Challenge Accepted: HBO’s TRUE DETECTIVE Will Compete in Drama Series Category at the Emmys

     March 25, 2014


Well this certainly makes things interesting.  HBO’s stellar True Detective is an anthology series, with each season telling a standalone story with different characters and a different cast, but it appears that the network is feeling rather bullish and will be submitting True Detective in the highly competitive Drama Series category at the upcoming Emmy Awards.  Many assumed HBO would be submitting True Detective as a Miniseries, where it would no doubt clean up with awards for the show as a whole, director Cary Fukunaga, writer/creator Nic Pizzolato, and actors Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

However, with this interesting turn of events, True Detective will now square off directly with Breaking Bad’s final season in the fiercely competitive drama series field.  Hit the jump for more.

true-detective-woody-harrelson-matthew-mcconaugheyNews of HBO’s submission decision for True Detective comes courtesy of THR.  Though the pay cable network has had much success in the Miniseries/Made for TV Movie category over the past few years, wildly positive response to True Detective has given them a very serious contender to win the big trophy.  Of course, the network’s other popular show Game of Thrones has been nominated thrice before for Best Drama Series, but unless season four is jaw-droppingly, out-of-this-world good, voters remain unlikely to award the genre series.  On the flipside, True Detective is just the kind of show that Emmy voters are drawn to, and could result in HBO’s first Best Drama Series win since The Sopranos took the trophy in 2007.

Not only does this mean that True Detective will face the excellent final season of Breaking Bad in the Best Drama Series category, but McConaughey (fresh off an Oscar win) and Harrelson face stiff competition in the acting categories as well.  One imagines the network will maximize its potential by submitting McConaughey for Best Actor and Harrelson for Best Supporting Actor, but again, the two will be competing opposite the final performances from Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, respectively, not to mention House of CardsKevin Spacey and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.  Speaking of which, Mad Men kicks off the first half of its final season next month, which will be the batch of episodes competing alongside the first season of True Detective.

Submitting True Detective in the Miniseries category would have been an easy win, but you have to admire the boldness of HBO in going for the real win by positioning Nic Pizzolato’s dramatic thriller in the Big Leagues.  This should make for a very interesting Emmy season.

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on August 25th on NBC.


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  • Scullibundo

    The Big Mac will deserve to win for TD, but will lose due to the politics of Breaking Bad not having another shot after this and giving Cranston his ‘owed’ Emmy.

    • 80sRobot

      I wouldn’t be so certain. Cranston has already won for BB. In fact, I would say his first win for season 1 was very well-deserved, since the launch season was an impressive performance for him. After that season, maybe not as much.

    • J Wilson

      Agreed. But McConaughey and Harrelson are both amazing – and deserving of the nod.

    • Person

      The only reason McConaughey might not win is if he and Harrelson are both nominated, which may split the votes so neither of them gets the majority.

    • Someone

      Cranston has won for “BB” three times already and that’s enough. :) If they want to give someone his “owed” Emmy it should be Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) who hasn’t won before and he will have his chances only this and next year (for final season of the series split into two parts).

  • Marissa Evans

    I find myself wishing they had put it under miniseries. I feel bad having to choose between Breaking Bad and True Detective now. Whereas there’s absolutely no competition in the miniseries category.

    • Person

      It’s not technically a mini-series though, right? if a program called True Detective returns season after season, regardless of if the characters and story are different each time, doesn’t that constitute a series? I don’t keep up with Emmy stuff so the technicalities escape me.

      • Matt

        Tell that to American Horror Story

      • LL

        It’s an anthology series. Different plots, characters, settings with minimal episodes?.. the only thing the same is the name and genre. So it qualifies as a mini series.

  • Armando

    As Great as true Detective is, Breaking Bad was the better show, I hope it wins, but if True Detective Pulls a win it would still be awesome

    • 97point6

      Going out on a limb for this but for me it’s a draw at this point on what was the better show, TD or BBs last season. As for the better performance, I’d give McConaughey the nod.

    • Strong Enough

      you can’t compare 5 seasons of BB to one season eight episode of TD

      • Someone

        Actually – you should compare only 8 episodes of “TD” and last 8 episodes of “BB” (the only episodes eligible this year for Emmy consideration).

  • Stefan Bonomo

    This will probably be the hardest year to choose a winner. Especially since it’s really hard to decide between True Detective and Breaking Bad. One is 8 episodes of truly magnificent storytelling all playing out like an 8-hour film, complete with conclusion, while the other is the final 8 episodes in a 5 season long magnificent story. This is like picking which child you like better.

    I think that Breaking Bad has the upper hand, considering that it IS the finale, True Detective will have more, just not with these characters, also because I think BB’s ending was better recieved than TD. THAT SAID, I think McConaghuey will take the acting award away from Cranston, just because of how damn good his performance is. And considering Cranston already has some awards, I have a feeling that may take it.

  • LL

    All deserving parties could have gotten recognition if one hadn’t tried to be a big shot.

  • TToughnuts

    Breaking Bad wins this fight…it was perfect in every way. Those last eight episodes are the most dread-filled amazing minutes of television I have ever watched. That being said True Detective’s has its merits as well and probably should win any other year…just not this one..

    • -

      “it was perfect in every way”
      lol, no it wasn’t. Ozymandias was a perfect episode of TV, but people are hyperbolic af about the season in general, it wasn’t perfect by any stretch.

      • Someone

        “BB” is overrated. It’s not like it’s better show than “The Sopranos”, “Mad Men”, “The Wire”, “Game of Thrones” or… (yes!) “True Detective” so it’s not the “best show in television history”. It won once and it doesn’t have to win second time. :P

  • cruzzercruz

    I prefer True Detective to Breaking Bad. I really enjoyed the show and it was incredibly well made, but I never road the wave of omgbestshowevar.

  • Royale With Cheese

    Many a man have tried to take down Walter White and never lived to tell the tale….

    • Someone

      “BB” has lost few times before: to “Mad Men” and “Homeland”. :) And it already won last year – for its last season (yeah, its first part but still) – so that’s enough. :P

      • Royale With Cheese

        NOOOOOOO!!! Don’t bring me down with facts!!!

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  • jay

    dick move by HBO they should have gone to the miniseries categories and cleaned up. i think they did this on purpose to steal BB’s thunder. I loved TD but i hate this decision.

    • 97point6

      And if Breaking Bad never existed, HBO should still submit TD under mini-series category?

      It’s their show, I say kudos to them for having faith in their product. If they HAD dropped TD into mini-series category they would have been criticized for not having the balls to take on BB.

    • -

      what 97point6 said, that’s a really dumb criticism

    • Someone

      They win “miniseries” category very often and they won “best drama” only twice (and that’s ridiculous – it’s HBO, they made such great series as “Six Feet Under”, “The Wire”, “Deadwood”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “Game of Thrones” etc. but have won only twice, for “The Sopranos”) so they fight for something that is more interesting for them. And in the same time more prestigious. And their courage is something that should be admired.

  • -

    Damn. I for sure think it deserves the Best Drama win over BB’s last season, and think McConaughey gave a better overall performance. If we’re going by individual episodes I dunno if he’d be able to top Cranston in Ozymandias.
    BB will probably get them.
    (although we’re assuming that it’ll just between those two, GoT could factor in. Most people who’ve read the books seem to think it’ll be the best season of the show. I’m assuming Mad Men won’t factor in even if it deserved to because it already has 4 wins)

  • Andrey Rebolledo

    Breaking Bad gonna beat up the ass of “true detective”… That show was nothing but smoke and mirrors… It ended up being as anything I’ve seen before… You have two detectives in a fight scene with a killer hillbilly in which they were seriously injured and survive to tell the story… No way Bryan Cranston was magnificent as Walter White… And the BB was an absolute delight from beginning to end.

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