Olive Kitteridge
Promotional poster
Based onOlive Kitteridge
by Elizabeth Strout
Teleplay byJane Anderson
Directed byLisa Cholodenko
Music byCarter Burwell
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes4
Executive producers
ProducerDavid Coatsworth
CinematographyFrederick Elmes
EditorJeffrey M. Werner
Running time233 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseNovember 2 (2014-11-02) –
November 3, 2014 (2014-11-03)

Olive Kitteridge is an American television miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout's 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge. Set in Maine,[1] the HBO miniseries features Frances McDormand as the title character, Richard Jenkins as Olive's loving husband Henry Kitteridge, Zoe Kazan as Denise Thibodeau, and Bill Murray as Jack Kennison.[2] The show is divided into four parts, each depicting a certain point of time in the novel.[1]

The miniseries debuted in the United States on November 2, 2014, on the American premium TV network HBO, which aired the show's first two episodes back-to-back that evening; the third and fourth episodes aired back-to-back the following evening. It was shown in a similar format in the United Kingdom on Sky Atlantic, on December 14 and December 15, 2014.[3] It premiered in Australia on Showcase from 13 January 2015.[4] At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, the miniseries won eight awards including Outstanding Limited Series.


Olive Kitteridge is a misanthropic and strict, but well-meaning, retired schoolteacher who lives in the fictional seaside town of Crosby, Maine. She is married to Henry Kitteridge, a kind, considerate man who runs a pharmacy downtown, and has a troubled son named Christopher, who grows up to be a podiatrist. For 25 years, Olive has experienced problems of depression, bereavement, jealousy, and friction with family members and friends.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Pharmacy"Lisa CholodenkoJane AndersonNovember 2, 2014 (2014-11-02)
Maine, 1980. Olive Kitteridge is a no-nonsense high school math teacher who doesn't suffer fools and never hesitates to express an opinion, no matter how much hurt she might cause. She treats her husband Henry with indifference and is strict with her son Christopher, who struggles to please her. Henry is the local pharmacist and after his long-time assistant dies from a stroke, he hires a young woman, Denise Thibodeau, whose husband is also named Henry. The two Henrys go hunting with a third man, and the younger Henry is killed in a freak accident. The older Henry grows close to Denise after her husband's death, teaching her how to drive and gifting her an adopted kitten. Olive harbors an attraction to an English teacher at her school and takes an interest in Kevin Coulson, one of her students whose mother Rachel suffers from bipolar disorder.
2"Incoming Tide"Lisa CholodenkoJane AndersonNovember 2, 2014 (2014-11-02)
Years have passed and Kevin Coulson, now studying in New York City to be a psychiatrist, returns to town. He struggles with the effects of his mother Rachel's suicide and experiences symptoms of schizophrenia, including vivid hallucinations. Kevin is contemplating suicide himself, but is interrupted by Olive, who engages him in conversation about the town and notices a gun in the back seat of his car. Kevin also saves a former classmate from drowning. Christopher is about to marry, and Olive invites Kevin to attend the rehearsal dinner. Olive dislikes her future daughter-in-law, Suzanne, as well as her prospective in-laws. She invites Kevin to stay with them and to the wedding the next day. On the day of the wedding, Olive acts coldly to those around her, including her new in-laws and members of Suzanne's family.
3"A Different Road"Lisa CholodenkoJane AndersonNovember 3, 2014 (2014-11-03)
Olive and Henry are saddened when they receive a call from Christopher, now living in California and working as a podiatrist, to say that he and Suzanne are getting a divorce. Christopher appears content with his divorce and explains that he is in therapy. He also tells his parents that he will not be coming to Maine for a visit. Returning home from a dinner out, Olive and Henry stop at a hospital to use the bathroom. Two gun-toting addicts arrive looking for drugs, taking patients and staff members hostage. While held captive, Olive and Henry argue, blaming each other for Christopher's unwillingness to visit. Olive also reveals that she planned to leave him for her former colleague. After the ordeal, Christopher suggests that his parents should enter counseling, but Olive won't hear of it. Henry suffers a stroke and loses his ability to communicate.
4"Security"Lisa CholodenkoJane AndersonNovember 3, 2014 (2014-11-03)
Olive visits Christopher and his new wife Ann in New York City, but relations between them continue to be strained. Olive likes Ann more than she liked Christopher's first wife but is critical about how Ann parents her two children from previous relationships and her housekeeping skills. The tension culminates in a fight between Olive and Christopher, who argues that she was harsh and uncaring to him as a child. Olive returns from her trip early, learning that her husband has died. Six months later, Olive befriends a wealthy widower, Jack Kenison, and the two enter a relationship despite their initial disagreements.


Critical response

Olive Kitteridge received widespread critical acclaim for its writing, directing, cinematography, and Frances McDormand's central performance as well as those of Jenkins, Murray and Gallagher. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the show has an approval rating of 95% based on 63 reviews, with an average rating of 8.68/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Olive Kitteridge's narrative slow burn enhances fascinating performances – and a story worthy of its source material."[5] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 89 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[6]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Venice Film Festival Silver Mouse Lisa Cholodenko Won [7]
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television Jeffrey M. Werner (for "A Different Road") Nominated [8]
Costume Designers Guild Awards Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries Jenny Eagan Nominated [9]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Limited Series Won [10]
Best Actor in a Movie or Limited Series Richard Jenkins Nominated
Best Actress in a Movie or Limited Series Frances McDormand Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Limited Series Bill Murray Won
Cory Michael Smith Nominated
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Miniseries Lisa Cholodenko Won [11]
Dorian Awards TV Performance of the Year – Actress Frances McDormand Nominated [12]
TV Director of the Year Lisa Cholodenko Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Miniseries or Television Film Nominated [13]
Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television Frances McDormand Nominated
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture
Made for Television
Bill Murray Nominated
Gracie Awards Outstanding Producer – Entertainment Jane Anderson Won [14]
Hollywood Post Alliance Awards Outstanding Color Grading – Television Pankaj Bajpai Nominated [15]
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling –
Television Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Cydney Cornell Nominated [16]
Best Period and/or Character Makeup –
Television Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Christien Tinsley, Gerald Quist, and Liz Bernstrom Nominated
Best Special Makeup Effects –
Television Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Christien Tinsley, Gerald Quist, and Hiro Yada Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Miniseries Nominated [17]
Best Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Richard Jenkins Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Frances McDormand Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries John Gallagher Jr. Nominated
Bill Murray Won
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Rosemarie DeWitt Nominated
Best Direction of a Motion Picture or Miniseries Lisa Cholodenko Won
Best Writing of a Motion Picture or Miniseries Jane Anderson Won
Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Won
Best Cinematography in a Non-Series Won
Best Costume Design in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Editing in a Non-Series Won
Best Makeup/Hairstyling in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Music in a Non-Series Nominated
Best New Theme Song in a Series Nominated
Best Production Design in a Non-Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Limited Series Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Jane Anderson,
Frances McDormand, Steven Shareshian, and
David Coatsworth
Won [18]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie Richard Jenkins Won
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Frances McDormand Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie Bill Murray Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Zoe Kazan Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special Lisa Cholodenko Won
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special Jane Anderson Won
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or a Special Laura Rosenthal and Carolyn Pickman Won
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or a Movie Cydney Cornell Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Design Garson Yu, Synderela Peng,
Michael Lane Parks, Alex Pollini, and
John Robson
Outstanding Costumes for a Contemporary Series, Limited Series or Movie Jenny Eagan and Debbie Holbrook
(for "Incoming Tide")
Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or a Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Christien Tinsley, Gerald Quist, and
Liz Bernstrom
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or a Movie Jeffrey M. Werner (for "Security") Won
Satellite Awards Best Miniseries Made for Television Won [19]
Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television Richard Jenkins Nominated
Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television Frances McDormand Won
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or
Motion Picture Made for Television
Zoe Kazan Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Richard Jenkins Nominated [20]
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Frances McDormand Won
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials Nominated [21]
Writers Guild of America Awards Long Form – Adapted Jane Anderson;
Based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout
Won [22]
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Movie or Mini Series Laura Rosenthal, Carolyn Pickman,
Maribeth Fox, and Jodi Angstreich
Won [23]

Home media

Olive Kitteridge was released by HBO on DVD and Blu-ray on February 10, 2015.[24]


  1. ^ a b Doyle, Rebecca (November 2, 2014). "Olive Kitteridge Review HBO: What the Critics Are Saying - The Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Official Website for the HBO Series Olive Kitteridge". Hbo.com. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  3. ^ "Olive Kitteridge". Find and Watch. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  4. ^ Knox, David (December 26, 2014). "Airdate: Olive Kitteridge". TV Tonight. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "Olive Kittridge". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  6. ^ "Olive Kittridge". Metacritic. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Collateral Awards of the 71st Venice Film Festival". labiennale.org. Archived from the original on October 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Adam Chitwood (January 2, 2015). "NIGHTCRAWLER, GONE GIRL, and BOYHOOD Land ACE Editing Awards Nominations". Collider. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "17th Costume Designers Guild Awards". Costume Designers Guild. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  10. ^ Li, Shirley (May 6, 2015). "The Critics' Choice TV Awards 2015: And the nominees are..." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  11. ^ "67th DGA Awards". Directors Guild of America Awards. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  12. ^ "Dorian Awards Past Winners". Dorian Awards. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Olive Kitteridge – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  14. ^ "2015 Gracies Gala Winners". Gracie Awards. March 17, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  15. ^ "2015 HPA Awards". Hollywood Professional Association. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  16. ^ Carolyn Giardina (February 14, 2015). "'Grand Budapest Hotel,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Top Make-up & Hair Stylists Feature Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Lynne Segall. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "19th Annual TV Awards (2014-15)". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  18. ^ "Olive Kitteridge". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  19. ^ "2014 Satellite Awards". Satellite Awards. International Press Academy. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  20. ^ "The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  21. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (August 8, 2015). "'Empire,' John Oliver, Amy Schumer, Jon Hamm, 'Better Call Saul' Honored By TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  22. ^ "WGA Awards: 'Budapest', 'Imitation Game' Win Top Film Honors, 'True Detective', 'Louie' Score On TV Side — Full List". Deadline.com. February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  23. ^ "2016 Artios Awards". www.castingsociety.com. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "Olive Kitteridge DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates.