The countdown to next year’s BAFTA Television Craft Awards and the BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises on 28 April and 12 May respectively begins today, with entries for the 2024 editions officially open. Celebrating the exceptional storytelling, creativity and craft of British and international television and the people who bring it to life, the two ceremonies span 47 competitive awards categories, from costume design, composing and casting, to writing, editing and directing across all TV genres.
The eligibility criteria and voting rules are reviewed and updated annually by BAFTA’s Television Committee, made up of industry leaders from across the sector. The key changes to the rulebooks this year are as follows:
BAFTA Television Awards
- The Daytime category was introduced in 2021 to raise the profile of this historically under- recognised genre. Previously, eligibility was defined by high volume and returnability, not by scheduling, with entrants choosing one episode to represent the series – as is the case for all BAFTA’s competitive awards. From 2024, entered episodes must be transmitted between 09:00 – 18:00 to be eligible, reflecting the relevance and importance of this category to linear broadcasting.
- From 2024, two people will be eligible to be considered for Entertainment Performance as a pair if they have equal billing on their entered programme (and are entered together). This relaxes the previous requirement that pairs must be already recognised as a presenting duo to be eligible.
As previously set out in the 2023 rulebook, categories with under 20 entries will see three, rather than the standard four nominations announced, or alternatively, categories may be merged in order to run. On this basis, two updates have been made to the 2024 edition:
- Limited Drama is a new category for scripted one-off programmes or series that tell a complete story over 1-19 episodes, replacing separate categories for Single Drama and Mini-Series. The introduction of Limited Drama maintains the opportunity for single self-contained films to be eligible following a decline in entries to the Single Drama category in recent years (Drama Series category remains unchanged).
- Sport and Live Event Coverage brings together Sports Coverage and Live Event coverage.
Three category names have been updated and renamed (eligibility and voting criteria will remain the same):
- Soap & Continuing Drama is now defined as Soap
- Reality and Constructed Factual is now defined as Reality
- Features is now defined as Factual Entertainment
UK-based productions will be required to provide information about meeting BFI’s new Diversity Standards as BAFTA’s eligibility criteria for all UK productions looks to transition from a minimum of two (Standard C + 1) to three in the coming years, to include the BFI’s new diversity Standard E (accessibility).
All UK-based productions will be required to have a policy in place on tackling bullying and harassment in order to be eligible to enter. To support this rule change, free guidance and policy templates will be available on Creative UK in the coming weeks. This new intervention, first announced in December 2022, builds on BAFTA’s long-standing work to help tackle bullying and harassment across the screen industries, and forms part of wider, ongoing collective cross-sector activity.
To ensure voters have as much time as possible to watch and consider entered work, the window for submitting work has been brought forward. Communications with voting members will be refined and tailored by craft specialism to encourage the broadest range of work possible to be viewed and considered by voters.
BAFTA’s guiding principles for its awards are to celebrate creative excellence, level the playing field, provide a fair and robust process, and encourage positive industry change. Earlier this year, 4.4 million people watched Kate Winslet, Lenny Rush, David Olusoga and Meera Syal among a host of creative talent on-and-off-screen take home awards via BBC One’s coverage of the BAFTA Television Awards 2023 (up 2.8% on 2022’s broadcast), alongside 11 million people via social media.
As previously announced, Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning at UKTV, was elected chair of BAFTA’s Television Committee earlier this year. She said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed chair of BAFTA’s Television Committee – there’s no other art form that is so creatively ambitious and yet so accessible; the stories on TV travel further than any other cultural medium. We’ve listened and engaged closely with our peers and have responded to wider industry trends in setting this year’s eligibility, category and voting rules, which are reviewed annually. At a time when recognition of creative efforts on-and-off screen is needed more than ever, BAFTA’s awards are an important showcase of the ingenuity and talents of those who bring TV to life.”
The P&O Cruises Memorable Moment Award will also return, honouring the impact of television in the UK and its power to entertain, inform and bring the nation together – looking back at key moments from 2023 that inspired and moved audiences at home. In 2023, the P&O Cruises Memorable Moment Award, the only award voted for by the public, was won by Platinum Jubilee: Party at the Palace Paddington meets the Queen. A public vote will open in early March 2024 when nominations are announced. Key dates as outlined in the rulebook are as follows:
- March 2024 – P&O Cruises Memorable Moment nominations announced
- Thursday 21 March 2024 – Television Awards and Television Craft nominations announced
- Sunday 28 April 2024 – BAFTA Television Craft Awards
- Sunday 12 May 2024 – BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises
Entered programmes and performances must be transmitted between 1 January and 31 December 2023 to be eligible. A comprehensive overview of entry information including rules and eligibility requirements can be found on BAFTA’s Awards webpage here.