Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

This week, we here at TVRage are sharing our predictions for this year's 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, which air Sunday, September 23 on ABC. For the full list of predictions we've made so far (along with some other Emmy-related news stories), click here. Today, we're taking a look at the category of Best Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie. Without any further ado, here are the nominees: 

  • Kevin Costner as William "Devil Anse" Hatfield in Hatfields & McCoys (History)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia(PBS)
  • Idris Elba as Det. John Luther in Luther (BBC America)
  • Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt in Game Change (HBO)
  • Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway in Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO)
  • Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy in Hatfields & McCoys (History)

This category is made interesting primarily from the presence of both Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton from History Channel's western miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. While both veteran actors delivered undeniably great performances (especially for such a mediocre series), neither really overshadowed the other, raising the question of whether or not they'll split the vote. If there was only one nominated, they'd be the favorites to win, but with both, I don't know if they've got a shot. 

Any HBO lead also always has a good chance of winning, but the buzz really just isn't there for Clive Owen's performance as writer Ernest Hemingway in HBO's TV movie Hemingway & Gellhorn. And it seems like most of the HBO vote will be going to Woody Harrelson, anyway, who starred in HBO's much more talked-about TV movie Game Change (and was pretty darn good in it). Consider Harrelson the front runner here. 

If we're talking about who should win, though, British nominees Idris Elba and Benedict Cumberbatch are extremely deserving. Elba, formerly of The Wire and also of this summer's Prometheus, delivers what is undoubtedly his best performance with the BBC series Luther. Given that he's the only actor in the category to have been nominated for the award twice (apparently Luther and Luther 2 are counted as separate miniseries), he might have a shot, though it seems unlikely. He's extremely deserving, though; just watch Luther and tell me you aren't blown away by Elba's performance as the broken DCI John Luther, striving for redemption and death at the same time. 

Benedict Cumberbatch is Harrelson's real competition, though. Though for some unimaginable reason the actor was not nominated last year for his role as Sherlock Holmes in BBC's Sherlock, Cumberbatch is simply magnetic as the fast-talking, antisocial detective, and the episode for which he's nominated, "A Scandal in Belgravia," shows the character at his best -- mystified by a woman. By all means, Cumberbatch deserves to win, but given that a British series lead hasn't nabbed the award in over ten years, it might be a long shot. 

WHO SHOULD WIN: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock

WHO WILL WIN: Woody Harrelson, Game Change

What do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Let me know in the comments section below, and keep tuning back into TVRage this week for more Emmys predictions.

- Benedict Cumberbatch
- The Emmy Awards

Written by: mcpherson
Sep 19th, 2012, 9:07 pm

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