Britain picks up 7 International Emmy nominations

CHARLES J. GANS, Associated Press

NEW YORK -- British television productions received a leading seven International Emmy nominations Monday, including best actor and actress nods for Jason Isaacs in "Case Histories" and newcomer Joanna Vanderham in "The Runaway."

Isaacs, best known for playing the villainous Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, was nominated for his role in the series based on Kate Atkinson's crime mystery novels in which he portrays Jackson Brodie, an Edinburgh-based, tough-but-empathetic private detective with a tragic past.

Vanderham. who was plucked out of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to make her professional debut in "The Runaway," plays a young girl who grows up on the streets of London's sleazy Soho district in the `60s and `70s and has a doomed romance with a childhood sweetheart.

Britain had two nominees for best comedy: the Jennifer Saunders-Joanna Lumley sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous," which returned for three specials to mark its 20th anniversary, and "Spy," about a single father accidentally recruited as a trainee spy for MI5.

The other British nominees included "Queen: Days of Our Lives" (arts programming), "Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die" (documentary) and "Black Mirror" (TV movie/mini-series).

Brazil had five nominations, all for TV Globo productions, including "The Good Men" for TV movie/mini-series and "The Invisible Woman" for comedy.

Argentina's four nominations included two acting nods for the On TV miniseries "Television por la Inclusion" about problems related to social exclusion and inclusion. Dario Grandinetti, who starred in Pedro Almodovar's film "Talk to Her," was nominated for his portrayal of a xenophobic taxi driver, and Cristina Banegas, an award-winning theater, film and TV actress, was recognized for her role as the mother of a girl with Down syndrome who fights for her daughter's rights.

Singapore's "The Kitchen Musical," a "Glee"-like music-dance-drama revolving around the story of a young girl fresh out of a Parisian culinary school who goes to work in her father's famous restaurant, received two nominations, including for best drama series. Filipino Arthur Acuna got a best actor nomination for his role as the restaurant's general manager.

"The Kitchen Musical" will be competing for best drama with France's "Braquo," Hong Kong's "ICAC Investigators 2011," Australia's "The Slap" and Argentina's "The Social Leader." The other contender for comedy series is Belgium's "What If?

The other best actor nominees were Stein Winge for "Norwegian Cozy" and China's Zhu Yawen for "Flying Eagle." Denmark's Sidse Babett Knudsen for "Government" and Rina Sa for the Hong Kong production "Zhong Guo Di" were also among the actress nominees.

A total of 40 nominees from 15 countries will compete in nine categories for International Emmys, which honor excellence in TV programming outside the U.S. The winners will be announced Nov. 19 at a ceremony at the Hilton New York Hotel.

Singapore and China/Hong Kong had three nominations each, followed by Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Portugal and South Korea with two apiece. Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Spain each had a single nomination.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will be holding a separate and new awards ceremony for children's programming in which 24 nominees in six categories were announced Monday. The inaugural International Emmy Kids Awards will be presented on Feb. 8, 2013 in New York City.

Britain led with four nominations for Kids Awards, followed by three apiece for South Korea and Norway. Argentina, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands had two apiece.

The British nominees include "Octonauts (preschool), "The Amazing World of Gumball" (animation), "Newsround - My Autism and Me" (factual), and "Lost Christmas (TV movie/mini-series).

"One of the great success stories of international television in the last few years has been the explosion of high quality children's programming around the globe," said Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

"In recognition of this, the International Academy is proud to have created these new awards and we look forward to the first International Emmy Kids Awards ceremony."

In celebration of the International Emmys 40th anniversary, the academy will present honorary Special Founders Awards at its November gala to actor-director Alan Alda ("M(asterisk)A(asterisk)S(asterisk)H") and writer-producer Norman Lear ("All In The Family"), who both had Emmy-winning shows on U.S. TV in 1972, the year of the first International Emmy Awards.

At the same ceremony, "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy will receive the honorary 2012 International Emmy Founders Award, while Kim In-kyu, president and CEO of the Korean Broadcasting System, will receive the honorary International Emmy Directorate Award.