Best Directing in a TV Movie/Miniseries
Will Win - Lisa Cholodenko "Olive Kitteridge"
Could Win - Dee Rees "Bessie", Hugo Blick "The Honorable Woman", or Ryan Murphy "American Horror Story: Freak Show - Monsters Among Us"
Should Win - Lisa Cholodenko "Olive Kitteridge"
Commentary - There are a lot of quality projects here. Ryan Murphy brings the scares with Freak Show, Dee Rees illuminates jaw-dropping performances, and Hugo Blick brings tension and mystique to The Honorable Woman. And we have seen in recent years, both the writers and the directors are not afraid to go their own way, so don't discount an upset from one of those three talents. But I think this is going to be an Olive Kitteridge kind of year. It will probably win the top prize, McDormand (although that is a tough category), and both writing and directing. It is just beloved by critics, did really well with nominations, and is just a beloved miniseries, with HBO on its side, and a Critics Choice Award under its belt. Plus, it was not easy to adapt, with its varying characters and time periods. It takes a lot of skill to make all of those parts cohere into a wonderful whole. And Oscar-nominee Lisa Cholodenko did so beautifully. I think she wins an Emmy as a reward.
Best Writing in a TV Movie/Miniseries
Will Win - Jane Anderson "Olive Kitteridge"
Could Win - John Ridley "American Crime - Episode One", Peter Straughan "Wolf Hall", Hugo Blick "The Honorable Woman", Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois, and Horton Foote "Bessie"
Should Win - Jane Anderson "Olive Kitteridge"
Commentary - Remember how I told you that Olive Kitteridge was a hard novel to adapt? Jane Anderson's beautiful balance of comedy, drama, and romance in Olive Kitteridge was masterful, and, in my humble opinion, none of these other scripts come even close. That being said, do not discount a surprise from the group that gave The Hour a writing Emmy without much support anywhere else. The two British entries are worth a look, Wolf Hall, especially with Oscar-nominee Peter Straughn behind the pen, and The Honorable Woman. Bessie is probably going to win Best TV Movie, and so it is in play for both of these categories. And then there is the real spoiler, recent Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley brought the masterful American Crime to life. The film might not be able to win the big award, but this could be a well-deserved consolation prize.