The Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” is the far-and-away frontrunner to win the Primetime Emmy for Best Movie/Miniseries Writing. Richard LaGravenese was previously nominated for an Emmy as producer of the nonfiction special “A Decade Under the Influence” in 2004, but this is his first bid as a writer, though he does have an Academy Award nomination as a scribe (Original Screenplay 1991, “The Fisher King”).
“Behind the Candelabra” is an HBO production, which premiered on American television but was released theatrically in some international markets. It even competed for the top prize – the Palme d’Or – at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
Of the nominees, Sundance Channel’s “Top of the Lake” mystery miniseries is the best reviewed by critics, earning a score of 86 on Metacritic. Co-writer Gerald Lee is nominated for the first time; Oscar winner Jane Campion (“The Piano”) has two other Emmy nominations this year for directing and producing the seven-episode program.
Each of the other three contenders trails with 50/1 odds according to the aggregate predictions of Gold Derby’s experts, editors, and users. Two-time Oscar-nominee David Mamet is nominated for writing, directing, and executive producing the HBO docudrama “Phil Spector,” which has the most mixed reviews of any nominee in the category, scoring just 60 on Metacritic.
Oscar- and Tony-winner Tom Stoppard receives his first Emmy nomination for the HBO/BBC co-produced five-part miniseries “Parade’s End,” based on a series of novels about a love triangle set during World War I.
The BBC newsroom-set period piece “The Hour” scored its only nomination last year in this category. It now competes as a miniseries again and writer Abi Morgan has bagged her second consecutive nomination. “The Hour” only received nominations this year for writing and casting; it and “Parade’s End” are the only writing nominees not also nominated for Best Movie/Miniseries.