Round 3: 'Mad Men' vs. 'Boardwalk Empire' at BAFTA TV Awards
"Boardwalk Empire" conquered "Mad Men" at the last two kudos battles. "Empire" ruled the race for best drama series at the Golden Globes and best ensemble at the SAG Awards. Now they're pitted against each other at the BAFTA TV Awards in the race for best international series, a match-up that also includes "Glee" and the original Danish version of "The Killing" that inspired the new Americanized adaptation currently unspooling on AMC. "Mad Men" has won this BAFTA category for the last two years.
British sci-fi series "Misfits" leads the BAFTA list with nominations in four categories: best drama series, supporting actor (Robert Sheehan), supporting actress (Lauren Socha) and new media. In the series contest, it competes against rival sci-fi program "Being Human," updated detective series "Sherlock" and the super-hit "Downton Abbey." Surprisingly absent from this list is the modern update of "Upstairs, Downstairs," which was widely compared to "Downton" this past year because they both contrast the lives of upper- and lower-class folks.
The London Guardian crowed, "If there were any doubt as to who had won out in the great 'Downton Abbey' vs 'Upstairs, Downstairs' toff-off, the BBC program's lack of nominations against 'Downton's' two (drama series and supporting actor for Brendan Coyle) only underlines the ITV drama's supremacy."
The Guardian took a potshot at one contender in the race for best comedy series: "There's always one BAFTA nomination that makes you do a double take. This year it's 'Mrs. Brown's Boys,' which gets the nod in the sitcom category at the expense of shows such as 'Friday Night Dinner,' 'Grandma's House,' 'The Inbetweeners,' 'Him & Her,' and, most notably, 'Miranda,' which aren't nominated. Perhaps the judges thought it was mandatory to include an actual joke in the comedy nominations."
The trophies will be doled out on May 22. Here are some of the top nominees. More here.
"Boardwalk Empire" (U.S.)
"The Killing" (Denmark)
"Mad Men" (U.S.)
"Being Human" (BBC3/Touchpaper Television)
"Downton Abbey" (ITV1/Carnival Films)
"Misfits" (E4/Clerkenwell Films)
"Sherlock" (BBC1/Hartswood Films)
"Mrs. Brown's Boys" (BBC One/BOCPix, BBC Productions, RTE)
"Peep Show" (Channel 4/Objective Productions)
"Rev" (BBC Two/Big Talk Productions)
"The Trip" (BBC Two/Revolution Films)
Jim Broadbent, "Any Human Heart" (Channel 4)
Benedict Cumberbatch, "Sherlock" (BBC1)
Daniel Rigby, "Eric and Ernie" (BBC4)
Matt Smith, "Doctor Who" (BBC1)
Anna Maxwell Martin, "South Riding" (BBC1)
Vicky McClure, "This Is England '86" (Channel 4)
Natalie Press, "Five Daughters" (BBC1)
Juliet Stevenson, "Accused" (BBC1)
Brendan Coyle, "Downton Abbey" (ITV1)
Martin Freeman, "Sherlock" (BBC1)
Johnny Harris, "This Is England '86" (Channel 4)
Robert Sheehan, "Misfits" (E4)
Gillian Anderson, "Any Human Heart" (Channel 4)
Lynda Baron, "The Road to Coronation Street" (BBC4)
Lauren Socha, "Misfits" (E4)
Jessie Wallace, "The Road to Coronation Street" (BBC4)
-- Tom O'Neil
Left photo: Jon Hamm in "Mad Men." Credit: AMC
Right photo: Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO