BAFTA Sets 2017 TV Awards Dates, Tweaks Eligibility Rules

BAFTA director of awards Emma Baehr

Its annual TV awards will be handed out on May 14, following the TV craft honors on April 23.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) on Monday set its annual TV awards ceremony in 2017 for Sunday, May 14, with the British Academy Television Craft Awards taking place on April 23.

This past year, the awards were handed out on May 8 and April 24, respectively.

BAFTA also published updated rules and guidelines for the TV and TV craft awards next year, with a refinement of eligibility in line with the changing landscape of funding and co-productions.

For the TV awards, there is a change to eligibility outside the international category "to put the emphasis on creativity rather than on funding," BAFTA's director of awards and membership Emma Baehr tells The Hollywood Reporter. In the past, entries had to demonstrate that 50 percent or more of the budget came from the U.K. Now, programs need to instead prove that creative control resides in the U.K. and that creative development is driven from Britain to be considered for inclusion in the non-international categories.

Under the old rules, for example, Netflix drama The Crown, produced by U.K. production firm Left Bank Pictures, in which Sony Pictures Television owns a stake; BBC-Weinstein Co. drama War and Peace; and BBC-AMC co-production The Night Manager would all have only been eligible in the international category because of their funding, "although all the creativity resides in the U.K. and is driven from here from their U.K. production companies," Baehr explains.

In terms of the TV craft honors, U.K.-based creatives will now be eligible even when the show they work on is only eligible in the international category of the TV awards. They can be considered "as long as the U.K. is their usual place of residency and employment" and the craft has been completed in the U.K. Baehr cites Game of Thrones as an example of a show that could now see individuals get nominated for craft awards.

Nominations for the TV craft awards will be announced on March 28, followed by the British Academy Television Awards nominations on April 11. The first stage for awards entries for all programs aired up until Nov. 30 will be Dec. 2, with the final deadline for all entries being Monday, Jan. 9.

BAFTA's two TV awards ceremonies annually recognize and honor outstanding achievement in television, celebrating the best programs, performances and behind-the-scenes talent. "It's really important that we ensure that we are celebrating and awarding the best, so we always try to stay ahead and lead and update rules depending on trends," says Baehr of the latest rule tweaks.

BAFTA this summer unveiled its film awards dates for 2017 and adjustments to its eligibility rules, including in the animated film section.

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