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Emmy Predictions 2019: Best TV Movie

"Deadwood" aims to ride into the sunset a winner, while "Black Mirror" looks to darken its night sky. [Updated September 16]

"Deadwood: The Movie"

“Deadwood: The Movie”

Warrick Page/HBO

Last Year’s Winner: “USS Callister (Black Mirror)”
Still Eligible: “USS Callister”? No. “Black Mirror”? Yes.
Hot Streak: “Black Mirror” has caused quite a stir at the TV Academy by winning two consecutive Emmys for Best TV Movie, despite the fact it’s released as an anthology series. In 2017, “Black Mirror: San Junipero” took home the trophy, while 2018 saw Netflix reverse the order of its title to “USS Callister (Black Mirror)” and win yet again. For the 2019 ceremony, the TV Academy instituted a new rule requiring TV movies to be at least 75 minutes in length to qualify (which would have eliminated “San Junipero,” though not “USS Callister.”)
Fun Fact: HBO has the most wins in this category by far. The premium cable heavy has racked up 21 Emmys for Best TV Movie, and the next highest competitor is NBC with nine. (Notably, NBC has only had one nominee since 1995 — “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” — so the broadcast network won’t be a major threat to HBO’s mantle for the foreseeable future.)
Notable Ineligible Series: N/A

At the bottom of this page are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding TV Movie. This article will be updated throughout the season, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz from the 2019 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15. The 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, September 22. Fox is broadcasting the ceremony.

The State of the Race

What does it take to dethrone a limited series masquerading as a movie? Perhaps a former series that made its own movie. This year’s race looks to come down to Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” — which looks to become the third “Black Mirror” “movie” to win in as many years — and HBO’s “Deadwood” movie, which hopes to capitalize off the series’ former favor from the TV Academy back in the early aughts.

Who has the edge? If you go by nomination count, “Deadwood” has a healthy lead. The long-anticipated movie has eight total nominations, which is perhaps a bit less than HBO had hoped for (Ian McShane was a surprise omission from the Best Actor race) but still more than double any of the competing titles. “Black Mirror” only has two, while the other three films all only have one each. That indicates “Deadwood” has support in multiple branches of the Academy, whereas the rest may not.

That being said, “King Lear” has all of Amazon behind it, and Anthony Hopkins + Emma Thompson never hurt on the campaign trail. “Brexit” is more topical than ever given the continued political distress across the pond (and, you know, Benedict Cumberbatch is also a draw, especially at the Emmys). Meanwhile, “My Dinner with Hervé” looks to be the other project Peter Dinklage represents this year, and could potentially benefit from his presence.

… but that’s a reach. Odds are this is another duel down to Netflix and HBO. “Deadwood” has the better draw, but never count out “Black Mirror” here.

Power Ranking the Nominees:

  1. “Deadwood”
  2. “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”
  3. “King Lear”
  4. “Brexit”
  5. “My Dinner with Hervé”

Will Win: “Deadwood”
Could Win: “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”
Should Win: “Deadwood”

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