All 22,000 plus voting members of the TV academy have until June 25 to cast their 2019 Emmy Awards nominations ballots for programs (save for animated documentary/nonfiction which are restricted to their peer groups.) Unlike the Oscars, voters for the Emmys do not rank their choices and nominees are determined by a simple tally. In the past, voters were limited in the number of programs that they could put forth. Two years ago that cap (which was usually 10 per category) was lifted.
While there has been an explosion in the number of comedy and drama series in the last several years, the limited series genre had been almost static. There were 25 entries in 2015, 26 in 2016 and 25 again in 2017. But there has been an uptick, with 33 such shows submitted in 2018 and 35 this year. Even so, with six nominees for Best Limited Series, the odds for each of the entries detailed below is pretty good. We fill find out which half dozen made the cut when Emmy nominations are announced on July 16.
Unlike comedy and drama series, which are simply listed on the ballot by name, the limited series submissions include the air date, plot description and cast list.
“The Act” – March 20, 2019 – May 01, 2019
The Act is a seasonal anthology series that tells startling, stranger-than-fiction true crime stories. The first season follows Gypsy Blanchard, a girl trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother. Her quest for independence opens a Pandora’s box of secrets, one that ultimately leads to murder.
Starring: Joey King, Patricia Arquette, Chloë Sevigny, AnnaSophia Robb, Calum Worthy
“Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders” – February 01, 2019 – February 01, 2019
Hercule Poirot receives letters threatening murder. The sender signs themselves only as “A.B.C.” When he takes the letters to the police looking for help, Hercule finds all his old friends have moved on. But soon there is a murder and the once-great detective must take matters into his own hands.
Starring: Sarah Phelps, Alex Gabassi, John Malkovich, Rupert Grint, Shirley Henderson, Farah Fitzgerald
“Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence” – August 10, 2018 – August 10, 2018
When wealthy philanthropist, Rachel Argyll, is murdered at her family estate, her adopted son Jack is arrested. He vehemently protests his innocence and, eighteen months later, the identity of the murderer is thrown in doubt. Now it’s up to the rest of the family to decipher a killer among them.
Starring: Morven Christie, Anthony Boyle, Christian Cooke, Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode
“Black Earth Rising” – January 25, 2019 – January 25, 2019
Adopted by a human rights attorney after the Rwandan genocide, legal investigator Kate Ashby confronts her past when she takes on war crimes cases.
Starring: Michaela Coel, John Goodman, Abena Ayivor, Lucian Msamati, Emmanuel Imani, Harriet Walter, Noma Dumezweni, Tamara Tunie
“The Bobby Brown Story” – September 04, 2018 – September 05, 2018
Bobby Brown becomes one of the most successful entertainers in the world by the age of 20. His marriage to Whitney Houston shocks the world but their shared struggle with addiction derails both of their careers and nearly kills Bobby. After their failed marriage, Bobby’s attempts to rebuild his life.
Starring: Woody McClain, Gabrielle Dennis, Tyler Marcel Williams, Mehki Phifer, T.K. Carter, Tank, Sandi Mccree, Donshea Hopkins, Lil Rel Howery, Laz Alonso, Lance Gross, Algee Smith and Luke James
“Castle Rock” – July 25, 2018 – September 12, 2018
A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock is an original story that combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland.
Starring: André Holland, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey, Jane Levy, Bill Skarsgård, Scott Glenn
“Catch-22” – May 17, 2019 – May 17, 2019
Yossarian, an Air Force bombardier in World War II, is furious because thousands of people he’s never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, but his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service.
Starring: Christopher Abbot, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler
“Chernobyl” – May 06, 2019 – May 31, 2019
Chernobyl dramatizes the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history: the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the USSR. The series tells of the heroes who suffered and sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable devastation.
Starring: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Jessie Buckley.
“Dirty John” – November 25, 2018 – January 13, 2019
Based on the true crime podcast from the Los Angeles Times, Dirty John tells the cautionary tale of how a whirlwind romance between Debra Newell (Connie Britton) and the charismatic con-man John Meehan (Eric Bana) spiraled into a frightening web of deception and denial that nearly tore a family apart.
Starring: Connie Britton, Eric Bana
“The Dream Door” (Channel Zero) – October 26, 2018 – October 31, 2018
Based on the “creepypasta” short story “Hidden Door” by Charlotte Bywater, Channel Zero: The Dream Door follows newlyweds Jillian and Tom, who have each brought secrets into their marriage. When they discover a strange door in their basement, those secrets start to threaten their relationship — and their lives.
Starring: Maria Sten, Brandon Scott, Steven Robertson, Barbara Crampton, Troy James, Steven Weber
“Escape At Dannemora” – November 18, 2018 – December 30, 2018
This limited series is based on the stranger-than-fiction account of a prison break in upstate New York in the summer of 2015 that spawned a massive manhunt for two convicted murderers. The prisoners were aided in their escape by a female prison employee with whom they both became sexually entangled.
Starring: Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano, Eric Lange
“Fosse/Verdon” – April 09, 2019 – May 28, 2019
Influential choreographer Bob Fosse and acclaimed Broadway dancer Gwen Verdon begin a decades-long personal and professional partnership that changes the face of American entertainment, but they pay a price in their pursuit of greatness.
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Michelle Williams
“Good Omens” – May 31, 2019 – May 31, 2019
Aziraphale and Crowley, of Heaven and Hell respectively, have grown rather fond of the Earth. So it’s terrible news that it’s about to end. The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Everything is going according to the Divine Plan…except that someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.
Starring: Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Jon Hamm, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Adria Arjona, Miranda Richardson, Frances McDormand
“The Haunting Of Hill House” – October 12, 2018 – October 12, 2018
Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.
Starring: Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Timothy Hutton, Elizabeth Reaser, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Michiel Huisman, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti, Catherine Parker, Robert Longstreet
“The Hot Zone” – May 27, 2019 – May 29, 2019
Based on the eponymous best-seller, The Hot Zone, starring Julianna Margulies, is inspired by a true story about the origins of Ebola, a highly infectious virus from the central African rainforest and its arrival on US soil in 1989.
Starring: Julianna Marguiles, Noah Emmerich, Topher Grace, Liam Cunningham
“I Am The Night” – January 28, 2019 – March 04, 2019
Inspired by true events, I Am The Night follows Fauna Hodel (India Eisley), a teenage girl investigating her past with ruined reporter (Chris Pine), forever haunted by the case that undid him. Together they follow a sinister trail that leads to a doctor involved in Hollywood’s legendary Black Dahlia murder.
Starring: Chris Pine, India Eisley, Jefferson Mays, Golden Brooks
“Les Misérables” (MASTERPIECE) – April 14, 2019 – May 19, 2019
Victor Hugo’s masterpiece comes to television in a star-studded adaptation by screenwriter Andrew Davies. An extraordinary cast of characters struggle to survive in war-torn France in this epic story of love, injustice, redemption and hope, starring Dominic West as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as Javert and Lily Collins as Fantine.
Starring: Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Lily Collins, Olivia Colman, Derek Jacobi, Adeel Akhtar, Josh O’Connor, Ellie Bamber, Johnny Flynn, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, David Bradley, Erin Kellyman.
“The Little Drummer Girl” – November 19, 2018 – November 21, 2018
The Little Drummer Girl weaves a story of espionage and international intrigue; of love and betrayal. Actress Charlie meets an intriguing stranger while vacationing in Greece, but it becomes apparent his intentions are far from romantic. An Israeli intelligence officer, he entangles her in a complex, high stakes spy plot.
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Shannon, Florence Pugh
“London Kills” – February 25, 2019 – February 25, 2019
London’s best detectives take on its worst crimes in this sleek mystery. DI David Bradford (Hugo Speer, Father Brown) heads an elite murder squad, but the one case he can’t crack is the one closest to him – the disappearance of his wife.
Starring: Hugo Speer, Sharon Small, Bailey Patrick, Tori-Allen Martin
“Maniac” – September 21, 2018 – September 21, 2018
Set in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time, Maniac tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons.
Starring: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Julia Garner, Sally Field, Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno, Gabriel Byrne, Billy Magnussen, Trudie Styler
“The Miniaturist” (MASTERPIECE) – September 09, 2018 – September 23, 2018
1686 Amsterdam: Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Romola Garai star in the adaptation of the best- selling novel. A young woman is married off to a wealthy merchant. His wedding gift is a replica of their home, which she must furnish. But when its miniature contents arrive, they reveal dark secrets.
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Romola Garai, Alex Hassell, Hayley Squires, Paapa Essiedu, Emily Berrington, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Aislin McGuckin
“Miracle Workers” – February 12, 2019 – March 26, 2019
Set in the offices of Heaven Inc., when God (Steve Buscemi) plans to destroy Earth, two low-level angels (Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan) must convince their boss to save humanity. They bet him they can pull off their most impossible miracle yet: help two humans fall in love.
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Geraldine Viswanathan, Steve Buscemi, Karan Soni
“Mrs Wilson” (MASTERPIECE) – March 31, 2019 – April 07, 2019
Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) stars as her grandmother Alison in this miniseries based on the true story of Alison’s marriage to MI-6 operative and spy novelist Alexander Wilson. Fact and fiction merge in Alec’s life, he deceives wives, children, and colleagues. Also starring Iain Glen, Keeley Hawes, Fiona Shaw.
Starring: Ruth Wilson, Iain Glen, Anupam Kher, Fiona Shaw, Keeley Hawes, Otto Farrant, Calam Lynch, Patrick Kennedy, Ian McElhinney
“The Red Line” – April 28, 2019 – May 19, 2019
The Red Line is an eight-episode original limited series that follows three very different Chicago families as they journey toward hope and healing after a tragedy causes them all to consider how race and racial biases affect their lives.
Starring: Noah Wyle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Aliyah Royale, Noel Fisher, Howard Charles, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Vinny Chhibber, Michael Patrick Thornton
“Sacred Lies” – July 27, 2018 – September 14, 2018
Based on the classic Grimm Brothers tale The Handless Maiden and Stephanie Oakes’ novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, Sacred Lies is about a handless teen who escapes from a cult and finds herself in juvenile detention, suspected of knowing who killed her cult leader.
Starring: Elena Kampouris, Toby Huss, Kevin Carroll, Kiana Madeira, Ryan Robbins
“Sharp Objects” – July 08, 2018 – August 26, 2018
Camille (Amy Adams), a journalist with psychiatric issues, returns home to cover the alleged murders of two preteen girls. Putting together psychological puzzles from her past, Camille clashes with overbearing mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson), falls back into self-destructive habits, and identifies with the young murder victims a bit too closely.
Starring: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen and Chris Messina
“The Spanish Princess” – May 05, 2019 – May 31, 2019
The Spanish Princess is the vivid and captivating reclaiming of Catherine of Aragon’s story, which has historically been overshadowed by her infamous marriage to King Henry VIII.
Starring: Charlotte Hope, Ruairi O’Connor
“Tell Me A Story” – October 31, 2018 – January 02, 2019
Tell Me A Story takes beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark, twisted psychological thriller. Set in modern-day New York City, this serialized drama interweaves “The Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Hansel and Gretel” into an epic tale of love, loss, greed, revenge and murder.
Starring: James Wolk, Billy Magnussen, Dania Ramirez, Danielle Campbell, Dorian Missick, Michael Raymond-James, Davi Santos, Sam Jaeger, Zabryna Guevara, Paul Wesley, Kim Cattrall
“True Detective” – January 13, 2019 – February 24, 2019
Wayne Hays, a retired detective who has been tormented for 35 years by a case involving the 1980 disappearance of a 12-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister in the town of West Finger, Arkansas, ruminates on details of his investigation with the producer of a true-crime documentary.
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, Carmen Ejogo
“Valley Of The Boom” – January 13, 2019 – January 27, 2019
Silicon Valley circa-1990s was a technology breeding ground that attracted visionaries and charlatans alike, spawning some of the world’s most influential people and recognizable brands.Valley of the Boom follows the turbulent ride of three companies whose founders were trying to change the world using the emergent technology of the internet.Starring: Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, John Karna, Dakota Shapiro, Oliver Cooper, John Murphy
“Vanity Fair” – December 21, 2018 – December 21, 2018
In a world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having, no one is more determined to climb to the heights of English Society than Miss Rebecca Sharp.
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Tom Bateman, Martin Clunes, Anthony Head, Claudia Jessie, Monica Dolan
“A Very English Scandal” – June 29, 2018 – June 29, 2018
A true story. Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the British Liberal party, has a secret he’s desperate to hide. His ex-lover Norman Scott is putting Thorpe’s brilliant political career at risk, so Thorpe schemes and deceives until he realizes there’s only one way to silence Scott for good.
Starring: Hugh Grant, Alex Jennings, Ben Whishaw, Monica Dolan, Patricia Hodge
“What / If” – May 24, 2019 – May 24, 2019
Desperate to secure funding for her med tech startup, an idealistic scientist and her husband strike an outrageous deal with a mysterious investor.
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Jane Levy, Blake Jenner, Samantha Ware, Juan Castano, Louis Herthum
“When They See Us” – May 31, 2019 – May 31, 2019
Based on a true story, When They See Us chronicles the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.
Starring: Jharrel Jerome, Niecy Nash, Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Vera Farmiga, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez, Asante Blackk, Joshua Jackson
“The Widow” – March 01, 2019 – March 01, 2019
A woman’s search to uncover the mystery of the disappearance of her husband leads her to the Congo, where she’s forced to seek the truth about what happened to the man she loved.
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Charles Dance, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
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 16. 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.