Emmy for Best TV Movie: Is ‘All the Way’ unbeatable?

The 2016 Emmy nominations in longform categories were dominated by miniseries and anthologies, so the nominees for Best TV Movie must feel fortunate that they have a category all to themselves. While “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” “Fargo” and “The Night Manager” duke it out for Best Limited Series, it looks like “All the Way” has the inside track to be named the year’s best telefilm. Can any of its rivals pull off an upset?

Emmy for Best Limited Series: ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson,’ ‘Fargo’ & ‘Night Manager’ in three-way race

“All the Way” has eight nominations, more than any other TV movie. That includes bids for Best Movie/Mini Actor (Bryan Cranston) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo), but perhaps the most important nomination it has is for Best Movie/Mini Directing. No TV movie has won the top prize without a nomination for writing or directing since “Tuesdays with Morrie” in 2000. And because of the dominance of limited series this year, “All the Way” is the only telefilm with a directing nom, and no TV movies at all contend for writing.

So is it an up-and-shut case for “All the Way”? Not necessarily. “Sherlock” is back for the first time since it won a shocking seven Emmys in 2014, including upsets by lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch, supporting actor Martin Freeman, and writer Steven Moffat. This year the British mystery series contends with the episode “The Abominable Bride,” but it’s only up for six awards total, fewer than it won two years ago, And while Cumberbatch is back in the lead-acting race, Freeman is absent in the supporting category, as is Moffat in the writing contest.

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Luther” is next in line with three bids. In addition to Best TV Movie, it’s up for Best Movie/Mini Cinematography and Best Movie/Mini Actor for Idris Elba, nominated for the fourth time for his role as the title detective.

Confirmation” underperformed with just two nominations. Even though it’s a well-reviewed political docudrama like “All the Way,” its only nomination besides Best TV Movie is for Kerry Washington as Best Movie/Mini Actress for playing law professor Anita Hill, who famously came forward as a victim of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas‘s sexual harassment.

The last nominee in the category is Netflix’s “A Very Murray Christmas” special. It was directed by Oscar-champ Sofia Coppola and stars Bill Murray, who won an Emmy just last year for his supporting role in “Olive Kitteridge,” but its only other nomination is for Best Music Direction.

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