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BAFTA nominees are best of British TV

March 24, 2009 | 10:41 am

The nominations for the BAFTA TV Awards — the British equivalent of the Emmy Awards — are almost exclusively home-grown this year. Only "Wallander" — the Kenneth Branagh detective series that will play on "Masterpiece Mystery" in the coming months — has the requisite American production partner to make it Emmy eligible. Branagh earned his fourth TV nod from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for producing this adaptation of the bestselling series by Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell. The show competes in the drama series category against a trio of past champs: "Spooks" (2003), "Shameless" (2005) and "Doctor Who" (2006).


Branagh was snubbed in the best actor race, which pits three actors from single drama biopics — Stephen Dillane ("The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall"), Jason Isaacs ("The Curse of Steptoe") and previous nominee Ken Stott ("Hancock and Joan") — against Ben Whishaw for the miniseries "Criminal Justice."

Contending for best actress, also a catch-all category that includes performances in one-offs, minis and series, are three first-time nominees — June Brown ("EastEnders"), Maxine Peake ("Hancock and Joan") and Andrea Risborough ("Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley") — and one previous winner, Anna Maxwell Martin ("Poppy Shakespeare").

The international category is all American with three drama series — "Dexter," "Mad Men" and "The Wire" — up against "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."

The award show broadcast, hosted by Graham Norton at the Royal Festival Hall, is scheduled to air on BBC1 on April 26. The BAFTA website has the full list of nominees.

BAFTA splits up its awards between on-air and behind-the-scenes talent and will announce nominees for the Craft BAFTAS next week with that ceremony to be held May 17.

An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to "Hancock and Joan" as "Hancock and June" and this error has been corrected.


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