When the “Hatfields & McCoys” miniseries was first announced as a project for History Channel, no one could have guessed the phenomenal success it would have with viewers across the world. A record 62 million people tuned in throughout the week to see the legendary American feud played out so brilliantly by Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.
Now the television industry has honored the series with a whopping 16 Emmy nominations, making it the most received in he network’s history and the series is among the most nominated in the Outstanding Miniseries or A Movie category.
Outstanding Miniseries or A Movie
Outstanding Lead Actor in Miniseries or A Movie – Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton
Outstanding Supporting Actor in A Miniseries or A Movie – Tom Berenger
Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Miniseries or A Movie – Mare Winningham
Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special – Kevin Reynolds, Director
Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Miniseries Or A Movie
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries Or Movie
Outstanding Costumes For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Miniseries Or A Movie
Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Non-Prosthetic)
Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score)
Outstanding Hairstyling For A Miniseries Or A Movie
Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
“Hatfields and McCoys” producer Leslie Grief talked to Examiner for about the Emmys noms and the state of The Emmy voting process.
“I was actually – and I’m going to use the word – ‘giddy’,” said Leslie when asked about his reaction to the record Emmy noms. “It didn’t really sink in at first…and I was so thrilled that all my department heads got recognized. It’s the greatest accolade that you can ever imagine. You can share the excitement with everyone – You realize the ratings success of the series was a combination of everyone’s efforts cooing together.”
The series ratings success was a surprise to him as well. “I was staggered by the series’ success. I knew it would do well in my heart as I worked on it for so long. I knew it would be great. Never did I imagine that we’d get not one but the Top three highest ratings for a show of all time in cable. It was a great feeling, not so much for the numbers but it really resonated when people would come up to me and the cast and say ‘We loved it.’ It really brought a lot of joy to our television viewers. You don’t get that opportunity too often.”
On the other Hatfield’s projects coming out as a result of “Hatfield’s” success, Leslie says: “Everyone’s doing a variation of the story. I feel complimented, that people want to jump in on the bandwagon. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I appreciate it. I feel great that we set a great bar and I’m now looking forward to working with History again on our next project and breaking new ground. While people are mimicking us, I’m looking to be an original.
On the Emmys changing the categories, (“American Horror Story” is nominated in the Mini-Series/Movie category, rather than in the expected Drama Series category), Leslie is confused by the decision.
“On the Emmy screener itself,” they refer to “American Horror Story’s opening episode as a pilot, and the show as an episode,” Leslie said. “It’s referenced on the website as Season 1, Season 2, etc. so it’s disheartening that they did that. All of the shows in are category are stellar and I can only imagine that if “American Horror” or “Sherlock Holmes” weren’t in there, there would be some other quality shows. I’m not concerned about quality competition; I just feel that the integrity of the Emmys and the Academy set the bar, saying here’s a standard of excellence that we set out to accomplish. A mini-series has certain limitations by telling a closed end story. We’re not a pilot. I certainly respect the people that are advocating for their shows and trying to champion them. This is really a comment on the academy to maintain a sense of integrity. Producers and production companies are always advocating for their stuff so I’m not faulting them.
He goes on to say, “I just think the system is flawed and shouldn’t have been manipulated for that purpose. A mini-series you have to hold people two to three nights in a row and draw them in. A TV movie has a specific thing to accomplish and must tell their story completely in two hours, you don’t have the luxury of telling a lot of story. I think that putting it all together, they disrespect the process for all involved . The Emmys should be soething that’s an honor not a thing that you campaign for. There’s nothing wrong with trying to draw attention and make people aware of your product and your film and your performance, or your words. It’s up to the Academy to maintain the integrity of the process.”
The Creative Emmys will be held Saturday, September 15th, while The Primetime Emmy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, September 23rd live on ABC.
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