Acting Slots Clearer for ‘People v. O.J. Simpson’

People v. O.J. Simpson

After months of speculation, the acting categories are becoming clearer for People v. O.J. Simpson

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg reports today that FX and others have reached some tough decisions with respect to 2016 Emmy acting category placements for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Heading into Wednesday night’s season finale, the critically and publicly acclaimed limited series has maintained significant awards buzz since debuting in early February.

Given the huge and hugely talented cast, awards pundits were wondering which actors would be promoted into Lead categories and which would be relegated to the Supporting races. AwardsDaily TV’s own Jalal Haddad took a stab at predicting the ultimate Emmy haul for the series after its premiere episode.

Now, according to Feinberg, only Cuba Gooding, Jr., in the title role of O.J. Simpson and Courtney B. Vance in the pivotal role of Johnnie Cochran will compete in the Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie category. Sarah Paulson, whose legendary take on lead prosecutor Marcia Clark has already won raves, will naturally be promoted in the Lead Actress category.

Everybody else goes supporting. That leaves a potential bloodbath for acting slots at the 2016 Emmys. It could even greatly impact director/producer Ryan Murphy’s own American Horror Story: Hotel. Previous entries in the series have received multiple nomination in the supporting races.

But such high profile performances as John Travolta’s Robert Shaprio, David Schwimmer’s Robert Kardashian, and Sterling K. Brown’s brilliant take on Christopher Darden will be tough to beat for acting nominations. That’s not even including Nathan Lane, Evan Handler, Rob Morrow, Robert Morse, Steven Pasquale, Kenneth Choi, or Bruce Greenwood. The supporting actress category seemed more fertile for The People v. O.J. Simpson at the start with Connie Britton and Selma Blair making strong initial impressions. Their characters, however, haven’t had a great deal of subsequent screen time, making the pitch for Emmy nominations difficult.

Feinberg closes with some stats around Emmy nomination records The People v. O.J. Simpson have in its way. Roots holds the record for most Emmy nominations in the miniseries category with 37 bids. The most wins is currently held by John Adams with 13 wins. American Crime Story is much more likely to beat the John Adams record than the Roots record, although anything is possible.

Going into Wednesday night’s finale, it’s clear that all Ryan Murphy and director Anthony Hemingway need to do is stick the landing in a great way. If things go as well as they have been, then it will be difficult for Emmy voters to ignore.

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