It’s a wide-open race for Best Limited Series at the Emmy Awards this year, with “Feud,” “Fargo,” “The Night Of,” “Big Little Lies,” “Genius,” “When We Rise,” “American Crime,” and others fighting it out for the win. I joined Gold Derby’s team of Emmy watchers – Chris Beachum, Marcus James Dixon, Daniel Montgomery, Tom O’Neil, and Paul Sheehan – in a webcam chat (watch above) to dish which contender is likeliest to prevail.
Last year FX’s “The People v O.J. Simpson” dominated the race and its creator, Ryan Murphy, is back with “Feud: Bette and Joan,” an inside look at the longtime rivalry between Hollywood legends Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon), which came to a head during the filming of the horror classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962). Although Tom thinks the show is, “magnificent,” he admits, “I’m hesitant off the bat to predict it to win because of its camp factor.”
Working in its favor is the sheer amount of nominations it’s likely to receive throughout the craft categories. “You really cannot take for granted the massive scope of what they did in this show,” I state. From the costumes to the sets to the hair and makeup, “the detail that went into this is really immaculate.” A strong showing at the Creative Arts Ceremony could signal a consensus pick.
FX’s “Fargo,” which won this category in its first season, is back again with another story of crime in the Midwest. This third edition features Ewan McGregor in a double role as twin brothers: one a successful businessman, the other a struggling probation officer. “These twins are so different,” praises Chris. “I think Ewan McGregor might win this thing.” He faces stiff competition from Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in “Genius,” NatGeo’s first stab at scripted programming. It comes with fellow Oscar-victors Ron Howard and Brian Grazer at the helm, and Chris divulges, “it’s an excellent project.”
Another big player is HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” based on Liane Moriarty‘s bestseller about three mothers (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley) whose lives unravel to the point of murder. Emmy-favorite David E. Kelley wrote and produced the series, and as Marcus points out, “Over his career as a writer and producer, he has won 30 different people Emmy awards.” So we shouldn’t count them out.
Yet HBO is competing against itself with “The Night Of,” a taut mystery-thriller about a down-on-his-luck lawyer (John Turturro) defending a young man (Riz Ahmed) wrongfully accused of murder. While Daniel believes it could win, he nonetheless says, “it will really have to make a showing in those nominations, though. It aired a while back, so it might be out of sight, out of mind.”
Of course, we could all be way off in our predictions, because as Paul reminds us, “Last year was the first year of the new voting system.” What had previously been a ballot of ranked choices has since changed to a straight plurality pick, throwing Emmy experts off with jaw-dropping wins. “It did kind of take us aback,” he adds. Instead of relying on our usual methods, we now have to figure out, “who’s the most popular in the group?”
Check out the full video above for more of our predictions in this highly competitive Best Limited Series race.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.