A perennial Emmy nominee and winner, “American Experience” is hard to beat, given the pubcaster’s ability to back documakers’ visions that commercial webs rarely do or can do.
“American Masters,” like its sister series “Experience,” nabs Emmy noms easily, given its mandate and that of PBS; however, both series are valuable records, and “Masters” is the gold standard of bio-docs.
“Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman”
Back for another season, Science hit with host Morgan Freeman hosting nabbed a nom in 2013, and its family-friendly science may draw Emmy voters again.
Cutting-edge journalism tackles the major issues and this season saw reports on hotspots like Syria and Ukraine but also investigations into Lee Harvey Oswald and social media.
Fox, National Geographic Channel
Science fan Seth MacFarlane’s clout allowed the series to get a prime spot on Fox but, as series breakout star, host Neil deGrasse Tyson could draw voters looking for something different.
An Emmy nominee in 2013, “Vice” is like a grenade thrown into the mix of TV news. The show sent Dennis Rodman to North Korea, and explored events that broadcasters won’t touch. Voters may give it another seal of approval this year.
“The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop”
VH1 ventures out of its celeb comfort zone with this series based on Steve Stoute’s bestseller about the influence of hip-hop on culture. Will Emmy notice?
“The World Wars”
Cabler has proven itself with scripted drama, and it’s taken some of those dramatic lessons into the factual world with this series. It’s unknown whether Emmy voters will reward a series with a lot of dramatic re-creations.