The lavish historical drama “The Crown” was shut out of Sunday’s BAFTA TV Awards despite heading into the evening with a leading five nominations and two wins at last month’s TV Craft Awards. Instead, the sophomore season of “Happy Valley” claimed a Best Drama Series bookend to its win in 2015. We should have known that such an upset was in the offing when “Happy Valley” creator Sally Wainwright took the Fiction Writing prize at the TV Craft Awards for this BBC crime drama, which streams here on Netflix as does “The Crown.” (BAFTA TV Awards: Full list of winners)
The catch-all drama acting categories pit the players in telefilms, miniseries and series against each other. Sarah Lancashire, who plays the harried police officer at the center of “Happy Valley,” won Best Drama Actress over “The Crown” leading lady Claire Foy who has already collected a Golden Globe and SAG Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II. “The Night Manager” prevailed with its only bid — Best Drama Supporting Actor for scene-stealer Tom Hollander who edged out “The Crown” featured players John Lithgow (as Winston Churchill) and Jared Harris (as King George VI). And Vanessa Kirby, who captures the essence of Princess Margaret in “The Crown,” was defeated by Wunmi Mosaku from “Damilola, Our Loved Boy,” which also won Best Single Drama.
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 were the Emmy-eligible season one of “The Durrells” and “War and Peace,” which was submitted at last year’s Emmys as a limited series.
The Best Mini-Series (defined as two to five episodes) award went to “National Treasure,” which streams stateside on Hulu over Acorn’s Emmy contender “Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution” and two other strictly British productions “The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses” and “The Secret.”
On the comedy front, “People Just Do Nothing” won Best Comedy Series over “Camping,” “Fleabag” and “Flowers.” “Fleabag” creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge claimed Best Comedy Actress over her co-star Olivia Colman as well as Lesley Manville (“Mum”) and Diane Morgan (“Cunk on Shakespeare”). Waller-Bridge won Breakthrough Talent at the TV Craft Awards last month. And Steve Coogan (“Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle”) took Best Comedy Actor over “People Just Do Nothing” co-creator Asim Chaudhry, Harry Enfield (“The Windsors”) and David Mitchell (“Upstart Crow”).
David Attenborough‘s “Planet Earth II” won both Best Special Factual Series and the public vote for Must-See Moment.
“Emmerdale” claimed the Soap & Continuing Drama prize over “Casualty,” “EastEnders” and “Hollyoaks”
Last year’s Emmy champ “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” won the International category over the limited series “The Night Of,” the drama “Stranger Things” and the comedy “Transparent.”
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