The made-for-TV movie was a programming staple for the broadcast networks in the 1970s and 1980s. While it fell out of favor in the 1990s and was even dropped as an Emmy Awards category for three years beginning in 2011, it has been on an upswing as of late. This year, 28 telefilms are in contention for the five nominations that will be revealed on July 28; last year only 21 TV movies were submitted.
All 22,000 plus voting members of the TV academy have until July 13 to cast their 2020 Emmy Awards nominations ballots for their favorite TV movies. In the past, voters were limited in the number of telefilms that they could put forth. In 2017 that cap (which was usually 10 per category) was lifted. And, as opposed to the Oscars, voters for the Emmys do not rank their choices and nominees are determined by a simple tally.
“Agatha Raisin And The Haunted House”
Agatha Raisin’s (Ashley Jensen) instincts, savvy and humor are put to the test. When Agatha’s new detective agency fails to attract clients, her team investigates the haunting of Ivy Hall, a mystery that has baffled locals and treasure hunters for centuries. Based on M.C. Beaton’s mystery novels.
Starring: Ashley Jensen, Mathew Horne, Jamie Glover, Matt McCooey, Lucy Liemann, Jason Merrells, Jason Barnett
“All She Wrote”
All She Wrote is an unconventional love story between two people from two vastly different cultures who share similar baggage. Aaron, an ex-MMA world champion, and Jana, a shy Bulgarian immigrant, are reluctantly forced together by Jana’s manipulative brother, testing their own levels of tolerance within an intolerant world.
Starring: Gary Dourdan, Sanya Borisova, Diana Lubenova, Orlin Pavlov, Bashar Rahal, James Tumminia, Georgi Staykov
American Son tells the story of Kendra Ellis-Connor (Kerry Washington), the mother of a missing teenage boy, as she struggles to put pieces together in a police station. The adaptation presents four viewpoints and navigates the dynamic of an interracial couple raising a mixed-race son.
Starring: Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan, Eugene Lee
Frank Tassone and Pam Gluckin reign over a Long Island school district on the verge of the nation’s top spot, spurring record college admissions and property values. When an embezzlement scheme surfaces that threatens to destroy all they’ve built, Frank is forced to maintain order — by whatever means necessary.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Geraldine Viswanathan, Ray Romano
“Blow The Man Down”
Welcome to Easter Cove, a fishing village on Maine’s rocky coast. Grieving the loss of their mother, Mary Beth & Priscilla Connolly cover up a gruesome run-in with a dangerous man, leading them deeper into Easter Cove’s underbelly where they uncover the town matriarchs’ darkest secrets.
Starring: Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe, Margo Martindale, Will Brittain, Gayle Rankin, Annette O’Toole
“A Christmas Carol”
An original take on Dickens’s iconic ghost story, A Christmas Carol is a spine-tingling immersion into Scrooge’s dark night of the soul.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Andy Serkis, Stephen Graham, Charlotte Riley, Joe Alwyn, Vinette Robinson, Jason Flemyng, Kayvan Novak, Tiarna Williams, Lenny Rush, Johnny Harris
“A Christmas Love Story”
Youth Choir director Katherine discovers Danny has a golden voice and tries to enlist him for the big Christmas show, despite his widowed father Greg’s resistance. While she successfully wins over Greg, a budding romance develops. However, Danny has a life-changing secret which could affect dad and Katherine’s new relationship
Starring: Kristin Chenoweth, Scott Wolf, Kevin Quinn, Keith Robinson
“Christmas Under The Stars”
Nick loses his high finance job right before Christmas. Lost, he takes a gig at a tree lot where he meets Julie and her son, Matt. Julie is dealing with the recent death of her father which has caused significant changes for her.
Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Autumn Reeser
“The Clark Sisters: First Ladies Of Gospel”
The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel recounts the story of the legendary pioneers of contemporary gospel music and their trailblazing mother, Mattie Moss Clark.
Starring: Aunjanue Ellis, Christina Bell, Kierra Sheard, Sheléa Frazier, Raven Goodwin, Angela Birchett
“Culture Shock (Into The Dark)”
A dystopian horror film following a young Mexican woman’s journey across the border into Texas in pursuit of the American Dream, only to find herself in an “American Simulation” virtual reality.
Starring: Martha Higareda, Richard Cabral, Barbara Crampton, Filipe de Lara, Creed Bratton, Shawn Ashmore
Descendants 3 stars Dove Cameron, Booboo Stewart, Sofia Carson and the late Cameron Boyce as Mal, Jay, Evie and Carlos — the teenage sons and daughters of infamous villains.
Starring: Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson, BooBoo Stewart, Mitchell Hope, Sarah Jeffery, Brenna D’Amico, Melanie Paxson, Cheyenne Jackson, China Anne McClain
“Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: These Old Bones”
A mysterious mountain woman steps into the spotlight as a lawyer struggles to find her voice of seeing, believing and everything between.
Starring: Kathleen Turner, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kyle Bornheimer, Tyler Crumley, Mary Donnelly Haskell
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”
In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.
Starring: Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Jonathan Banks, Robert Forster, Bryan Cranston
“I Was Lorena Bobbitt”
I Was Lorena Bobbitt follows her journey from a wide-eyed, immigrant bride to a battered wife into an unlikely media sensation, and also documents her ultimately emerging as a strong, thoughtful woman who has devoted her life to advocating for other abused women.
Starring: Dani Montalvo, Luke Humphrey
“Lady And The Tramp”
Lady And The Tramp is a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Kiersey Clemons, Thomas Mann
Kris Kringle’s daughter is full of holiday spirit, but wishes she could do something “important” like her brother Nick, who will take over for their father this Christmas. When Nick starts to crumble from the pressure, Noelle suggests he get away… but when he doesn’t return, Noelle must save Christmas.
Starring: Anna Kendrick
“Patsy & Loretta”
Patsy & Loretta is based on the untold true story of the friendship between two of country music’s greatest icons, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Already well established in her career, Patsy takes Loretta under her wing, helping her navigate the male-dominated Nashville music industry.
Starring: Megan Hilty, Jessie Mueller, Kyle Schmid, Janine Turner, Joe Tippett
“Robin Roberts Presents: Stolen By My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story”
Robin Roberts Presents: Stolen By My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story stars Niecy Nash, Rayven Ferrell and Ta’Rhonda Jones in the true story of a young woman who discovers at age 18, she was abducted as a baby and the family she knew to be hers, wasn’t hers at all.
Starring: Niecy Nash, Rayven Symone Ferrell, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Everick Golding, Shane Dean
“Selah And The Spades”
Five factions run the underground life at prestigious Haldwell boarding school. The head of the most powerful faction – The Spades – is Selah Summers. By turns charming and callous, she chooses whom to keep close and whom to cut loose, walking the fine line between being feared and loved.
Starring: Lovie Simone, Celeste O’Connor, Jharrel Jerome, Gina Torres, Jesse Williams, Ana Mulvoy Ten, Henry Hunter Hall, Evan Roe, Francesca Noel
After discovering a disturbing video from a night she doesn’t remember, sixteen-year-old Mandy must try and figure out what happened and how to navigate the escalating fallout.
Starring: Rhianne Barreto, J.C. MacKenzie, Poorna Jagannathan
Stargirl is a tender and offbeat coming-of-age story based on the young adult novel about an unassuming high schooler who finds himself inexplicably drawn to the free-spirited new girl, whose unconventional ways change how they see themselves…and their world.
Starring: Grace VanderWaal, Graham Verchere
“The Thing About Harry”
High school enemies, Harry and Sam, are forced to share a ride to their hometown for a party. Things take a turn when Sam learns Harry has come out. Stuck spending the night together, Harry and Sam wonder if they could be more than friends.
Starring: Jake Borelli, Niko Terho, Britt Baron
Togo is the untold true story set in the winter of 1925 that takes viewers across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra for an adventure that will test the strength, courage and determination of one man, Leonhard Seppala, and his lead sled dog, Togo.
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Julianne Nicholson
“Transparent Musicale Finale”
When the Pfeffermans face a life-changing loss, they begin a musical journey. As they face this new transition, they confront grief and come together to celebrate connection, joy and transformation.
Starring: Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Kathryn Hahn, Alexandra Billings, Rob Hubell, Shakina Nayfack
“Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story”
When 15-year-old Alex revealed she was gay to her Mormon parents, they feared so deeply for her soul that they took her from their California home and placed her against her will in a conversion therapy home in Utah. For eight months with strangers, Alex faced horrible punishments and beatings.
Starring: Addison Holley, Nicolette Pearse, Ian Lake, Sarah Booth, Kate Drummond, Wilson Cruz, Steve Cumyn
In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a national competition offers her a chance at her dream, to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime and beyond.
Starring: Mckenna Grace, Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Charlie Shotwell, Milan Ray, Johanna Colon, Bella Higginbotham, Mike Epps
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend”
Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) sets off on her biggest adventure yet. Three states! Private planes! Explosions! Karate! Will Kimmy defeat the Reverend (Jon Hamm) and get to her wedding on time? With the help of her friend Titus (Tituss Burgess), she’s going to try, dammit!
Starring: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, Carol Kane
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 is a music and dance-filled story that picks up at Seabrook High as zombie Zed and cheerleader Addison continue to steer their school toward unity. However, the arrival of a group of mysterious werewolves threatens to shake up the newfound peace.
Starring: Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Trevor Tordjman, Kylee Russell, Carla Jeffery, Chandler Kinney, Pearce Joza, Ariel Martin, Kingston Foster
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