“Wallander” was adapted from the the detective novels by Swedish writer Henning Mankell. Branagh stars as Kurt Wallander, a police inspector in the town of Ystad, Sweden, who balances his murder investigations with his turbulent personal life. The series premiered in 2008 in the UK and then in the spring of 2009 for American audiences on PBS. One of its first-season episodes, “One Step Behind,” picked up a pair of Emmy nominations: Best Movie/Mini Actor for Branagh and Best Movie/Mini Directing for Philip Martin. A few months later Branagh also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Movie/Mini Actor.
The show did even better across the pond, winning five BAFTAs in 2009, including Best Drama Series. It won twice more in 2010: Best Actor for Branagh and Best Sound. Branagh is a beloved industry figure, with a combined five Oscar nominations for acting, writing and directing; another BAFTA Award as Best Director for his 1989 breakthrough film, “Henry V” (1989); and a prior Emmy victory for Best Movie/Mini Actor for “Conspiracy” (2001).
“Wallander” hasn’t been nominated for Emmys since its two bids in 2009, but the TV academy loves British detective dramas. Don’t forget that “Sherlock” pulled off a stunning seven Emmy wins in 2014 for “His Last Vow,” including surprise victories for actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
Emmy voters also love a finale. In recent years, the long-running British series “Prime Suspect: The Final Act” (2007) won three Emmys: Best Movie/Mini Actress (Helen Mirren), Best Movie/Mini Writing and Best Movie/Mini Directing. And in 2015 “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” earned its first and only nomination after almost a quarter century on the air: Best TV Movie for its final installment, “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case.”
Do you think “Wallander” and Branagh will get a similar farewell hug from Emmy voters?