“The Alienist’s” Emmy nomination in the Best Limited Series category came as a pleasant surprise to many people, especially as it got in over shows like “The Looming Tower” (Hulu) and “Twin Peaks” (Showtime), which according to our odds were expected to make the cut. The last time TNT was even in the running for Best Limited Series was in 2006 for “Into the West,” and the only time it prevailed in this category was 23 years ago for “Joseph” (1995). Can the cable network finally take home its second statue for this breakout hit?
The program benefits from not only being accessible to watch, but also from being based on a novel (“The Alienist” by Caleb Carr). Of note, the last three winners in this category — “Olive Kitteridge,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and “Big Little Lies” — were all based on novels. While “The Alienist” does deal with heavy subject matters such as child prostitution, it also shines a light on how modern investigative techniques got started, which is not something we often see in our typical serial killer murder mystery. In addition to that, it’s a visual masterpiece and captures the eerie atmosphere of 1896 New York marvelously.
“The Alienist” has significant below-the-line support, with five of their six Emmy nominations being in the crafts categories: Best Cinematography, Best Main Title Design, Best Period Costumes, Best Production Design and Best Supporting Visual Effects. The fact that it was nominated at all indicates there’s some support for the show despite its lack of key nominations. TNT’s brilliant campaign may be the reason why, and if it continues to push the show like it did before nominations came out, “The Alienist” could surprise.
However, might “The Alienist” be hurt by the fact that it has a lack of above-the-line nominations? It has no writing or directing bids, and its star-studded cast including Dakota Fanning, Daniel Bruhl and Luke Evans were snubbed. The last time a show won Best Limited Series without a writing or directing nomination was in 2005 when “The Lost Prince” took home the trophy, and “The Pacific” (2010) was the last show to win this category without any acting bids.
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.