2018 Emmy slugfest: Holy war between ‘Godless’ and godly (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’) nominees for Movie/Mini Directing? [WATCH]

“The obvious choice is Ryan Murphy for ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ because it’s the Limited Series front-runner and those often go hand in hand with a directing win. But this is his fifth consecutive nomination, and he never wins and never won at the Directors Guild,” Riley Chow explains to me and our fellow Gold Derby contributors Charles Bright, Zach Laws and Tony Ruiz in our Emmy predictions slugfest about the race for Best Movie/Mini Directing (watch above). Based on our latest predictions, Murphy is ahead with 8/11 odds as of this writing, but might there be an upset?

Our odds currently place David Lynch’s revival of “Twin Peaks” second with odds of 9/2, and both Laws and Bright make passionate arguments for Lynch’s achievement directing a full 18 episodes of television. “This category seems uniquely qualified for a ‘Twin Peaks’ upset,” Bright declares. But “Peaks” was snubbed for Best Limited Series. It is possible for a director to win without a corresponding nomination in the top category, but it’s been 24 years since John Frankenheimer won for “Against the Wall” (1994) without a bid for Best TV Movie. However, that movie, like “Twin Peaks,” starred Kyle MacLachlan, so maybe the actor is good luck.

Laws is “sticking with David Lynch because sometimes you have to go with your heart. It’s so unlike anything that’s ever been on television or will be on television.” However, Chow is quick to point out that “the directors branch can vote in casting, directing and general program fields,” so the fact that “Twin Peaks” only got into one of those three categories is “concerning,” suggesting that support from the directors branch may not be quite as strong as we think.

And what about “Godless” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”? We agree that both are strong contenders in this race. Bright thinks “the live aspect of [‘Superstar’] is going to be very intriguing and something they’ll want to latch on to.” That sets “Superstar” directors David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski apart from the competition. As Chow puts it, “It’s the apple in a bag of oranges.”

“Godless” is also one to take seriously. Scott Frank wrote and directed every episode, and Ruiz notes that Frank is in the midst of a great year. In addition to his Emmy nominations for writing, directing and producing “Godless,” he scored WGA and DGA nominations for the limited series as well. And if that was not enough he earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing “Logan.” Frank is best known as a writer but as I point out, “Alan Ball won for directing the pilot of ‘Six Feet Under’ and he never directed before the pilot.” So this race remains far from certain.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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