Emmy voters often love Oscar winning movie stars like Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”), Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story”), and many more. And this year could see more Oscar champs claim TV’s biggest prize, including Al Pacino (“Paterno”) and Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace”). But as television programming continues to expand with cable and streaming the small screen has become a playground for Oscar favorites behind the camera as well. So how many this year will make the cut?
David Fincher has been nominated for two Oscars for Best Director (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Social Network”), and he’s already an Emmy winner for directing the premiere episode of “House of Cards.” But while that political drama sits out this Emmy cycle (its sixth and final season won’t premiere until later this year), Fincher has another Netflix series in the running: “Mindhunter,” which he produces in addition to directing four episodes from its first season.
Danny Boyle could potentially join Fincher in the Emmy races for Best Drama Series and Best Drama Directing. He produces and directs the new FX drama series “Trust” about the family of J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland). Boyle previously won the Oscar for Best Director for “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), and he already has an Emmy, though maybe not you’d expect it: he was awarded for the art direction of the “London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.”
Kenneth Lonergan is a playwright and filmmaker who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for “Manchester by the Sea” (2016). But this spring he went from New England to old England as the writer of the British literary adaptation “Howards End” on Starz. He has never been nominated for an Emmy before, and this is actually his first writing for television since — if you can believe it — the children’s animated series “Doug” in 1993.
Alex Gibney is best known for his work in nonfiction, winning the Best Documentary Feature Oscar for “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2007). He has also won five Emmys for his documentary filmmaking. This year he could break through for the first time with a scripted project: he produces the Hulu limited series “The Looming Tower” in addition to directing the first episode. That program was developed for TV and written by Dan Futterman, who earned Oscar nominations for writing the fact-based dramas “Capote” (2005) and “Foxcatcher” (2014).
David Lynch is no stranger to either award show. He has been nominated for four Oscars including three for Best Director (“The Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive”). And he picked up five nominations for writing, directing, producing, and music for “Twin Peaks” in 1990. This year he could finally cash in his Emmy IOU by winning for Showtime’s revival “Twin Peaks: The Return.”
The list doesn’t stop there. Oscar champ Ron Howard could be nominated again as an executive producer of the Nat Geo anthology series “Genius,” for which he earned nominations for producing and directing in 2017. Oscar and Emmy winner Steven Soderbergh could be embraced again by the television academy for HBO’s “Mosaic.” “Rain Man” Oscar winner Barry Levinson has won multiple Emmys for his writing, directing and producing work on TV, and he could do it again with the HBO telefilm “Paterno.” And Oscar nominee Bruce Beresford could give Levinson a run for his money as the director of the Lifetime film “Flint.”
Four-time Oscar nominated director Ridley Scott has lots of TV credits as a producer, and in that capacity he won Best TV Movie for “The Gathering Storm” (2002) and Best Nonfiction Special for “Gettysburg” (2011); this year he’s a contender for CBS All Access’s “The Good Fight” and AMC’s “The Terror.”
A number of Oscar nominated writers have a shot at Emmy gold as well, three of them for Netflix projects alone. Sarah Polley (“Away from Her”) penned and produced the Margaret Atwood adaptation “Alias Grace.” Scott Frank (“Out of Sight,” “Logan”) is the man behind the western “Godless.” And David Hare (“The Hours,” “The Reader”) has the British detective drama “Collateral.” Meanwhile, Hossein Amini (“The Wings of the Dove”) is the creator of AMC’s “McMafia,” a writer on TNT’s “The Alienist,” and an executive producer of both.
With this much prestige behind the camera for TV and streaming programs, it’s getting to the point where the Emmys might even start to eclipse the Oscars as Hollywood’s most elite show business award.
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 nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.