'Watchmen' to Compete in Emmys' Limited Series Races

Good news for its future awards prospects; bad news for fans of the show.
Mark Hill/HBO

Watchmen's Emmy odds may be somewhat improved by the categories where HBO now hopes it will compete. 

Damon Lindelof's critically-acclaimed series, a loose riff on Alan Moore's 1986-87 comic book of the same name, was billed as a drama series when it premiered in October. But Lindelof's reluctance to commit to a second outing, and the recent Blu-Ray and DVD release labeling Watchmen as "Limited Series" are sticking for the moment. A HBO rep confirmed Friday afternoon that the Regina King vehicle will submit in the limited races during the upcoming 2020 Emmy season. 

The move, a reversal from how Watchmen was pitched for The Golden Globes and recent guild awards, should help bolster the buzzy (if niche) genre property. The limited series races take place on a decidedly smaller playing field, as opposed to drama  — Emmys' most crowded and competitive arena. 

HBO programming president Casey Bloys hinted at the possible switch to THR back in January. "We're talking about that," he said of the Emmy category question. "Originally, my hope was it would have been an ongoing series, but where Damon is thinking about it, I think maybe it's more like a Fargo, where it comes back completely different."

There's been no concrete update on what might happen with Watchmen down the line, though Lindelof has spoken somewhat adamantly that the story he told over the original nine-episode run is done.

On top of the formidable FYC machine behind all HBO projects, Watchmen heads into the 2020 Emmy race with some auspicious credentials. Lindelof and Carlton Cuse's Lost won the best drama race in 2005, one of the last broadcast series to take the prize, and King is an awards favorite. The 2019 Oscar winner for If Beale Street Could Talk, King has also taken three acting Emmys over the last five years — each one in the limited race.