Los Angeles Times - - THE ENVELOPE - Glenn. whipp@ latimes. com

We’re as­sum­ing that your DVR, like ours, con­tains enough tele­vi­sion to last you through the sec­ond term of the next ( pick one) Clin­ton/ Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion. And more tele­vi­sion equals more Em­mys. Last year, thanks to in­creased pro­gram­ming and new plat­forms, the Tele­vi­sion Academy re­stored TV movies and minis­eries ( now called lim­ited se­ries) to their own sep­a­rate Emmy cat­e­gories. Now, for the first time, va­ri­ety se­ries has been di­vided be­tween talk and sketch shows. Who wins in this ever- widen­ing land­scape? Let’s look ...


“Olive Kit­teridge” “Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story: Freak Show” “The Hon­or­able Woman” “Wolf Hall” “Amer­i­can Crime”

Prime con­tenders: “The Miss­ing,” “Texas


Bub­bling un­der: “Hou­dini,” “24: Live Another Day,” “The Book of Ne­groes,” “Sons of Lib­erty”

Anal­y­sis: Slam- dunk fa­vorite “Fargo” took the Emmy in 2014, but this year the cat­e­gory is wide open, with a con­sen­sus un­likely to form be­hind any one of the con­tenders. HBO and PBS have dom­i­nated this arena for years, mak­ing “Olive Kit­teridge” and “Wolf Hall” early fa­vorites. ABC’s “Amer­i­can Crime” could have a chance, though, for the provoca­tive and nu­anced way it’s ex­am­ined race re­la­tions. The net­work has re­newed the crit­i­cally ac­claimed se­ries de­spite low rat­ings, and we’d like to think that kind of faith de­serves a re­ward.


“Bessie” “Nightin­gale” “Derek — the Fi­nal Chap­ter” “Killing Je­sus” “A Poet in New York”

Prime con­tenders: “Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Cur­tain, Poirot’s Last Case,” “Wor­ricker: Salt­ing the Bat­tle­field,” “Whit­ney”

Bub­bling un­der: “Foyle’s War: Elise, The Fi­nal Mys­tery,” “Stock­holm, Penn­syl­va­nia”

Anal­y­sis: This year’s “Derek” one- off spe­cial moves Ricky Ger­vais’ show from the com­edy se­ries cat­e­gory to TV movie. Ger­vais won an act­ing nod last year, and even though vot­ers pre­fer se­ri­ous fare here, there might be room for at least one en­try that doesn’t in­volve kid­nap­ping, do­mes­tic strife or cru­ci­fix­ion. Once the nom­i­na­tions are in, look for one of the HBO en­tries — the Bessie Smith biopic or “Nightin­gale,” David Oyelowo’s mes­mer­iz­ing show­case — to pre­vail. Nei­ther quite ranks with the net­work’s best, but HBO owns this cat­e­gory.


David Oyelowo, “Nightin­gale” Richard Jenk­ins, “Olive Kit­teridge” Mark Ry­lance, “Wolf Hall” Bill Pax­ton, “Texas Ris­ing” Adrien Brody, “Hou­dini” Ricky Ger­vais, “Derek — the Fi­nal Chap­ter”

Prime con­tenders: Ti­mothy Hut­ton, “Amer­i­can Crime”; James Nes­bitt, “The Miss­ing”; David Suchet, “Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Cur­tain, Poirot’s Last Case”; Kiefer Suther­land, “24: Live Another Day”

Bub­bling un­der: Evan Peters, “Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story: Freak Show”; Nathan Lane, “The Nance”; Bill Nighy, “Wor­ricker: Salt­ing the Bat­tle­field”; Jason Isaacs, “Dig”

Anal­y­sis: It’s hard to fig­ure how big History’s “Texas Ris­ing” will score. Ev­ery­one un­der­es­ti­mated the net­work’s “Hat­field & McCoys” three years ago and it landed 16 Emmy nom­i­na­tions. But crit­ics weren’t kind to “Texas,” and view­ers didn’t par­tic­u­larly warm to it, ei­ther. That could be bad news for Pax­ton in a cat­e­gory with no short­age of in­ter­est­ing con­tenders, among them Nes­bitt’s des­per­ate fa­ther on Starz’s “The Miss­ing.”


Queen Lat­i­fah, “Bessie” Frances McDor­mand, “Olive Kit­teridge” Mag­gie Gyl­len­haal, “The Hon­or­able Woman” Jes­sica Lange: “Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story: Freak Show” Felic­ity Huffman, “Amer­i­can Crime” Frances O’Con­nor, “The Miss­ing”

Prime con­tenders: Aun­janue El­lis, “The Book of Ne­groes”; Anna Gunn, “Gra­ce­point”

Bub­bling un­der: He­lena Bon­ham Carter, “Wor­ricker: Salt­ing the Bat­tle­field”; Saoirse Ro­nan, “Stock­holm, Penn­syl­va­nia”; Yaya DaCosta, “Whit­ney”

Anal­y­sis: Gyl­len­haal won the Golden Globe for this cat­e­gory ear­lier this year, though “Bessie” hadn’t yet been broad- cast. Queen Lat­i­fah’s gutsy turn as the inf lu­en­tial blues singer stands as the Emmy fa­vorite, with Gyl­len­haal and the al­ways for­mi­da­ble McDor­mand sure to garner plenty of votes too.


“The Col­bert Re­port” “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” “The Tonight Show Star­ring Jimmy Fal­lon” “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” “Jimmy Kim­mel Live!” “Late Show With David Let­ter­man”

Prime con­tenders: “Real Time With Bill


Bub­bling un­der: “Co­nan,” “Late Night With Seth Mey­ers,” “The Late Late Show With James Cor­den,” “The Nightly Show With Larry Wil­more”

Anal­y­sis: When it was just one, all- en­com­pass­ing award, the va­ri­ety show Emmy field would con­sist of five talk shows and “Satur­day Night Live.” And then “The Daily Show” would win ... un­til “Col­bert” broke that 10- year streak in 2013, and now it has won two years run­ning. Oliver’s bril­liant news satire should join the field in its first year of el­i­gi­bil­ity. The real ques­tion: Will Let­ter­man be among the nom­i­nees in his last?


“In­side Amy Schumer” “Satur­day Night Live” “Port­landia” “Key and Peele” “Com­edy Bang Bang” “@ Mid­night”

Prime con­tenders: “The Soup,” “Drunk History,” “Kroll Show”

Bub­bling un­der: “Tosh. 0”

Anal­y­sis: “Satur­day Night Live” is the brand name, but this wasn’t one of its bet­ter sea­sons. With its long Emmy history, “SNL” will still be nom­i­nated, but the academy should go in a fresher di­rec­tion when choos­ing the Emmy win­ner. Schumer’s show dom­i­nated the cul­tural con­ver­sa­tion this spring, with each new episode de­liv­er­ing per­fectly honed, bit­ing so­cial com­men­tary. There wasn’t a bet­ter halfhour of tele­vi­sion this year than Schumer’s spot- on “12 An­gry Men” re- cre­ation, which sent up misog­yny in all of its id­iocy and made you want to watch the Sid­ney Lumet film again. That’s a pretty neat trick.

Jojo Whilden HBO

WATCH OUT for the al­ways for­mi­da­ble Frances McDor­mand and her HBO lim­ited se­ries “Olive Kit­teridge.”

Com­edy Cen­tral

THE SPOT- ON “12 An­gry Men” re- cre­ation on the co­me­dian’s “In­side Amy Schumer,” with Dennis Quaid, marks the best half- hour on tele­vi­sion this year.

Jules Heath Starz

JAMES NES­BITT’S des­per­ate fa­ther on the van­ished- child drama “The Miss­ing,” which ran on Starz, should spark plenty of at­ten­tion from Emmy vot­ers.

Jeffrey R. Staab CBS

DAVID LET­TER­MAN’S gone, but hope­fully not for­got­ten by academy.

Joseph Cul­tice HBO

“NIGHTIN­GALE” is a mes­mer­iz­ing show­case of David Oyelowo’s tal­ents.

Frank Masi HBO

QUEEN LAT­I­FAH is among the Emmy faves with her gutsy “Bessie.”

Eric Liebowitz HBO

JOHN OLIVER’S bril­liant “Last Week Tonight” should make the cut.

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