'House,' 'Earl' among nominees

Four U.S. shows are competing in the new international category as BAFTA announced its TV nominations. “Entourage,” “House,” “Lost” and “My Name Is Earl” were all given the nod.

The international prize controversially replaces the old award for current affairs, abandoned much to the fury of British current affairs producers and commissioners.

Otherwise, the list of nominations is again heavy on BBC and Channel 4 shows. The BBC has won a total of 37 nominations, while Channel 4 has 20, ITV 14 and Five 2. Sky One receives three.

In the actor category, Jim Broadbent (“Longford”) goes against Andy Serkis (“Longford”), Michael Sheen (“Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!”) and John Simm (“Life on Mars”).

In the actress category, Helen Mirren is conspicuous by her absence — however her final bow as detective chief inspector Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect” is nominated for drama serial.

In the running for the actress prize are: Anne-Marie Duff (“The Virgin Queen”), Samantha Morton (“Longford”), Ruth Wilson (“Jane Eyre”) and Victoria Wood (“Housewife 49”).

For comedy performance the stars of “Extras,” Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, are competing against each other. Also in with a chance in this category are Dawn French for her swansong as “The Vicar of Dibley” and 85-year-old Liz Smith reprising her role in “The Royle Family.”

In single drama, Michael Winterbottom’s “Road To Guantanamo” is vying with “Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!,” “Longford” and “Housewife 47.”

“The Apprentice” is nominated in features together with “The Choir,” “Dragons’ Den” and Gordon Ramsay’s “The F Word.”

The BAFTA Television Awards ceremony unfolds at the London Palladium on May 20.

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