HBO continued its dominance at the Emmy Awards of the telefilm race with "Bessie" winning as Best TV Movie on Saturday night. According to exclusive Gold Derby odds, the period piece was heavily favored with 2/13 odds to win the category.
Queen Latifah also picked up her first ever Emmy as one of the movie's executive producers. She starred as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the project, which earned 12 nominations this year, more than its five category rivals combined. No other nominee in the category had more than two bids, and two of those were fellow HBO productions: "Nightingale" starring David Oyelowo was in second place at 12/1; "Hello Ladies The Movie" starring Stephen Merchant was tied for last place at 100/1.
The other three competitors were "Agatha Christie's Poirot: Curtain, Poirot's Last Case" starring David Suchet at 50/1, "Killing Jesus" starnig Haaz Sleiman at 50/1, and "Grace of Monaco" starring Nicole Kidman at 100/1.
The award was presented for the first time on Saturday's Creative Arts ceremony rather than the live prime-time show on Fox next week. In addition to Queen Latifah, the other credited producers with Emmy wins are the late Richard D. Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone, Randi Michel, and Ron Schmidt.
Since 1993, HBO has won the award for Best TV Movie every year but two: in 2000, when ABC's "Tuesdays with Morrie" prevailed, and in 2003, when the prize went to TNT's "Door to Door." That remarkable run doesn't include the three years when movies and miniseries were combined into one category. In that consolidated race, HBO telefilms won two out of three times, for "Game Change" (2012) and "Behind the Candelabra" (2013); the first season of "Downton Abbey" won this combined category in 2011.
Will Queen Latifah win again next week as Best TV Movie/Mini Actress? Make your own Emmys picks now to the right or at the bottom of this post, and you could win one of our three prizes ($500, $300 and $200 Amazon gift certificates) as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Emmys line-up).
Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby's Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year's Emmys). Our Users scored 51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
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Photo: Queen Latifah in "Bessie." Credit: Frank Masi/HBO