Is Steven Spielberg's 'Falling Skies' doomed when it comes to TV's highest honor?
By debuting "Falling Skies" on June 19, it looks like TNT believes that there's little hope of Hollywood embracing Steven Spielberg's new sci-fi series for TV's top award. The cutoff for Emmy eligibility is May 31. Had TNT aired just six episodes prior to that date, "Falling Skies" could compete in the current derby. At next year's Emmy competition, it may seem like old news.
Granted, science fiction and fantasy dramas tend to fare poorly when it comes to most Hollywood awards. Spielberg's "E.T." lost best picture at the Oscars to "Gandhi" in 1982, and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" wasn't even nominated for the top Academy Award in 1977. (At least "Star Wars" made it into the race, losing to "Annie Hall," but "Encounters" also got aced out of a nomination for best picture by "Julia" and "The Goodbye Girl.")
Sci-fi/fantasy fare does poorly at the Emmys too, but at least "The X-Files," "Star Trek" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" have been nominated for best drama series in the past. One promising omen: Spielberg proved that he can get his productions beamed through such resistance in 2003, when "Taken" -- his marathon tale of alien abduction for the Sci-Fi Channel -- won for best TV miniseries.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Noah Wylie's character leads earthly resistance to an alien invasion in TNT's new drama series "Falling Skies." Credit: TNT