Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Limited Series

2017 Nomination Predictions
American Crime
Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Night Of

Other Contenders - Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, The Young Pope, American Horror Story: Roanoke, Genius, When We Rise, Madiba, Guerilla, The Missing

Commentary - This race feels like the five are set. We know its probably Big Little Lies vs. Feud. The Night Of has HBO behind it, so expect it to do well. The last two slots belong to perennial favorites Fargo and American Crime. Done! Right? Well I think that both Fargo and American Crime are on the bubble. One for having a just okay season and one for being cancelled. Genius and The Young Pope have great central performances, and could make the cut, and after years of ignoring Gilmore Girls, the nostalgia might be enough to get in in. Beyond that, the only other one to watch for his American Horror Story. It missed last year, and it feels like its time has passed. But it has been a favorite for so long, so it cannot be discounted.

The Oscar Narrative: First 2018 Oscar Predictions - Best Director

First 2018 Predictions
Denis Villeneuve "Blade Runner 2049"
Kathryn Bigelow "Detroit"
Alexander Payne "Downsizing"
Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk"
Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread"

Other Contenders - Dee Rees "Mudbound", Steven Spielberg "The Papers", Joe Wright "The Darkest Hour", George Clooney "Suburbicon",  Michael Haneke "Happy End", Sofia Coppola "The Beguiled", Reginald Hudlin "Marshall", Darren Aronofsky "Mother!", Luca Guadagnino "Call Me By Your Name", Garth Davis "Mary Magdelene", Stephen Frears "Victoria and Abdul", Woody Allen "Wonder Wheel", Aaron Sorkin "Molly's Game", Guillermo Del Toro "The Shape of Water", Michael Gracey "The Greatest Showman", Jordan Peele "Get Out", Rian Johnson "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Feris "The Battle of the Sexes", Todd Haynes "Wonderstruck", Jason Reitman "Tully", Taylor Sheridan "Wind River", Patty Jenkins "Wonder Woman", Steven Soderbergh "Logan Lucky", Michael Showalter "The Big Six", Alfonso Gomez-Rejon "The Current War", Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", Tomas Alfredson "The Snowman", Simon Curtis "Goodbye Christopher Robin", Yorgos Lanthimos "The Killing of the Sacred Deer", Destin Daniel Cretton "The Glass Castle", Kenneth Branagh "Murder on the Orient Express", Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird", Jason Dean Hall "Thank You For Your Service", James Mangold "Logan", Jon Watts "Spider-Man: Homecoming", Bill Condon "Beauty and the Beast", Jordan Vogt-Roberts "Kong: Skull Island", Ridley Scott "Alien: Covenant", Trey Edward Shults "It Comes At Night", Edgar Wright "Baby Driver", Luc Besson "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets", Geremy Jasper "Patti Cake$", Doug Liman "American Made", Sean Baker "The Florida Project", Rob Reiner "LBJ"

Commentary - This category is so damn stacked with folks, honestly, trying to make the list has taken forever. Every time I think I am done, I find another name I think could be in the conversation. Let's start with the top five. Kathryn Bigelow returns with Detroit. Zero Dark Thirty only got derailed because of petty politics that some other studio pushed against it. The allegations into any improper conduct, which was being investigated by Congress, was dropped the day after the 2012 Academy Awards. I think some studio boss was getting weary of Zero Dark Thirty's late climb and pulled some political strings to make this happen. This is the closest I will ever get to a real conspiracy theory, so let me have this one. All of that being said, Detroit looks riveting and they owe her a nod. Paul Thomas Anderson returns to this race with Phantom Thread. If he is going to make the cut, it is going to have to be a lot more accessible than The Master. Alexander Payne is always underestimated, so I am predicting him till I have reason not to. It has been three in a row. Christopher Nolan didn't have luck with his comic book and sci-fi films, but maybe Academy voters will recognize his brilliance with an historical drama right up their alley. Finally, Denis Villeneuve proved that smart science fiction can win over Academy voters. That combined with nostalgia might be enough for him to breakthrough again with the Blade Runner sequel 2049. Beyond that there are some floating at the surface. Never discount Steven Spielberg, and this time with not just Tom Hanks in tow, but Meryl Streep as well. Joe Wright is tackling Winston Churchill, Dee Rees has already won over Sundance, George Clooney is popular, and previous nominees like Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola, Darren Aronofsky, and Stephen Frears should not be discounted. Woody Allen's newest is getting a prime awards date, which makes me think the studio thinks this one is a contender. Todd Haynes got decent reception at Cannes, Jason Reitman might make a comeback, Guillermo Del Toro is brilliant, Taylor Sheridan is on the rice, Aaron Sorkin could be a first-time director breakthrough, the Little Miss Sunshine duo returns, Garth Davis got so close last year, and Luca Duadagnino is a Sundance smash. There are so many other names, so I'm going to skip to some of the big guys like Jordan Peele, Patty Jenkins, Rian Johnson, and James Mangold. Don't forget the big guys Academy. They make great films, and make them accessible. That's hard to do and a showcase of real talent.

Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best TV Movie

2017 Nomination Predictions
Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution
Churchill's Secret
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Wizard of Lies

Other Contenders -  Black Mirror: San Junipero, To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters, Custody, Looking: The Movie, Killing Reagan, Sister Cities, Wild Oats, Suite Francaise, King Charles III.

Commentary - Sherlock will come back to the race, using the same sneaky strategy it used last year to avoid that packed Limited Series race. And it could win again. Black Mirror is trying this too. I'm not predicting it, because this is not the type of series they usually embrace. But it could get in, and it would be lost in the shuffle over in the Limited Series category. HBO was supposed to dominate this category but both The Wizard of Lies and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks were disappointing. With HBO behind them they are in, and they could win, but their stock has fallen tremendously. The last two slots, I am saving for the Brits. Churchill's Secret was lesser than say Into the Storm and The Gathering Storm, but it was still well-liked enough to garner a lot of Emmy support. Finally, After Poirot got in a few years ago, I am going to stick with Agatha Christie and the new adaptation of Witness for the Prosecution. But watch out for the new Bronte Sisters film that premiered recently, It is fresh on voters' minds.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions - Best Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series

2017 Nomination Predictions
Riz Ahmed "The Night Of"
Benedict Cumberbatch "Sherlock: The Lying Detective"
Robert DeNiro "The Wizard of Lies"
Ewan McGregor "Fargo"
Geoffrey Rush "Genius"
John Turturro "The Night Of"

Other Contenders - Jude Law "The Young Pope", Harvey Fierstein "Hairspray Live!", Laurence Fishburne "Madiba", Jonathan Groff "Looking: The Movie", Tim Matheson "Killing Reagan", Tim Pigott-Smith "King Charles III"

Commentary - In a thin race, there are still a lot of big names. watch out for three guys who are not in, but easily could be. Jude Law is excellent as The Young Pope, Harvey Fierstein is magnificent in the role that won him a Tony, and Laurence Fishburne plays Nelson Mandela. Don't sleep on these folks, they could easily crack the top six. So I think that previous winner Benedict Cumberbatch is coming back, because they clearly love themselves some Sherlock. The Night Of has HBO and the critics behind it, so I expect SAG nominees Riz Ahmed and John Turturro to both make it in. The Wizard of Lies may have been a bit of a dud, but Robert DeNiro on a ballot screams Emmy nomination. Even though Fargo stumbled a bit in its third season, Ewan McGregor will probably make the cut. Finally, Geoffrey Rush is a favorite here, and has won this category before. Expect him to get in for playing Albert Einstein.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions - Best Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series

2017 Nomination Predictions
Carrie Coon "Fargo"
Felicity Huffman "American Crime"
Nicole Kidman "Big Little Lies"
Jessica Lange "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Susan Sarandon "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Reese Witherspoon "Big Little Lies"

Other Contenders - Oprah Winfrey "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" , Lauren Graham "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life", Bryce Dallas Howard "Black Mirror", Andrea Riseborough "Agatha Christie's The Witness for the Prosecution", Alexis Bledel "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life", Maddie Baillio "Hairspray Live!", Joanne Froggatt "Dark Angel", Michelle Williams "Suite Francaise"

Commentary - This race, in my mind, comes down to about nine women for six slots. On the outside, I have Oprah Winfrey, because the film had mixed reactions, Lauren Graham, because they have passed her over so many times, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Despite the SAG nod, I don't if voters are ready to go there, with so many bigger names in the race. So for my six, first you have Felicity Huffman returning because she is a perennial favorite, and Carrie Coon for Fargo, who is just having the year of her career. The other four though, are probably the four that will vie for the prize. Four Oscar winners in the top two Limited Series of the year, Witherspoon, Sarandon, Lange, and Kidman. Voters will have to choose between these four, and good luck to them, but I think in terms of nominations, they are going to be hard to beat.

Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series

2017 Nomination Predictions
Hank Azaria "The Wizard of Lies"
Martin Freeman "Sherlock: The Lying Detective"
Alfred Molina "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Alexander Skarsgard "Big Little Lies"
David Thewlis "Fargo"
Stanley Tucci "Feud: Bette and Joan"

Other Contenders - Reg E. Cathey "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", Toby Jones "Sherlock: The Lying Detective", James Cromwell "The Young Pope", Michael Stuhlbarg "Fargo", Michael Kenneth Williams "The Night Of", Idris Elba "Guerrilla", Connor Jessup "American Crime", Benito Martinez "American Crime", Richard Cabral "American Crime", David Hyde Pierce "When We Rise", Cuba Gooding Jr. "American Horror Story: Roanoke", Denis O'Hare "American Horror Story: Roanoke"

Commentary - So this race is a toss up for me. I feel like Stanley Tucci will win another Emmy for his entertaining role in Feud, and I feel like his co-star Alfred Molina is a lock for a nomination. Beyond that, I honestly don't know. Martin Freeman is a perennial nominee, David Thewlis is the strongest from a weaker season of Fargo and she has a huge role in Wonder Woman. Hank Azaria is a favorite among these voters, even though The Wizard of Lies was kind of a dud. Finally, Alexander Skarsgard started off on the outside. But Big Little Lies is on the rise, and I think he joins his female cast members with an Emmy nod. Watch our for Reg E. Cathey who is a recent winner, James Cromwell is a classic, Michael Kenneth Williams is a recent nominee, and Idris Elba is, well, Idris Elba. Also never doubt the American Crime and American Horror Story boys, although it feels like those shows have peaked a bit.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie

Nomination Predictions
Kathy Bates "American Horror Story: Roanoke"
Judy Davis "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Laura Dern "Big Little Lies"
Regina King "American Crime"
Sarah Paulson "American Horror Story: Roanoke"
Shailene Woodley "Big Little Lies"

Other Contenders - Angela Bassett "American Horror Story: Roanoke", Mary Elizabeth Winstead "Fargo", Michelle Pfeiffer "Wizard of Lies", Renee Elise Goldsberry "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", Ellen Burstyn "Custody", Rose Byrne "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", Diane Keaton "The Young Pope", Jackie Hoffman "Feud: Bette and Joan", Catherine Zeta-Jones "Feud: Bette and Joan", Kathy Bates "Feud: Bette and Joan", Sandra Oh "American Crime", Helen Hunt "Shots Fired", Jennifer Hudson "Hairspray Live!", Kristin Chenoweth "Hairspray Live!", Whoopi Goldberg "When We Rise", Phylicia Rashad "When We Rise", Gugu Mbatha-Raw "Black Mirror"

Commentary - This race is stacked with so many big names, that I am expecting some surprises. That being said, I am probably playing it safe in terms of my actual picks. I'm just prepared for the surprise. I assume that both Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson will get back in for AHS, but as that anthology series ages, I keep wondering if there is a point when voters move on. Until that happens, I am keeping them in. I also assume that two Emmy wins in a row guarantees Regina King a third and final nomination for American Crime. Beyond that though, I think that some of the hot new series, two in particular will fill out the last three slots. Laura Dern is an Emmy favorite, and Shailene Woodley is practically a lead. I think that the overall love for Big Little Lies will push them both in. Finally, Judy Davis is fantastic in Feud, and she has won three Emmys from eleven nominations. I can't see Emmy voters passing her up here for a role that is so good, it could win her a fourth. But before we end here, let me remind you of some of the folks that are not in this race, but could be: Ellen Burstyn, Angela Bassett, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sandra Oh, Diane Keaton, Helen Hunt, Whoopi Goldberg, and Phylicia Rashad. I also want to personally plug Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Hudson, who were scene-stealers in Hairspray Live! Now you do see why I am looking for a surprise?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Reality-Competition Series and Best Reality Host

Best Reality-Competition Series
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
The Voice

Other Contenders - RuPaul's Drag Race, Match Game, Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Got Talent, Chopped, MasterChef Junior, Beat Bobby Flay

Commentary - I would love to see RuPaul's Drag Race make the cut, and his win in the Reality Host category gives me hope that it is at least on voters mind. But we have seen this before. Jane Lynch, Jeff Probst. They really do separate the host and program categories, so RuPaul winning doesn't necessarily translate to the show getting in. I will stick with the same six from last year, because, honestly, this is category where turnover rarely occurs.

Best Reality Host
Anthony Anderson "To Tell the Truth"
Alec Baldwin "Match Game"
Tom Bergeron "Dancing with the Stars"
RuPaul Charles "RuPaul's Drag Race"
Steve Harvey "Little Big Shots"
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn "Project Runway"

Other Contenders - Carson Daly "The Voice", Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg "Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party", Cat Deeley "So You Think You Can Dance?", Phil Keoghan "The Amazing Race", Jeff Probst "Survivor", Guy Fieri "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives"

Commentary - Ryan Seacrest and Jane Lynch are out, so that leaves two slots available. Carson Daly has yet to make it in despite The Voice winning the competition category several years in a row (another proof that host and program are viewed separately), and the others have either not proven themselves, or are simply been there done that. I think that two Emmy favorites, Alec Baldwin and Anthony Anderson, will ride into those slots based on their personal popularity alone, and the huge year they both have had.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Variety Series - Talk and Sketch

Best Variety Series - Talk
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Late Late Show with James Corden
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Other Contenders - Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Chelsea, Conan, Talking wih Chris Hardwick, Watch What Happens Live

Commentary - This race is bound to be shaken up by the new political landscape. For example, I think the ballsy liberal coverage by the great Samantha Bee, and the revival of Stephen Colbert this season will pull them into this race. Fluff like Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will probably be knocked out. The question is how far does this political thing go? Does Bill Maher overcome his recent n-word controversy and rejoin the race? Does The Daily Show, which has started to find its footing under Trevor Noah. But that means one of the "fun" shows gets knocked off. Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden seem safe, but Jimmy Fallon has had a rough year. Not only has his show been lost in the political fray for being apolitical, but that disastrous Trump interview during the campaign might be his death knell. I still think he gets in, because the voters here are usually afraid of anything new. But don't be surprised if the shakeup is bigger than we all thought.

Best Variety Series - Sketch
Documenary Now
Drunk History
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman's Show

Other Contenders - Billy on the Street, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Maya and Marty, The President Show, Comedy Bang Bang

Commentary - Only a few years after its inception, this category might be on its way out the door. It is stunningly weak without Inside Amy Schumer and Key and Peele. This finally means that probably Saturday Night Live will win this category. With most likely only five nominees, this leaves one slot (Amy Schumer or Key and Peele slot), and I think that Emmy vet Tracey Ullman will join last year's list.

2017 Television Critics Association Nominations

Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us,” NBC
Carrie Coon, “The Leftovers” & “Fargo,” HBO & FX
Claire Foy, “The Crown,” Netflix
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies,” HBO
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette And Joan,” FX
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette And Joan,” FX

Pamela Adlon, “Better Things,” FX
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None,” Netflix
Kristen Bell, “The Good Place,” NBC
Donald Glover, “Atlanta,” FX
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO
Issa Rae, “Insecure,” HBO
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag,” Amazon

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” TBS
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” HBO
“The Lead With Jake Tapper,” CNN
“O.J.: Made in America,” ESPN
“Planet Earth II,” BBC America
“Weiner,” Showtime

“The Circus,” Showtime
“The Great British Baking Show,” PBS
“The Keepers,” Netflix
“Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” A&E
“Shark Tank,” ABC
“Survivor: Game Changers,” CBS

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” PBS
“Doc McStuffins,” Disney Junior
“Elena of Avalor,” Disney Channel
“Odd Squad,” PBS
“Sesame Street,” HBO
“Speechless,” ABC

“Atlanta,” FX
“The Crown,” Netflix
“The Good Place,” NBC
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu
“Stranger Things,” Netflix
“This Is Us,” NBC

“Big Little Lies,” HBO
“Fargo,” FX
“Feud: Bette and Joan,” FX
“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” Netflix
“The Night Of,” HBO
“Wizard of Lies,” HBO

“Better Call Saul,” AMC
“Stranger Things,” Netflix
“The Americans,” FX
“The Crown,” Netflix
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu
“This Is Us,” NBC

“Atlanta,” FX
“black-ish,” ABC
“Fleabag,” Amazon
“Master of None,” Netflix
“The Good Place,” NBC
“Veep,” HBO

“Atlanta,” FX
“Big Little Lies,” HBO
“Stranger Things,” Netflix
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu
“The Leftovers,” HBO
“This Is Us,” NBC