Emmy race for movie/miniseries writing: With no prior winners, who’s the frontrunner?

With no previous writing winners in contention for Best Movie/Miniseries Writing, it’s harder than ever to predict the frontrunner in this race.

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Of the nominated screenwriters this year, only Ted Mann, co-writer of “Hatfields & McCoys,” has an Emmy on his mantel, but that was in the Best Drama Series race for “NYPD Blue” (1995) and not an individual achievement. Mann’s two co-writers for the History miniseries — Bill Kerby and Ronald Parker — each celebrate their first Emmy nominations.

Perhaps the most well-known Movie/Mini scriptwriter is Danny Strong (“Game Change“). Besides a failed bid in this same category in 2008 for “Recount,” Strong is an actor whose many TV appearances have included “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Mad Men” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” As “Game Change” is expected to prevail for Best Movie/Miniseries, that could give Strong a slight edge in this category.

Steven Moffat hopes to reverse last year’s loss for “Sherlock: A Study in Pink” by claiming a trophy for the newest nominated film in the British series, “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.” Moffat already won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Writer this year, so don’t count him out when it comes to earning his first writing Emmy.

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Up for his first Emmy is Neil Cross, creator/writer of the popular British miniseries “Luther.” His writing earned star Idris Elba a Golden Globe statue and two Emmy nominations as Best Movie/Miniseries Actor.

In the final slot is newcomer Abi Morgan for “The Hour,” yet another British miniseries. Morgan has a disadvantage in this race as “The Hour” is the only script nominated for Movie/Miniseries Writing that failed to earn a top nomination in the Best Movie/Miniseries race.

See also our write-ups for Best Comedy Directing, Best Comedy Writing, Best Drama Directing, Best Drama Writing and Best Movie/Miniseries Directing.

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