Can 'Making A Murderer' Be Nominated For An Emmy Or Golden Globe? Don't Count The Show Out
We're in the midst of the much-ballyhooed awards season, but even as industry insiders cast their votes and fans fill out their ballots, there's one piece of pop culture that is still continuing to dominate the national conversation — almost a month after it first hit the airwaves, no less. Netflix's true crime series Making A Murderer has gripped the country's fascination in a way nothing has since, well, true crime podcast Serial just over a year ago. With the case of Steven Avery likely still fresh in people's minds as they watched the Golden Globes this past Sunday, one question might have occurred to many viewers: next year, could Making A Murderer be nominated for any awards?
Actually, it could, and just not at the Golden Globes. Since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association behind the Globes honors both television and film, they don't go as in-depth into either field as the Emmys and the Oscars do. The only Globes given out to TV are for the best scripted series and their performers. While one could play devil's advocate by arguing that Making A Murderer fits the HFPA's definition of a "Limited Series" in that it tells a "complete, non-recurring story," the fact is that no non-fiction programming has ever been nominated for a Golden Globe — and they're not likely to make an exception now.
And it could've already happened. Making A Murderer was released on Dec. 18, 2015, which is technically within the eligibility period of the ceremony that just took place last weekend. As for next year's ceremony, 2017's Golden Globes will be honoring the best films & TV of 2016 — a cutoff that Making A Murderer misses by 13 days.
However, Netflix could have much more luck come Emmy season. You might not hear Making A Murderer's name called during the Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast, but it could very well land a nomination — perhaps even a win — at the un-televised Creative Arts Emmys that typically take place about a week before the main event. That portion of the Emmys sees trophies given out for over seven dozen technical categories that range from Guest Actor to Choreography, Music Direction, Editing, Visual Effects, and Main Title Design.
One of those categories deemed "too boring" for the telecast is Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series — the award that HBO's own acclaimed true crime series, The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst, won this past September. Murderer's nominations wouldn't be confined to that one field, either; it could compete in any number of technical categories. The Jinx was also nominated for its Cinematography, Directing, Picture Editing (which it won), Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. So while Making A Murderer won't become the next Mozart In The Jungle — making headlines by landing itself an out-of-left-field Golden Globe victory — it could still very well take home an Emmy or two... you'll just have to be paying attention when it does.
It unlikely that Murderer's awards will stop with the Emmys, either. There are plenty of organizations out there that honor documentaries and nonfiction television series, and while they may not be as glamorous or as glitzy as the Golden Globes, they're still well-respected within their own circles. There's the International Documentary Association, which started giving out awards three years ago, including one for Limited Series — which just went to The Jinx this year. (The past two winners of the award were Showtime's Time Of Death and Morgan Spurlock's CNN series Inside Man.)
Then there's the Peabody, an award for excellence in television, radio, or online media given to about 30 recipients per year. Relevant honorees have included The Staircase, a 2004 true crime series about Michael Peterson, and Serial — the first podcast to ever receive a Peabody. The 2015 recipients haven't been awarded yet, but it's hard to imagine The Jinx missing the lineup after all its other accolades. Will there be room on the list for two true crime series? If so, a Peabody for Making A Murderer isn't out of the question, either.
Now that you know Making A Murderer CAN win awards, the only question that remains is: will the Emmy, IDA, and Peabody voters be as enthralled with the show as we all were?
Images: Netflix; Marc Smerling/HBO; Giphy