Emmy Predictions: Directing (Limited Series or TV Movie) – Is ‘Pam & Tommy’s’ Talking Penis the Winning Formula for Craig Gillespie?

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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

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UPDATED: June 22, 2022

2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy” submitted four episodes, which isn’t ideal. Still, the talking penis episode by Craig Gillespie (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas, who is submitted for outstanding character voice-over performance) could be enough to get him over the hump (no pun intended). Despite fantastic work on television series such as “United States of Tara,” Gillespie has never been nominated for an Emmy. So this could be his window to his first nom.

Assessing the rest of the field of contenders, two sure-fire bets for the directing race from a limited series or tv movie side of the Emmys during the final days of nomination voting – Mike White’s helming of the entirety of HBO’s “The White Lotus” and Danny Strong’s pivotal work on the last episode of Hulu’s “Dopesick.”

With 131 submissions, there will be six nominees (strange given there will only be five named for outstanding limited or anthology series and outstanding tv movie). Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll get at least one from each side, but the field is stacked with talented names and filmmakers.

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Taylor Sheridan’s one-two punch with Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone,” which he’ll be contending for a nom on the drama side, along with his work on Paramount+’s “1883,” could help him land at least one (or two) mentions on the morning.

HBO’s “Station Eleven” momentum has been picking up in the last few weeks, and I suspect there might be a surprise nom or two in the offing for the adaptation.

One of the lesser items to note is the likelihood that not many women nor directors of color are hotly in the mix. Brazilian Antonio Campos could squeak in for an episode of HBO’s “The Staircase” while his network counterpart Reinaldo Marcus Green could be in the discussion if enough voters gave time to “We Own the City.” For women, it looks as though Liz Hannah (“The Dropout”) and Courtney Hunt (“Under the Banner of Heaven”) are the best bets for representation in the lineup, with big names like Ava DuVernay (“Colin in Black and White”) also angling for a spot.

The past few years have given the likes of Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You”), Barry Jenkins (“The Underground Railroad”) and Jessica Yu (“Fosse/Verdon”), with a multitude of others. So hopefully, we don’t see a shutout.

More names in the mix, and more voting days ahead.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub.

The nomination round of voting runs from June 16 to June 27. The official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Tuesday, July 12.

The list of programs and potential nominees listed below is incomplete and is subject to change. The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: Scott Frank for “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

Dopesick — “The People vs. Purdue Pharma” – Episode 108 — Rick and Randy’s criminal investigation now threatens Richard Sackler’s empire, activists take action against Purdue, and Finnix tries to heal his beloved community that’s been ravaged by addiction. Writer Director Danny Strong, shown. (Photo by: Gene Page/Hulu) - Credit: Courtesy of Hulu
Dopesick — “The People vs. Purdue Pharma” – Episode 108 — Rick and Randy’s criminal investigation now threatens Richard Sackler’s empire, activists take action against Purdue, and Finnix tries to heal his beloved community that’s been ravaged by addiction. Writer Director Danny Strong, shown. (Photo by: Gene Page/Hulu) - Credit: Courtesy of Hulu

Courtesy of Hulu

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

RANK

SERIES

DIRECTOR(S)

EPISODE

NETWORK

1

“The White Lotus”

Mike White

Entire Series

HBO

2

“Dopesick”

Danny Strong

“The People vs. Purdue Pharma”

Hulu

3

“1883”

Taylor Sheridan

“1883”

Paramount+

4

“Station Eleven”

Jeremy Podeswa

“Unbroken Circle”

HBO

5

“The Staircase”

Antonio Campos

“911”

HBO

6

Pam and Tommy

Craig Gillespie

“I Love You, Tommy”

Hulu

NEXT IN LINE

7

“MAID”

John Wells

“Sky Blue”

Netflix

8

“The Dropout”

Michael Showalter

“Green Juice”

Hulu

9

“Under the Banner of Heaven”

Dustin Lance Black

“One Mighty and Strong”

FX

10

“The Girl from Plainville”

Liz Hannah

“Talking is Healing”

Hulu

OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

11

“Pistol”

Danny Boyle

Entire series

FX

12

“1883”

Ben Richardson

“This is Not Your Heaven”

Paramount+

13

“Under the Banner of Heaven”

Courtney Hunt

“Church and State”

FX

14

“Inventing Anna”

Tom Verica

“The Devil Wore Anna”

Netflix

15

“The Survivor”

Barry Levinson

Film

HBO

16

“We Own This City”

Reinaldo Marcus Green

Entire series

HBO

17

“Colin in Black and White”

Ava DuVernay

“Cornrows”

Netflix

18

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey”

Ramin Bahrani

“Reggie”

Apple TV+

19

“Lisey’s Story”

Pablo Larraín

Entire series

Apple TV+

20

“Station Eleven”

Hiro Murai

“Wheel of Fire”

HBO

ALSO IN CONTENTION

21

“WeCrashed”

John Requa, Glenn Ficarra

“This is Where It Begins”

Apple TV+

22

“The Fallout”

Megan Park

Film

HBO

23

“Women of the Movement”

Kasi Lemmons

“The Last Word”

ABC

24

“The Sky is Everywhere”

Josephine Decker

Film

Apple TV+

25

“Impeachment: American Crime Story”

Ryan Murphy

“Man Handled”

FX

26

“Gaslit”

Matt Ross

Entire series

Starz

27

“Midnight Mass”

Mike Flanagan

Entire series

Netflix

28

“Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers”

Akiva Schaffer

Film

Disney+

29

“Scenes from a Marriage”

Hagai Levi

“The Illiterates”

HBO

30

“Roar”

Quyen Tran

“The Woman Who Returned Her Husband”

Apple TV+

UNRANKED CONTENDERS

“1883”

Christina Alexandra Voros

“The Fangs of Freedom”

Paramount+

“A Holiday in Harlem”

Keith Powell

Film

Hallmark Channel

“A Very British Scandal”

Anne Sewitsky

Entire series

Amazon Prime Video

“Adventures in Christmasing”

Troy Scott

Film

VH1

“American Horror Stories: Double Feature”

Laura Belsey, John J. Gray

“Blue Moon”

FX

“American Horror Stories: Double Feature”

John Gray

“Gaslight”

FX

“American Horror Stories: Double Feature”

Tessa Blake

“Inside”

FX

“American Horror Stories: Double Feature”

Max Winkler

“Take Me to Your Leader”

FX

“American Horror Stories”

Sanaa Hamri

“Ba’al”

FX

“American Horror Stories”

Eduardo Sanchez

“Drive In”

FX

“American Horror Stories”

Manny Coto

“Feral”

FX

“American Horror Stories”

Liz Friedlander

“Game Over”

FX

“Anatomy of a Scandal”

SJ Clarkson

Entire series

Netflix

“Angela Black”

Craig Viveiros

Film

“Angelyne”

Lucky Tcherniak

“Gods and Fairies”

Peacock

“Annie Live!”

Lear deBessonet

Entire special

NBC

“Bingo Hell”

Gigi Saul Guerro

Film

Amazon Prime Video

“Birds of Paradise”

Sarah Adina Smith

Film

Amazon Prime Video

“Black as Night”

Maritte Lee Go

Film

Amazon Prime Video

“Book of Love”

Analeine Cal Y Mayor

Film

Amazon Prime Video

“Bottle Monster”

Marjorie DeHey

“Movie”

“Brand New Cherry Flavor”

Matt Sobel

“Tadpole Smoothie”

“Candy”

Michael Uppendahl

“Friday the 13th”

Hulu

“Candy”

Ben Semanoff

“Overkill”

Hulu

“Clickbait”

Ben Young

“The Sister”

“Come From Away”

Christopher Ashley

Film

Apple TV+

“Conversations with Friends”

Lenny Abrahamson

“Episode 5”

Hulu

“Crush”

Sammi Cohen

Film

Hulu

“DMZ”

Ernest Dickerson

“Home”

HBO

“Dr. Death”

Maggie Kiley

“Diplos”

Peacock

“Dr. Death”

So Yong Kim

“Occam’s Razor”

Peacock

“Dr. Death”

Jennifer Morrison

“An Occurrence at Randall Kirby’s Sink”

Peacock

“Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For”

Rhonda Baraka

Film

Lifetime

“Fistful of Vengeance”

Roel Reiné

Film

Netflix

“For You, Paige”

Emily Maltby, Maria Goulamhoussen

Film

TikTok

“Fresh”

Mimi Cave

Film

Hulu

“Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos”

Gail Harvey

Film

“Impeachment: American Crime Story”

Rachel Morrison

“Stand By Your Man”

FX

“Joe vs. Carole”

Justin Tipping

“Survival of the Fittest”

Peacock

“Jolt”

Tanya Wexler

Film

Amazon Prime Video

“Landscapers”

Will Sharpe

Entire series

HBO

“Love Life”

Sam Boyd

“Mia Hines”

HBO

“Madres”

Ryan Zaragoza

“Madres”

Amazon Prime Video

“Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail”

Steve Buscemi

“Over the Mountain”

“Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail”

David Blake McClure

“White Savior”

“Modern Love”

Andrew Rannells

“How Do You Remember Me?”

Amazon Prime Video

“Modern Love”

John Carney

“On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down”

Amazon Prime Video

“Modern Love”

Celine Held, Logan George

“Am I …? Maybe This Quiz Will Tell Me”

Amazon Prime Video

“Moon Knight”

Mohamed Diab

“Asylum”

Disney+

“Moon Knight”

Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

“The Tomb”

Disney+

“Pam and Tommy”

Lake Bell

“The Master Beta”

Hulu

“Pam and Tommy”

Hannah Fidell

“Pamela in Wonderland”

Hulu

“Pam and Tommy”

Gwyneth Horder-Payton

“Seattle”

Hulu

“Psych 3: This Is Gus”

Steve Franks

Film

Peacock

“Ray Donovan: The Movie”

David Hollander

Film

Showtime

“Reba McEntire’s Christmas in Tune”

Emily Moss Wilson

Film

“Reno 911!: The Hunt for QAnon”

Robert Ben Garant

Film

“Roar”

Liz Flahive

“The Woman Who Was Fed By a Duck”

Apple TV+

“Safe Room”

Boris Kodjoe

Film

“Station Eleven”

Helen Shaver

“Who’s There?”

HBO

“Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber”

Zetna Fuentes

“Same Last Name”

Showtime

“Swimming With Sharks”

Tucker Gates

“Chapter 4”

“Switched Before Birth”

Elisabeth Rohm

Film

“The Dropout”

Francesca Gregorini

“Iron Sisters”

Hulu

“The Essex Serpent”

Clio Barnard

Entire series

Apple TV+

“The First Lady”

Susanne Bier

Entire series

Showtime

“The Girl Before”

Lisa Brühlmann

Entire series

HBO

“The Girl from Plainville”

Daniel Minahan

“Blank Spaces”

Hulu

“The Hot Zone: Anthrax”

Daniel Percival

“RMR-1029”

National Geographic

“The Housewives of the North Pole”

Ron Oliver

Film

“The Kings of Napa”

Matthew A. Cherry

“Pilot”

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey”

Debbie Allen

“Robyn”

Apple TV+

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey”

Guillermo Navarro

“Nina”

Apple TV+

“The Manor”

Axelle Carolyn

Entire series

Amazon Prime Video

“The Nine Kittens of Christmas”

David Winning

Film

“The Offer”

Adam Arkin

“It’s Who We Are”

Paramount+

“The Offer”

Dexter Fletcher

“A Seat at the Table”

Paramount+

“The Premise”

Jake Schreier

“Butt Plug”

FX

“The Premise”

Darya Zhuk

“The Commenter”

FX

“The Premise”

B.J. Novak

“Moment of Silence”

FX

“The Pursuit of Love”

Emily Mortimer

Film

Amazon Prime Video

“The Shrink Next Door”

Jesse Peretz

“The Verdict”

Apple TV+

“The Thing About Pam”

Scott Winant

“She’s a Good Friend”

NBC

“The Thing About Pam”

Adam Kane

“She’s a Killer”

NBC

“The Valet”

Richard Wong

Film

“The Voyeurs”

Michael Mohan

Film

“The Waltons: Homecoming”

Lev L. Spiro

Film

The CW

“The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window”

Michael Mohan

Film

Netflix

“Time”

Lewis Arnold

Film

“True Story”

Stephen Williams

“Chapter 1: The King of Comedy”

Netflix

“Two Sentence Horror Stories”

Kailey Spear, Sam Spear

“Crush”

“Two Sentence Horror Stories”

Vera Miao

“Plant Life”

“Two Sentence Horror Stories”

Chase Joynt

“Toxic”

“Under the Banner of Heaven”

Thomas Schlamme

“Blood Atonement”

FX

“Under the Banner of Heaven”

Isabel Sandoval

“Revelation”

FX

“WeCrashed”

Tinge Krishnan

“Fortitude”

Apple TV+

“Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?”

Hugh Laurie

Film

“Women of the Movement”

Julie Dash

“Manhunt”

ABC

“Women of the Movement”

Gina Prince-Bythewood

“Mother and Son”

ABC

“Women of the Movement”

Tina Mabry

“Only Skin”

ABC

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas”

Richard Shepard

Film

The Roku Channel

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes - Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

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