The historical drama “The Crown,” which chronicles the first years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, dominated the BAFTA TV Awards nominations, reaping five bids including Best Drama Series. SAG and Golden Globe winner Claire Foy reaped a Best Drama Actress for her sensitive portrayal of the young monarch. Vanessa Kirby contends for her scene-stealing turn as younger sister Princess Margaret while John Lithgow (Winston Churchill) and Jared Harris (King George VI) compete against each other for their featured roles. However, Matt Smith was snubbed for his subdued take on Prince Phillip.
Not surprisingly, this lavishly produced series, which screened on Netflix on both sides of the pond, also reaped seven bids at last month’s nominations for the BAFTA TV craft awards which honor the best behind-the-scenes artists and professionals; these are equivalent to the Creative Arts Awards at the Emmys.
Winners of the BAFTA TV Awards will be revealed in a ceremony at London’s Festival Hall on Sunday, May 14 with “The Great British Bakeoff” presenter Sue Perkins hosting for the first time. The Craft Awards winners will be announced on Sunday, April 23 at an evening presided over by “Episodes” star Stephen Mangan.
With its 10 episodes, “The Crown” easily crossed the threshold of six installments required to qualify as a drama series at these kudos; the cap is 19, after which a show is deemed to be a continuing drama. Also up for Best Drama Series are the Emmy-eligible season one of “The Durrells” and sophomore edition of “Happy Valley” as well as “War and Peace,” which was submitted at last year’s Emmys as a limited series.
Missing from that line-up is “The Night Manager.” With six episodes, it was classified by BAFTA as a drama series, rather than a miniseries which has two to five segments. This acclaimed adaptation of the John le Carre spy thriller was all but shut out here, with only Tom Hollander reaping a supporting bid for his role as a duplicitous aide to an arms dealer. This virtual shut-out is even more surprising given that it reaped six craft bids.
The Best Mini-Series (defined as two to five episodes) roster includes two Emmy contenders — “The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses” and “The Witness for the Prosecution” — and two strictly British productions with “National Treasure” and “The Secret.”
Vying for Best Single Drama are “Aberfan: The Green Hollow,” “Damilola, Our Loved Boy,” “Murdered by My Father” and “NW.”
The catch-all drama acting categories pit the players in telefilms, miniseries and series against each other.
Foy faces off against Nikki Amuka-Bird (“NW”), Jodie Comer (“Thirteen”) and Sarah Lancashire (“Happy Valley”). The Drama Actor nominees are Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses”), Adeel Akhtar (“Murdered by My Father”), Babou Ceesay (“Damilola, Our Loved Boy”) and Robbie Coltrane (“National Treasure”).
On the comedy front, the series nominees are: “Camping,” “Fleabag,” “Flowers” and “People Just Do Nothing.”
“People Just Do Nothing” co-creator Asim Chaudhry is up for Comedy Actor as are David Mitchell (“Upstart Crow”), Harry Enfield (“The Windsors”) and Steve Coogan (“Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle”).
While Olivia Colman may have been snubbed for her Golden-Globe winning work in “The Night Manager” she does contend for Best Comedy Actress for her over-the-top turn in “Fleabag.” She contends there against series creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge as well as Lesley Manville (“Mum” and Diane Morgan (“Cunk on Shakespeare”). Waller-Bridge claimed two nominations at the Craft Awards for writing and breakthrough talent. She’s already picked up that latter prize at the Royal Television Society Awards.
The nominees for the Soap & Continuing Drama prize are “Casual,” “EastEnders,” “Emmerdale” and “Hollyoaks.”
And the International category pits two limited series — “The Night Of” and “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”– against the drama “Stranger Things” and the comedy “Transparent.”
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