Hollywood honors British influence before Emmys

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Spacey's star turn in the Emmy-nominated series "House of Cards" actually had its beginnings on British television.

So it was no surprise when the Oscar winner and Emmy nominee walked the red carpet Saturday at a tea hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

"House of Cards" is one of many British imports that have inspired American television in recent years. And Spacey called its unique release — the entire series was posted on Netflix at once — and nine Emmy nominations a "landmark moment." The British original aired over three seasons during the 1990s.

"I think it's a sign that things are shifting and moving into lots of different platforms and different ways for audiences to discover what they want to watch and how they want to watch it," Spacey said. "They want to be in control so you better give them control or they'll go somewhere else."

Kerry Washington, Jon Voight, Alfre Woodard and stars of the hit British period drama "Downton Abbey" were at the BAFTA event too the day before Sunday's Emmy awards in Los Angeles. They ate finger foods and wore sunglasses at a posh Los Angeles hotel, shielding themselves from the California sun under large white umbrellas.

Each seemed to have their favorite British television show.

Allison Holker of "So You Think You Can Dance" said she loves the original British version of "The Office."

So does "Breaking Bad" star Dean Norris, who called it one of his "favorite shows of all time." Norris said he's also hoping to find the time to watch "Dr. Who."

Actor Reid Scott of "Veep" said he really loves BBC's "Sherlock Holmes." Scott even had his own theories about why Americans are embracing, and even copying, British humor.

"I think American comedy has really taken a page from British comedy in that we demand intelligent comedy now," Scott said. "It's not so slapsticky. It's not so bawdy anymore."

That begs the question: What will be the next British television invasion to find fans in America?

Even "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes said he doesn't know.


Online: http://www.bafta.org


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