 

In 2012, HBO’s telefilm “Game Change” edged out the 12 installments of FX’s “American Horror Story,” the six episodes of BBC America’s “Luther,” the three parts of History’s “Hatfield and McCoys” and the TV movies “Hemingway and Geilhorn” (HBO) and “Sherlock: Scandal in Belgravia” (PBS). 

Last year, HBO’s TV movie “Behind the Candelabra” won over the 13 episodes of “American Horror Story: Asylum” the 10 installments of History’s “The Bible,” the seven parts of Sundance’s “Top of the Lake,” the six episodes of USA’s “Political Animals” and the HBO telefilm “Phil Spector.” 

We will be adding both Best Miniseries and Best TV Movie to our prediction center in the coming weeks. In the meantime, get started with your Emmy predictions now by forecasting what will win Best Drama Series by using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And join in our fierce forum debate about the merits of this move here

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