It’s Emmy war: ‘True Detective’ battles for Best Drama Series

Up until now, it looked like the Emmy clash over Best Drama Series would be between “House of Cards” (4 to 1 in our racetrack odds) and last year’s champ “Breaking Bad” (15 to 8). But now comes the news that sneaky HBO will enter megahit “True Detective” in that contest, too – and not in the miniseries category.

Many Emmy-watchers presumed “True Detective” would compete as a mini since it follows the same structural formula as frequent Emmy mini nominee “American Horror Story“: its basic story setup and characters get scrapped at the end of the TV season, then reinvented for the next year.

But “American Horror Story” initially competed as a drama series at the 2011 Golden Globes, then switched over to the mini classification at the Emmys when it failed to succeed with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. “Downton Abbey” straddled similar category confusion. Initially, it competed for Best Miniseries at the Emmys, then switched to Best Drama Series.

If “True Detective” had stayed in the Emmy mini race, it was the heavy favorite (8 to 5 odds) to beat “American Horror Story: Coven,” “Dancing on the Edge,” “Sherlock,” “Fargo” and “The White Queen.” But HBO senses that the current drama contest is light. “Breaking Bad” won last year when most Emmy voters believed they were giving it a farewell hug. However, it still had episodes airing during the next, most current eligibility period.

Beware: HBO may be throwing away what seem like surefire Emmys in the mini races for a tough fight in the drama lineup. “Breaking Bad” may return for more gold and “House of Cards” — even better in season two than season one — is overdue and more formidable than ever.

True Detective” must also compete against HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire,” however, but neither series has demonstrated sufficient Emmy strength to nab the category trophy in the past.

10 thoughts on “It’s Emmy war: ‘True Detective’ battles for Best Drama Series

  1. Worst Decision ever! Can’t beat BB, but can easily get best miniseries, lead actor in miniseries, directing….especially after they separated TV movie/miniseries

  2. Things will be getting fierce, now. The question now is what tapes they’ll be using. Harrelson had his best somewhere between… 5-7, I think. McConaughey’s going to be a huge threat to Cranston, especially if Harrelson helps him out with his submission. I’m uncertain of how Series will turn out. BB’s final season overall was more acclaimed, but True Detective had a great run and HBO will likely be kings in campaigning for them. Still, what wins Miniseries now? American Horror Story for its weakest season? I’m doubtful that Sherlock has enough to win. Here’s hoping Fargo knocks it out of the park.

  3. Craaaaap. I think Breaking Bad will still win, but McConaughey and Harrelson are going to present a problem in an already crowded lead actor race. Also, this means Masters of Sex, and maybe Michael Sheen, probably have no shot of a nomination now. This upsets me greatly because I freaking love that show, and Michael Sheen had a fantastic episode to submit. On the up side, maybe this means Benedict Cumberbatch will win over in miniseries. And hopefully Sherlock. Or Fargo.

  4. In regard to the comment made about American Horror Story having it’s weakest season, both the critical raves and best ratings yet indicate this was AHS’s best season yet. I believe it’s pretty much a lock to win Best Minseries. I don’t think True Detective stands a chance at winning Best Drama, and will be lucky to even snag a nomination. The performances yes, the series, borderline. Factor in Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Masters of Sex, Homeland , The Blacklist and House of Cards, in my opinion all more worthy of a Best Drama nomination.

  5. TD had barely enough of a plot for a 2 hour movie and they dragged it out to 8 episodes and now they want to win a series Emmy? Geez, I don’t think so.

  6. This is just an arrogant move by HBO. True Detective was a shoo-in for mini series and McConaughey for best actor mini series. But I don’t think they’ve got what it takes to win over Breaking Bad and House of Cards. And Cranston’s performance in the last few episodes is simply remarkable. I don’t think he can be beaten even by oscar winner McConaughey.

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