The Outstanding Limited Series Emmy category has had quite a history. Before entering the Primetime Emmy Awards winners, some information about the category might be useful. In 1973, the category as we know it today began as Outstanding Drama/Comedy – Limited Series. A year later, it was renamed Outstanding Limited Series, then Outstanding Miniseries in 1986. In 1991, the number of miniseries declined, resulting in the category being combined to form Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special and Miniseries. In 2011, the number of miniseries dwindled further and merged to form the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie. It remained that way until 2014, when the miniseries gained popularity through the FX anthology series, american horror story.
Since 2015, the category as we know it today, Outstanding Limited Series, requires the series to have at least two episodes, and if it was a regular series, it could not have more than five episodes. . Essentially, the run time should be at least 150 minutes. This change allowed for more short-lived cable television programs, such as the popular Downton Abbeyto compete, though most of the miniseries that have won the award have come from streaming services, especially HBO.
Over the years, the miniseries format has certainly become a popular format for television storytelling. With the number of submissions increasing every year, we look forward to the next stage of the category. Let’s take a look at the 2010 submissions of each Outstanding Limited Series Emmy winner, ranked.
9 game changing
game changing is a made-for-TV film about Governor Sarah Palin becoming Senator John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election. The film was released in 2012 and starred Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Ed Harris in the role of John McCain and Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt, the man whose idea it was for McCain to get Palin on his team. The film aired on HBO and was based on the bestselling novel Game Changer: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. game changing won five Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie.
8 behind the candelabra
In 2013, HBO released another Emmy-winning made-for-TV movie titled behind the candelabra. The film centers on two lovers, megastar Liberace, played by Michael Douglas, and her young lover, Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon. During their six-year romance, the film chronicles how the two began and ended with Scott seeking legal help after being thrown into the streets to make way for Liberace’s new lover. It was said that the film was originally intended for theatrical release, but was released via HBO, by IndieWire, after no major Hollywood studio picked up the script, which was based on the real-life Liberace. . Hollywood clearly missed the mark as the film ended up winning 11 Emmys.
seven Downton Abbey (Season 1)
The first season of the ever-popular Downton Abbey franchise explored the lives of the Crawley family and their staff. The first season’s timeline spans two years, from the day after the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April 1912 to the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. In the first season alone, the show addressed serious issues such as sex before marriage. in the 1900s, queerness and class and gender norms. The first season earned six of its 11 Emmy nominations in 2011. After the announcement of the second season, the show was no longer eligible to remain in the limited series category as the second season officially transformed the broadcast into a drama series.
6 Olive Kitteridge
Olive Kitteridge was a four-episode miniseries that aired on HBO in 2014. It followed the story of Olive and Henry Kitteridge, played by Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins respectively, during their 25-year marriage. The show, which looks like a typical love story, received a lot of praise for the unconventional love the two shared. Olive and Henry couldn’t be more opposites. Her misanthropic and strict behavior dominates the calm and generous personality of her husband. Their son resents his mother and calls his father a victim of his mother’s harshness. From acting to screenplay, this miniseries deservedly won eight Emmys.
5 The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
In 2018, American crime history have published their take on the infamous murder of designer Gianni Versace. Told over nine episodes, the miniseries followed the life of killer Andrew Cunanan, his relationships with other men including Gianni Versace and, of course, the events leading up to the murder of the beloved designer. As the episodes progress, viewers can see Andrew slowly unraveling from a man with everything to a man on the run. The Assassination of Gianni Versace earned eight of its 17 Emmy nominations.
4 Big Little Lies (Season 1)
big little lies was arguably one of the most talked about shows of 2017. The show was based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty and follows the story of a group of mothers and a murder. Backed by a stellar cast of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz as mothers, the show won eight Emmys. The show ended up getting a second season, which transformed it from a miniseries or limited series to a full drama series.
3 Fargo (Season 1)
2014 brought viewers a TV version of the beloved 1996 film of the same name. The first season of Fargo aired on FX in 2014 and was recently renewed for a fifth season earlier this year. The first season of the hit show ran from January 2006 to February 2007 and followed hitman Lorne Malvo, played by Billy Bob Thorton, and mild-mannered Minnesota insurance salesman, Lester Nygaard, played by Martin Freeman. Lorne pushes Lester to team up. Meanwhile, officers investigate a series of murders and crimes related to the two, which brings them back to Fargo, North Dakota. The show won three Emmy Awards for its first season.
2 The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
As perhaps one of the most famous trials, the first anthology of American crime history covers the trial of The People vs. OJ Simpson. The show, which aired on FX in 2016, stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as OJ Simpson, Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro and Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, although this is only a handful of stars of the series. The series covers the time of the murder and spans the entire trial, with the trial being the main focus. The season won nine Emmys.
Accustomed to hit miniseries, HBO released another Emmy-winning show in 2019 titled Chernobyl, which covered the true events of the April 1986 nuclear explosion at the Chernobyl power plant. Starring Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgärd as two lead actors, the five-episode limited series won a staggering ten Emmys and maintained a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.