USA network has announced that it will be extending its 2017 limited series “The Sinner” with “a second limited season” to air summer 2018. The network confirmed to Gold Derby that it will submit “The Sinner” for Emmy consideration in Best Limited Series instead of Best Drama Series. It has become commonplace at the Emmys recently for shows to compete repeatedly in the limited categories.
The first season of “The Sinner” saw Detective Harry Ambrose (played by Bill Pullman) investigate a murder by Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel); the second season will again follow Ambrose, as he takes on a new “sinner.” Biel is continuing as an executive producer and said in December that she was open to reprising her character in a potential second season. Based on the aggregate predictions of Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, Biel is the frontrunner to win Best Movie/Limited Actress this year.
The TV academy amended the Emmy rules three years ago to clarify that a limited series “tells a complete, non-recurring story and does not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons.” The strongest precedent for “The Sinner” is “The Missing,” which competed as a limited series for both of its seasons.
Each season saw Detective Julien Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo) investigate a case of a missing child. Like “The Sinner,” “The Missing” was renewed before the first season was submitted for Emmy consideration. The Emmys nominated it for Best Movie/Limited Directing (Tom Shankland) and Best Movie/Limited Music (Dominik Scherrer).
“The Sinner” is not the first renewed limited series from last year. “Big Little Lies” won the Emmy for Best Limited Series in September, then was renewed in December, during voting for the Producers Guild of America Awards. The PGA reclassified “Big Little Lies” and voided all cast TV ballots. The re-vote yielded “Big Little Lies” a Best Drama Series nomination.
“The Sinner” received Golden Globe nominations for Best Limited Series or Movie and Best Movie/Limited Actress (Biel), as well as Critics’ Choice Award nominations for Best Movie/Limited Actor (Pullman) and Best Movie/Limited Actress (Biel). The Emmys could take a page from the PGA and reject USA’s submission, but the Emmys are generally accepting with these cases.
Long-running series “Gilmore Girls” and “24” were revived in recent years with their original characters and the Emmys went along with their submissions in the limited categories. “Twin Peaks” likewise returned last summer and the new season — 18 episodes, longer than the seasons of most Best Drama Series nominees — is expected to be accepted by the Emmys as a limited series, following its categorization as such at other awards, including PGA. The network and producers have even expressed interest in continuing the series further. The only limited series that the Emmys have shuffled has been “True Detective,” which they actually reclassified as a limited series for its second season after it was a Best Drama Series nominee for its first.
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