In the wake of the Creative Arts Emmys, “Stranger Things,” which won five key categories, remains the Emmy frontrunner for Best Drama Series. However, “The Crown,” which won Emmys for costume and production design, could still pull off an upset. Remember, this Netflix series about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II is easily the most prestigious of the seven nominees. It is reminiscent of the 2010 Best Picture Oscar champ “The King’s Speech,” which focused on a key moment in the life of the Queen’s father, King George VI.
To take the top prize at the Academy Awards, “The King’s Speech” had to get past nine other nominees: critics darlings “The Social Network” and “Black Swan”; populist fare “Inception,” “Toy Story 3” and “The Fighter”; the indies “Winter’s Bone,” “127 Hours” and “The Kids are All Right”; and a remake of a past Oscar favorite, “True Grit.”
“The King’s Speech” won four of its 12 Oscar bids: Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Director (Tom Hooper) and Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler). Its biggest competitor was “The Social Network” which went three for eight: Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), Best Film Editing (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall), and Best Original Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). For each of their wins, with the exception of the Screenplay categories, “The Social Network” bested “The King’s Speech” and vice versa.
“The Crown” got off to a slow start at last Sunday’s Creative Arts Emmys only picking up two trophies out of its eight nominations: Best Period/Fantasy Costumes for a Series, Limited Series/TV Movie and Best Period/Fantasy Production Design for a Series, Limited Series/TV Movie. It was able to best “Stranger Things” for Production Design and two other drama series nominees, “Westworld” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” for Costumes. But even more impressively it won both battle royals over the limited series “Feud: Bette and Joan” which recreated the golden age of Hollywood.
At the Emmys, John Lithgow is predicted to win Best Drama Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in “The Crown.” Beyond that, no other nominee from “The Crown” leads our exclusive odds. That is not to say there can’t be an surprise or two, especially with the new system introduced last year which is a simple popular vote.
While leading lady Claire Foy sits in second place behind Elizabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), she could pull off an upset. And two-time Oscar nominated writer Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) could prevail for his script for “Assassins.” He wrote all 10 episodes of the series, and is quite the expert on the monarch, having portrayed her later years in “The Queen” and her entire reign in the Tony-winning play “The Audience.”
The strongest possibility for “The Crown” could be Best Drama Directing. Three-time Oscar nominated helmer Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot,” 2000; “The Hours,” 2002; “The Reader,” 2008) contends with “Hyde Park Corner,” the second episode in which Elizabeth ascends to the throne. The TV academy loves to reward Oscar favorites in this race: Alan Ball won for helming an episode of “Six Feet Under” in 2004, Martin Scorsese prevailed for the “Boardwalk Empire” pilot in 2011 and David Fincher won an Emmy for “House of Cards” in 2013.
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