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Barack Obama documentary may sweep the Emmy elections

November 10, 2008 |  9:09 am

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The news that HBO just got behind the new documentary about Barack Obama's run for the White House has major Emmy implications. For the past two years HBO has won the Emmy category for nonfiction specials with "Autism: The Musical" and "The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" and was a major player before that.

The awards prospects of the Obama docu are bolstered even more by the fact that it's co-produced by Edward Norton's shingle, Class 5 Films, which has been tracking the presidential rise of Obama — with his cooperation — since 2006 after teaming up with filmmakers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams. "The production has had close access to Obama as well as his family, friends, campaign staff and volunteers," reports Variety.

Emmy voters love big TV productions packaged by superstars. Think of Tom Hanks' past involvement in several winners of best mini-series: "John Adams" (2008), "Band of Brothers" (2002) and "From the Earth to the Moon" (1998).

However, the new Obama docu isn't an Emmy shoo-in. In 2003, HBO's docu about the presidential campaign of George W. Bush, "Journeys with George," lost the Emmy election for best nonfiction special to PBS' bio of Ben Franklin.

At this point it's unclear if the docu will be eligible for next year's Emmys. A network rep tells Gold Derby, "It is a bit too early to know if we will schedule this for sure before May 31" — the cutoff for Emmy eligibility.

Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/ AFP/Getty Images

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Tom, the theatrical rights of the Obama documentary are still available. If the movie is shown on the theaters, could be eligible for an Oscar nomination?


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