Months after winning an Oscar, ESPN’s eight-hour “O.J.: Made in America” documentary could be headed for some more hardware.
Emmy nominations came out Thursday, and the film (or one of its five parts) was nominated in six categories:
- Exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking
- Outstanding cinematography for a nonfiction program
- Outstanding direction for a nonfiction program
- Outstanding picture editing for a nonfiction program
- Outstanding music composition for a limited series, movie, or special
- Outstanding sound mixing for a nonfiction program
“O.J.: Made in America” aired on ESPN in five installments last summer, beginning June 11. It narrowly missed the May 31 cutoff for last year’s Emmys.
From the moment this film hit the air, ESPN had award ambitions for it. The network released it in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles, in part to make it eligible for the Oscars, and the strategy paid off when the film won for Best Documentary Feature.
“O.J.: Made in America” was a truly impressive production, examining not only the details of the O.J. Simpson murder trial but also the social forces that helped it become one of the largest pop-culture stories of all-time. Here’s what Awful Announcing’s Ben Koo wrote about the film at the time:
All in all, the recipe is pretty simple here. A wealth of very telling and insightful interviews, a glut of archival footage which stands on its own, and some new unseen footage as well as newly produced clips and segments. All of it is top tier quality and assembled with great care. There is no special sauce here or reinventing of the wheel. Everything is just done at an elite level and the subject matter is so engrossing (perhaps a guilty pleasure we’ve avoided for decades after gorging on it back in 1994-95), that the end result is potentially ESPN’s best piece of original content in its history.
Given that “O.J.: Made in America” prevailed over other feature-length documentaries at the Oscars, you’d have to imagine its odds of scoring at the Emmys are pretty darn good. The show is not until Sept. 17, so we’ll have to wait until then to find out.