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Before Emmy Gold: Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Directing

We’re taking a look at this year’s Emmy nominees and digging into their past work and credits that may have influenced their Emmy-nominated work this year.

Why are some of the nominees up for a single episode while others will compete for the entire series? Simple, if a single director is responsible for the entire series they compete for the entire series. However, if the Limited Series should have multiple directors then the directors will compete for individual episodes. 

Unlike in the writing category the directors like the most of anything– giving the solo series directors a clear advantage.

Dopesick, for the episode: “The People vs. Purdue Pharma” directed by Danny Strong

Emmy History: Wins; Best Miniseries or Movie and Best Miniseries or Movie Writing for Game Change (2012) and Nomination Best Miniseries or Movie Writing for Recount (2008)

Synopsis: In the series finale, Rick and Randy’s criminal investigation now threatens Richard Sackler’s empire, activists take action against Purdue, and Finnix tries to heal his beloved community that’s been ravaged by addiction. Based on the book, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Marcy.

Strong, first stepped behind the camera directing a few episodes of his hip-hop drama “Empire” (2015-2016).

Strong, acts as director, writer and producer for Dopesick, giving him three chances at Emmy glory. Strong received a DGA Award nomination earlier in the year for his direction of this episode.

Hidden Gem: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life aka Doyle goes meta

The Dropout, for the episode: “Green Juice” directed by Michael Showalter

Emmy History: N/A

Synopsis: I n the third episode, as Theranos rapidly expands, Elizabeth’s technology struggles to keep pace and members of the board become increasingly wary of her secretive behavior. Sunny considers joining the company.

Showalter first came to prominence directing comedies Hello, My Name is Doris (2015) and The Big Sick (2017). This has been Showalter’s biggest year yet directing Jessica Chastain to her Oscar win in The Eyes of Tammy Faye as well as several episodes of the limited series The Shrink Next Door and The Dropout. 

Hidden Gem: The Shrink Next Door

The Dropout, for the episode: “Iron Sisters” directed by Francesca Gregorini

Emmy History: N/A

Synopsis: In the sixth episode, fresh out of college and newly employed by Theranos, Tyler Schultz and Erika Cheung discover shocking truths about Elizabeth and the company. Richard and Phyllis work with John Carreyrou to build a case against Elizabeth.

Gregorini, got her first breaks directing episodes of Humans (2016) and Killing Eve (2019). 

Hidden Gem:  The Truth About Emanuel (2013)

Maid, for the episode: “Sky Blue: directed by John Wells

Emmy History: Six wins in 26 nominations. Wells has been nominated for writing, directing and producing. Wells’s past wins have all come for producing—he has yet to be recognized for an individual contribution to television.

Synopsis: In the penultimate episode, back to square one, Alex reaches out for a safe harbor 

and legal lifeline, realizing how much of herself she’s lost along the way.

Wells, is the veteran of this category but he’s mostly focused his efforts on writing and 

Producing. It has been 22 years since Wells was singled out by his peers for directing his last

nomination was for ER for the episode Such Sweet Sorrow (2000).

Hidden Gem: August Osage County (2013)

Station Eleven, for the episode: “Wheel Of Fire” directed by Hiro Murai

Emmy History: Nomination Best Comedy Series (2017) for Atlanta. Nominations Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Directing (2017) for Atlanta. Nomination Best Comedy Directing (2022) for Atlanta.

Synopsis: In the series opener, after renowned actor Arthur Leander tragically collapses onstage, Jeevan Chaudhary and young Kirsten Raymonde have a chance meeting – and soon face an important decision that could save their lives.

Murai, is double nominated this year for his work behind the camera in both Atlanta and Station Eleven. Murai, received a DGA Award nomination earlier in the year for this episode.

Hidden Gem Childish Gambino: This is America (2019) which won the Grammy for Best Music Video

The White Lotus, directed by Mike White

Emmy History: N/A

Synopsis: Set in a tropical resort, it follows the exploits of various guests and employees over the span of a week.

This is the second time White, has acted as director, writer and producer after doing so for the short-lived comedy series Enlightened (2011-2013.)

White three chances at Emmy glory for directing, writing and series. 

Hidden Gem: Survivor: David vs. Goliath (2018) aka the possible inspiration for The White Lotus


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Written by @msamandaspears

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