'Baby,' 'Inherit' hope to hook noms

Showtime likes to tout itself as the network with “No Limits.” This year, the pay cabler is hoping their motto extends to its potential for Emmy noms.

As a result of its continued aggressive expansion into the original-pic biz, the channel this season has put forward an impressive array of projects featuring a host of kudos- friendly talent. After garnering 17 noms last year, the net should expect to be rewarded again.

“The Baby Dance,” a film about the emotional traumas of adoption from Jodie Foster’s Egg Pictures, is one of Showtime’s best Emmy bets. It earned three Golden Globe noms, including a mention for best miniseries or movie, and has a chance of making the cut for Emmy’s best made-for-TV movie category.

Emmy odds are even better for the film’s stellar cast, which includes Oscar winner Laura Dern, an Emmy nominee for a guest appearance on “Ellen,” and Tony winner Stockard Channing, who snagged an Emmy nom for “The Road to Avonlea.”

Meanwhile, Showtime’s recently premiered remake of the legit classic “Inherit the Wind” practically has Emmy written all over it. In addition to the timeless themes of the story, the pic stars Academy Award winners George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon, triple Emmy winner Beau Bridges and triple Oscar nominee Piper Laurie.

Showtime’s other major play turned pic, an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “That Championship Season,” about the reunion of ex-high school basketball players and their coach, also seems headed for honors.

Jason Miller adapted his own play and could get a screenwriting nom, while two members of the cast — Emmy winner Gary Sinise and Paul Sorvino, who starred in the previous stage and screen versions of this story — are standout candidates for acting noms.

Another contender for multiple noms may be “The Passion of Ayn Rand,” starring Golden Globe and Emmy winner Helen Mirren (“Prime Suspect”) and Golden Globe nominee Eric Stoltz as the “Atlas Shrugged” author and her young lover, respectively. Golden Globe winner Peter Fonda also stars, giving the pic a chance in the supporting actor category.

While not as high profile as some other Showtime Emmy contenders, last November’s “A Soldier’s Sweetheart” features a moving story (about a Vietnam solider who takes his girlfriend with him to the war zone) and a solid cast (including Keifer Sutherland and Skeet Ulrich). It’s a long shot, but could net Showtime a nom or two.

On the series and miniseries front, Showtime didn’t bow a project this season as ambitious as “More Tales From the City,” which snagged several noms last year. But past Emmy winner “The Outer Limits” continued production this season and could score for Showtime again in the series categories.

Tech Emmys are a possibility for the new sci-fi skein “Total Recall 2070,” which features the same visually stunning look as its bigscreen parent, and the returning “Stargate SG1.”

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