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This Emmy season was stuffed with true-crime sagas, largely among the limited/anthology series. With that category’s top prize restricted to just five nominees, four of the series noms went to titles that examined high-profile crimes: Hulu’s Dopesick, The Dropout and Pam & Tommy, plus Netflix’s Inventing Anna.
While fraud is at the center of each of these series, the more traditional “true-crime” shows — with murders driving the narratives — were less popular with TV Academy voters. HBO’s The Staircase, about the infamous case in which crime novelist Michael Peterson’s wife was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their North Carolina home, earned nods for lead actors Colin Firth and Toni Collette; FX/Hulu’s Under the Banner of Heaven, about the grisly death of a young mother and her child at the hands of Mormon fundamentalists, also earned notice for its lead, Andrew Garfield.
Failing to break through with voters were Hulu’s Candy, Peacock’s Dr. Death and NBC’s The Thing About Pam, as well as the less violent Watergate saga Gaslit (Starz) and Joe vs. Carole (Peacock) — the latter suggesting that Tiger King fatigue is a symptom of Peak TV’s oversaturation.
This story first appeared in an August stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
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