2019 Emmy Predictions, Part 2: Acting in a Limited Series

Today we’re on to acting in a limited series/TV movie, and this limited series category really is the best of the nominations this year. So many great shows were nominated here, it completely dwarfs the top comedy/drama races for a change. 

ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE

Jharell Jerome should be the winner for his heartbreaking role in  When They See Us

Jharell Jerome should be the winner for his heartbreaking role in When They See Us

  • Mahershala Ali, True Detective

  • Benicio del Toro, Escape at Dannemora

  • Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal

  • Jared Harris, Chernobyl

  • Jharell Jerome, When They See Us

  • Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

Oh boy, right off the bat this is a tough one. I think this has to go to Jharell Jerome, based on the devastating impact of his episode of When They See Us, and we know a lot of voters did watch it, because it was showered with nominations, including many supporting actors. I think he deserves it and will get it, because I’m not totally sure that the show will prevail in the top series award. It’s in tight competition with Chernobyl, which is the big HBO prestige drama. But previous Mad Men nominee Jared Harris certainly has a shot for this, and I think Hugh Grant does too, for a very good performance in A Very English Scandal. I’m going with Jerome though.

Winner: Jharell Jerome

Alternate: Jared Harris

Dark Horse: Hugh Grant

ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE

I want Williams to win for this because she’s  so  great, but Patricia Arquette has a better than equal shot, to be honest

I want Williams to win for this because she’s so great, but Patricia Arquette has a better than equal shot, to be honest

  • Amy Adams, Sharp Objects

  • Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora

  • Aunjanue Ellis, When They See Us

  • Joey King, The Act

  • Niece Nash, When They See Us

  • Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

So, for this one, Patricia Arquette already won the Golden Globe and the SAG over Amy Adams (whose show was basically eclipsed by HBO’s other series Chernobyl), but Michelle Williams was SO amazing in Fosse/Verdon, and she came on strong in the spring, which was after those other awards shows. The TV academy did like Fosse/Verdon too, which got a lot of nominations in acting and for series. I think this could be the big thing it wins, but it’s a real close one, like coin-toss close (and I haven’t seen Escape at Dannemora, I admit). It’s definitely between those two, though.

Winner: Michelle Williams 

Alternate: Patricia Arquette

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE

I think Ben Whishaw stands apart from the rest for what’s really a co-lead role

I think Ben Whishaw stands apart from the rest for what’s really a co-lead role

  • Asante Black, When They See Us

  • Paul Dano, Escape at Dannemora

  • John Leguizamo, When They See Us

  • Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl

  • Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal

  • Michael K. Williams, When They See Us

Okay, here, I think Ben Whishsaw, who won the Golden Globe, will take it, simply because the three When They See Us actors may cancel each other out, and Skarsgard’s role in Chernobyl may not have been big enough. Especially compared to Whishaw, who was really a co-lead.

Winner: Ben Whishaw

Alternate: Stellan Skarsgard

Dark Horse: Michael K. Williams (if it’s anyone from When They See Us, it may be him, as he has a history of being unrewarded for other shows like Boardwalk Empire and The Wire and is familiar to voters in the industry).

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE

Patricia Clarkson’s delectable evil in  Sharp Objects  should get her the win here

Patricia Clarkson’s delectable evil in Sharp Objects should get her the win here

  • Patricia Arquette, The Act

  • Marsha Stephanie Blake, When They See Us

  • Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects

  • Vera Farmiga, When They See Us

  • Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon

  • Emily Watson, Chernobyl

There’s quite a few options here. Arquette could well win it if she’s not going to win in lead, and Emily Watson might end up being the winning acting performance for Chernobyl. Even Margaret Qualley (daughter of Andie MacDowell) was terrific on Fosse/Verdon. But I think Patricia Clarkson has the edge, for a similar reason as Ben Whishaw. Her role is bigger, meatier, and the villain of this group, which makes her stand out. Plus, Sharp Objects will likely not win anything else, I think this is its best chance to win something.

Winner: Patricia Clarkson

Alternate: Patricia Arquette

Dark Horse: Emily Watson