The Expert TV journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets aren’t in perfect agreement on much when it comes to their Emmy predictions. Even categories with heavy favorites have dissenters. But they’re in lockstep on Best Limited Series, where FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson” appears unbeatable.
All 18 experts predict it will win, giving it overwhelming 1/10 odds: Michael Ausiello (TV Line), Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
“People v. O.J.” tells the true story of the trial against football star O.J. Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. It’s the first installment of Ryan Murphy‘s latest anthology series, “American Crime Story,” and it came into these awards with 22 total nominations, right behind “Game of Thrones” (23) as the most nominated program of the year. It already won four awards at the Creative Arts Emmys this past weekend, including Best Movie/Mini Casting; last year the casting winners all ended up winning their top program prizes as well.
Ranked second with 33/1 odds is another FX anthology series, “Fargo,” which won Best Miniseries for its first season in 2014. Season two was set several decades earlier, in 1979, when a Midwestern state trooper (Patrick Wilson) is caught in-between warring crime families while investigating a murder. It’s also one of the most nominated programs of the year with 18 bids, and it won twice at Creative Arts: Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing.
“American Crime” is placed third with 50/1 odds. It’s an anthology series from ABC that explores violent crime and its broader social implications. Its second season, which aired this past spring, examined the fallout of a rape allegation at an affluent private school. But it’s nominated for just four awards total, way down from its 10 bids in 2015. In addition to Best Limited Series it’s up for Best Movie/Mini Actress (Lili Taylor and Felicity Huffman) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Regina King, who won last year).
Next in line with 66/1 odds is AMC’s “The Night Manager.” The six-part spy thriller adapted from John le Carre‘s novel tells the story of a former British soldier who goes undercover to take down an international arms dealer. It exceeded expectations by earning 12 total nominations, including acting bids for lead actor Tom Hiddleston and supporting players Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman, and it won once at Creative Arts: Best Music Composition.
Rounding out the category with 80/1 odds is the History Channel’s remake of “Roots.” Based on Alex Haley‘s book about generations of slavery in America, the original miniseries from 1977 still holds the record for the most Emmy nominations ever for a limited series: 37, out of which it won nine. The new version has just seven bids, and it was left out completely in writing, directing and acting races.
Gold Derby’s Editors, who cover awards year-round, agree that this category is a done deal for “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” All seven of us predict it unanimously: O’Neil, Sheehan, Chris Beachum, Marcus James Dixon, Rob Licuria, Matt Noble and myself.
Our Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmys, aren’t quite unanimous, but it’s close: 21 are predicting “People v. O.J.,”while three expect “Fargo” to return to the winner’s circle.
Our All-Star Top 24, who were the highest scorers when you combine Emmy predictions from the last two years, are also mostly united: 19 are betting on “People v. O.J.,” while a lone dissenter picks “American Crime.”
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — 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). Be sure to read our contest rules.