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‘Killing Eve’ Leads All BAFTA TV Nominees With 14 — But There’s a Twist

"Killing Eve" had a big morning among the BAFTA TV nominees, including some controversy surrounding the stylish drama's success.

Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and Eve (Sandra Oh)

Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”

BBC America

Nominations for the BAFTA TV and BAFTA TV Craft Awards were announced early Thursday morning, with BBC America’s “Killing Eve” leading the nominations with 14, including acting bids for Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh in Leading Actress.

But the big morning for the stylish serial killer drama from Phoebe Waller-Bridge was not without a bit of controversy.

In order to be eligible for this year’s BAFTA TV awards, rules state that a series “must have had the worldwide premiere transmission in the UK” between 1 January and 31 December 2018, and that “a UK broadcaster must have the primary editorial control over the programme.”

BBC America is considered a separate entity from BBC and the latter only acquired the series for air in June 2018, well after its April premiere. Theoretically, “Killing Eve” only should be eligible in the International Series category, alongside shows that include the BAFTA TV-nominated Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and HBO’s “Succession.”

The BAFTA TV committee disagrees. In a statement to IndieWire, a spokeswoman for the organization said: “BAFTA’s Television Committee deems Killing Eve a British series. Killing Eve received 14 nominations, 9 of which were eligible under BAFTA’s criteria, and 5 of which were deemed eligible by the TV committee due to the significant creative contribution from key UK talent throughout the production. The Television committee is the arbiter of all eligibility.”

Nominations boasted several series familiar to American audiences. BBC/Amazon mini-series “A Very English Scandal” nabbed 12 nominations, while the Sky Atlantic/Showtime mini-series “Patrick Melrose” received six, and BBC/AMC mini-series “The Little Drummer Girl” secured five.

BBC’s “Bodyguard,” which caught the eye of American viewers when it moved to Netflix, received five nominations, though none for leading actor Richard Madden.

The BAFTA TV Craft Awards will take place April 28, with the BAFTA TV Awards following two weeks later on May 12.

The full list of nominations for both ceremonies can be found on the official BAFTA website.

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