Cicely Tyson is the strong Emmy favorite to win Best Movie/Mini Actress for Lifetime’s “The Trip to Bountiful” (click here for our current racetrack odds), but might she be more vulnerable than we think? Her circumstances are similar to a recent contender who suffered a surprise loss: Phylicia Rashad in “A Raisin in the Sun.”
Rashad won a Tony Award in 2004 for starring in “Raisin” on Broadway. In fact, she was the first black woman ever to win Best Actress in a Play. Four years later, she reprised the role with much success in an ABC television movie that also featured her on-stage co-stars Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, and Sanaa Lathan.
Tyson won the same Tony category in 2013 for her rialto run in “Bountiful,” though it didn’t take four years to transfer that production to the screen. The “Bountiful” film premiered on Lifetime just one year later, on March 8, 2014 and featured both Tyson and Vanessa Williams reprising their stage roles.
Both “Raisin” and “Bountiful” earned Emmy nominations for Best TV Movie and for acting, but were shut out of all other categories.
And like Rashad was, Tyson is nominated against a multiple Emmy-winner in one of the year’s most nominated programs: Rashad ended up losing Best Movie/Mini Actress to Laura Linney for HBO’s “John Adams,” which won a record-setting 13 awards out of its 23 nominations. And now Tyson faces Jessica Lange, star of 17-time nominee “American Horror Story: Coven.”
Will history repeat itself?
The good news for Tyson is that “Coven” is unlikely to be the kind of juggernaut “John Adams” was. The first two seasons of “American Horror Story” were also nominated for 17 Emmys, but they only won two awards apiece – though they both won for acting, for Lange in 2012 and James Cromwell in 2013.
But Lange has already shown she can beat Tyson head-to-head: she did just that at the recent Critics’ Choice TV Awards. And while Critics’ Choice isn’t necessarily a reliable predictor of Emmy – only one of their four movie/miniseries acting winners last year matched the TV academy’s choices – it does suggest that Tyson might not coast to victory so easily.
Do you think Tyson is vulnerable, or is she really a slam dunk? Watch our recent Movie/Mini Actress slugfest below, then make your predictions.