Will ‘Turn’ continue Emmy streak for AMC?

Over the years, AMC has had 11 scripted series and miniseries, including three that preceded “Mad Men.” All of them have scored at least one Emmy nomination. With that incredible track record in mind, what will be the fate of “Turn,” AMC’s newest drama?

Turn” is set during the American Revolutionary War, which immediately gives it a leg up for the Creative Arts Emmys. Design categories tend to favor period pieces because of the obvious craft that goes into recreating different times in history.

Few considered Showtime’s fifteenth-century-set “The Borgias” to be much of an Emmy player. And while it was never nominated for an acting Emmy or for Best Drama, it racked up three wins from 16 nominations in just three seasons on the air.

To put that into perspective, “Big Love,” “Dexter,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Heroes” and “House” are among those recent contemporary dramas that were nominated for Emmy’s top prize, but none of them amassed either three wins or 16 nominations in their first three seasons.

“Breaking Bad” is the reigning Best Drama Series champ, but its contemporary setting precludes it from contending in many of the Creative Arts categories; it was nominated for the same number of Emmys as “The Borgias” for its first three seasons.

As “The Borgias” was cancelled last year, its 2012 nominations for Art Direction, Costumes, Hairstyling, Makeup, Music and Supporting Visual Effects are now up for grabs.  And fellow period/fantasy pieces “Boardwalk Empire,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men,” which competed against “The Borgias” in most of its categories, are now in their fourth seasons or later.  

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Yes, the Emmys are guilty of nominating the same things over and over, but only to a point. Aging series fall out of favor eventually and the Emmys find new favorites.

Thus, “Turn” is coming in at the perfect time and should be able to capitalize on both the space available because of “The Borgias” and the maturation of most of the other competitors for it to contend in at least some of the following categories: Art Direction, Cinematography, Costumes, Hairstyling, Makeup and Music. However, its best bets might be Main Title Design and Main Title Theme Music, as the opening credits sequence has been extensively praised by critics.

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“Turn” was developed by Craig Silverstein, who last oversaw “Nikita” for the CW. That network rarely receives Emmy attention, but “Nikita” was nominated for Sound Editing twice, carrying the CW’s lone torch at the Emmys both of those years. Silverstein has carried over some of his “Nikita” sound editors to “Turn,” so perhaps they can repeat their nominations.

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