Nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) TV Awards were announced this morning and, quite frankly, the list features some truly bizarre omissions that slightly mar what was, otherwise, a stunningly good year for British TV.
Leading the field with four nominations is Appropriate Adult, the ITV mini-series based on the life of serial killer Fred West, starring Dominic West and Emily Watson. The drama received nods in the Best Mini-Series, Leading Actor (West), Leading Actress (Watson) and Supporting Actress (the fabulous Monica Dolan) categories.
The second series of Sherlock was close behind, with three nominations – Benedict Cumberbatch will compete in the Leading Actor category, while Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott face off against each other in the Supporting Actor arena. This is England '88 also received three nods - tying Sherlock for the second most nominations this year.
But, perhaps the biggest surprises of the morning are the nominations that didn’t happen. Sherlock, the winner of last year’s Best Drama Series prize, snagged multiple acting nods this time out, but is conspicuously absent from the Best Mini-Series competition, in a move that seems, well, crazy. This likely had something to do with the ridiculous internal reorganization the BAFTAs underwent this year, creating Golden Globes-esque separate categories for Best “Mini-Series” (2-5 episodes) and Best “Series” (6-19 episodes). Yet, whatever the reason, the omission is jarring, given the overall superb quality of Sherlock’s second series.
In other surprise non-nominations, international smash Downton Abbey received exactly one nod for its second series, for Dame Maggie Smith in the Supporting Actress category. While I’m as willing as anyone to admit that perhaps Downton’s sophomore effort did not quite live up to the brilliance of its first series, even sub-par Downton is as entertaining and generally moving as anything on television and, judging by the chatter online, has to have been better than the final series of Spooks/MI-5.
Click through for a look at the full list of nominations, and leave us your thoughts on all this in the comments. The awards ceremony is scheduled for May 27.