"Temple Grandin" was favored by our pundits to win best TV movie at the Emmys. After all, it was tied for the most nominations for a telefilm (15), and HBO has won this race for 15 of the last 17 years, including the most recent six in a row. Likewise for the 10-part war epic "The Pacific," which won the paycaster the mini-series award for the seventh time. And that golden touch extended to the mini/movie acting races with HBO productions winning all of them as well as the directing and writing prizes.
Three of those Emmy Awards went to the "Temple Grandin" cast, led by star Claire Danes, who won for portraying the renowned autism activist. Danes, who had contended at the Emmys 15 years ago as drama actress for the single season of "My So-Called Life," was up against a slate of veteran actresses, including two Dames of the British theater — Judi Dench ("Return to Cranford') and Maggie Smith ("Capturing Mary") — as well as Joan Allen ("Georgia O'Keeffe") and Hope Davis ("The Special Relationship").
Also winning for "Temple Grandin" were first-time Emmy nominees Julia Ormond as the title character's determined mother and David Strathairn as her kindly mentor. Not surprisingly, Mick Jackson won the directing Emmy for his work on this biopic.
Among the telefilms edged out by "Temple Grandin" was another of HBO's prestigious productions "You Don't Know Jack." It too reaped 15 nominations but prevailed only for writer Adam Mazer and lead actor Al Pacino as the controversial euthanasia advocate Jack Kevorkian. When Pacino took home this same award in 2004 for "Angels in America," he became the 15th performer to achieve the triple crown of acting, having won at the Tony Awards and Oscars already.
Photo: Claire Danes backstage at the 62nd Annual Emmy Awards. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images.