“Sherlock” pulled off an upset at the 2016 Emmys by winning Best TV Movie for its episode “The Abominable Bride” against presumed frontrunner “All the Way.” To date the series has won a total of nine Emmys out of 34 previous nominations, and this year it picked up another four bids for “The Lying Detective” from its fourth and quite possibly final season, including Best Movie/Mini Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch. Is it the frontrunner to win again? That’s possible. This year the longform Emmy categories were dominated by limited series, so none of this year’s nominees for Best TV Movie have a lot of widespread support from the TV academy. That might make it easier for voters to check off the name of their recent favorite again.
Be sure to make your own predictions in this race as well as the rest of the Primetime Emmy categories and compete against our Emmy experts who cover this race year-round for such leading media outlets, as well as the two dozen amateurs who ranked in the top 24 last year, the all-stars who did well for two years in a row, and thousands of Emmy fans just like you. (Scroll down to see up-to-date racetrack odds derived from all of these predictions.)
Though “Sherlock” is the reigning champion, it’s not the only game in town. There’s another high-profile series that submitted an individual episode as a telefilm: “Black Mirror,” which could give Netflix its first-ever victory in this category. “Black Mirror” is nominated for the episode “San Junipero,” which also contends for Best Movie/Mini Writing. That makes “Black Mirror” the only TV movie nominated for either writing or directing. It’s hard to win the top category without a nomination in one of those categories, so “Black Mirror” has a strong advantage in that regard. Then again, “Sherlock” managed to win Best TV Movie without those nominations last year, and “Black Mirror” has only three total nominations, so it may not have the broad support it needs.
“The Wizard of Lies” arguably has the strongest awards pedigree in this category. It’s from HBO, which has long been a juggernaut in movie and miniseries categories at the Emmys. It tells a famous true story: about disgraced financier Bernie Madoff. It stars Oscar winner Robert De Niro and Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, who both earned Emmy noms for their performances. And it’s directed by Oscar and Emmy winner Barry Levinson (“Rain Man,” “Homicide: Life on the Street”). Under normal circumstances it might seem like a shoo-in, but it only has four total nominations, which was fewer than we were expecting for such a high-profile project.
Rounding out the category are two films that have no other nominations, so they may be underdogs: “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and surprise nominee “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors.”
UPDATED: August 9, 2017
1. “Black Mirror: San Junipero” — 4/5
2. “Sherlock: The Lying Detective” — 4/1
3. “The Wizard of Lies” — 9/2
4. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” — 20/1
5. “Christmas of Many Colors” — 80/1