“Game Change” (HBO)
Highlight: After a disastrous interview with Katie Couric, a livid Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) irrationally lashes out over the phone to campaign official Nicole Wallace (Sarah Paulson), yelling, “I am not your puppet!”
Sidelight: Despite its hot-button subject matter, the movie takes pains to show empathy for the debilitating nature of modern-day image-based campaigning.
Ted Mann, Ronald Parker, Bill Kerby
“Hatfields & McCoys” (History)
Highlight: Randall McCoy (Bill Paxton) pleads for Anse Hatfield (Kevin Costner) to return his sons from Hatfield captivity, but can’t help stoking the fires of hatred once more with his words.
Sidelight: In a reference to the legendary phrase, sadistic Hatfield family member Uncle Vance (Tom Berenger), upon felling a sniper in the hills targeting Anse, joyously crows, “We got us a real McCoy!”
“The Hour” (BBC America)
Highlight: Suave yet secretly insecure anchor Hector Madden (Dominic West, pictured) acquits himself well at an interview with a key diplomat during the Suez crisis and after a disastrous live interview early in the show’s run.
Sidelight: The miniseries was partly inspired by the emergence of women as news producers in 1950s England.
“Luther” (BBC America)
Highlight: Detective John Luther (Idris Elba) convinces a roomful of his colleagues not to answer a serial killer’s repeated phone calls, as a way of preventing the criminal’s desire to control the investigation.
Sidelight: In a moment of dangerous empathy, Luther hurls an apple over the outer wall of the mental facility holding Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), inside of which is a swipe card that will facilitate her escape.
“Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia” (PBS)
Highlight: Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) meets his brother, British intelligence officer Mycroft (Mark Gatiss), on a plane full of dead bodies.
Sidelight: Sherlock dons a deerstalker cap to disguise himself, a reference to the famous topper given the legendary detective by illustrator Sidney Paget.
Where the gags write themselves?
And the nominees are:
Drama | Comedy | Miniseries & Movies | Variety | Nonfiction