Bodyguard, which is produced by ITV-owned World Productions, is thought to be the first truly original BBC drama to be nominated in the Best Television Series – Drama category at the Golden Globes. The six-part show airs on Netflix in the U.S. and while the SVOD service is understood to have been a partner since the show’s early production stages, it was picked up by Netflix’s co-licensing team.
The terror thriller was the biggest new drama hit for the British public broadcaster in over ten years with 11 million people tuning into live to its finale back in September. However, its inclusion in the U.S. awards is somewhat of a surprise, having drawn a handful of so-so reviews since its launch Stateside.
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama told Deadline, “It’s utterly thrilling to see great British writing, directing and acting talent being so widely recognised in this year’s Golden Globe nominations. We couldn’t be more delighted for all of the British dramas featured in this year’s list but in particular for Bodyguard and A Very English Scandal originated by the BBC.”
Somewhat strangely, a BBC documentary America: A Personal History of the United States, fronted by Alistair Cooke, was nominated in the main TV category in 1972, but only period drama Downton Abbey, Carnival Films’ co-production between ITV and PBS’ Masterpiece, has troubled the Globes drama nominations in recent years.
In the drama category, Bodyguard is up against Killing Eve (right), a largely British show, produced by BBC-backed UK indie Sid Gentle Films, written by British auteur Phoebe Waller-Bridge that airs on the BBC. However, the show was originally commissioned by BBC America, the company’s AMC Networks-backed U.S. sibling channel. They will go up against The Americans, Homecoming and Pose.
Sid Gentle founder Sally Woodward Gentle told Deadline, “Everyone at Sid Gentle Films is absolutely thrilled that Sandra has been nominated for Best Actress and that the whole creative team including the brilliant Jodie Comer and uniquely talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge have had their hard work and creativity rewarded. It really is a team effort between an exceptional cast and a world class British crew. We are delighted to be part of such a resurgence of quality British TV and to be recognised by the Hollywood Foreign Press means a great deal to us. We’d also like to thank BBC America, Endeavour and BBC Studios for their continued belief in the small show that could.”
Richard Madden, the star of Bodyguard has also been nominated for Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama. Madden, who plays war vet David Budd, undiagnosed with PTSD, who is drawn into—and made the pawn of—a conspiracy that threatens to unseat the government.
Madden told Deadline in October that the experience of the show has been “quite mad”. He said, “You never expect things to go quite as well, or to catch that many people’s attention, so it was quite overwhelming.”
The Game of Thrones star will be up against fellow Brit Matthew Rhys, star of The Americans, Ozark’s Jason Bateman, Canadian actor Stephan James for Homecoming and Pose’s Billy Porter for best drama actor.
A number of fellow Brits are also in the conversation; Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw have been nominated for A Very English Scandal, while Benedict Cumberbatch has been nominated for Sky and Showtime co-pro Patrick Melrose, Sacha Baron Cohen has been nominated for his Showtime political prank comedy Who Is America? and Westworld’s Thandie Newton is up for the HBO drama. Irish actress Caitriona Balfe has also been nominated for Outlander.
BBC and Amazon co-pro A Very English Scandal has also been nominated for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – a more common category for British shows such as Bleak House, Dancing on the Edge, The Hour and The Dresser. It will go head-to-head with shows including The Alienist, BBC acquisition The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Escape at Dannemora and Sharp Objects.
Auntie, British TV viewers’ affectionate nickname for the BBC, may be in for a good night on January 7.