2023 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Television Movie

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We will update this article throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2023 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting takes place from June 15 to June 26, with the official Emmy nominations announced Wednesday, July 12. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be presented over two consecutive nights on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10, with an edited presentation of the ceremonies to be broadcast on FXX at a later date. Finally, the 75th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards take place on Monday, September 18, and air live on FOX at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

See our previous thoughts on what to expect at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards here.

The State of the Race

Underestimate Dolly Parton at one’s own peril, but really, how many general TV viewers knew the country superstar made another Christmas movie so shortly after winning the Outstanding Television Movie Emmy for Netflix’s “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” in 2021? Though the answer actually is six million according to the NBC broadcast’s ratings, it still did not have the global audience the aforementioned 2021 project had by being on the Netflix platform.

Meghann Fahy and Aubrey Plaza in The White Lotus

The Diplomat. Keri Russell as Kate Wyler in episode 104 of The Diplomat. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

This year’s winner is more likely to come from a streaming service, with Roku Channel’s “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” being the frontrunner after wins at the Critics Choice Awards and Producers Guild of America Awards. The music biopic parody happened to be nominated against “Prey,” “Fire Island,” and “Hocus Pocus 2” at the latter ceremony, making the PGA Awards a good bellwether for this evolving category.

What its fellow nominees have that “Weird” does not is more of an established history with the Emmys. Disney+ just won this award last year (against another Roku Channel film no less), and Hulu has won major, even more competitive categories like Outstanding Drama Series before. It is an achievement that Roku Channel has gotten this far with the TV Academy with so little original programming, but its competitors certainly know how to run an awards campaign to overshadow “Weird” in the final stretch.

Looking at the rest of the Limited or Anthology Series or Movie categories, “Prey” actually got more significant recognition, getting nods for its writing and directing, so the “Predator” prequel could definitely catch a second wind. “Fire Island” also got nominated in more categories than just this one, so the queer romcom is quite a contender. If anything, after years of blurry definitions for what films qualify for this award, it is nice to see the category bounce back in a way that makes these projects feel like must-sees for even the TV Academy members that don’t care as much about catching every single Emmy-nominated program.

Power Rankings:

  1. “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (Roku Channel)
  2. “Prey” (Hulu)
  3. “Fire Island” (Hulu)
  4. “Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas” (NBC)
  5. “Hocus Pocus 2” (Disney+)

Will Win: “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”
Could Win:
“Prey”
Should Win:
“Fire Island”

More Limited Series and TV Movie Category Predictions:
Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie

To see IndieWire’s full set of predictions for the 75th Emmy Awards click here.

Last Year’s Winner: “Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: Disney+ is looking to score its second win in a row with several different contenders to choose from.
Notable Ineligible Films: “Flamin’ Hot” (the film will not premiere in time to be eligible)

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