Big day for The Night Manager as it sweeps up 12 Emmy nominations

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BBC enjoys 22 different nominations including nods for Luther, Sherlock, and War and Peace

Big day for The Night Manager as it sweeps up 12 Emmy nominations
To prepare for the role, Tom Hiddleston shadowed the night manager of the Rosewood Hotel in London. Photograph: PR

The BBC’s slick adaptation of John le Carré’s thriller The Night Manager has swept the Emmys, earning Tom Hiddleston his first nomination for his portrayal of the ruthless Jonathan Pine.

The six-part series, adapted by David Farr and brought into the world of modern warfare, was showered with 12 nominations, including best limited series. Hiddleston picked up a nomination for best actor in a limited series, pitting him against fellow Brits Idris Elba for Luther and Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock.

To prepare for the role, Hiddleston, 34, spent his nights shadowing the night manager of the five-star Rosewood Hotel in London. Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman picked up supporting actor nominations for their roles as heartless arms dealer Richard Roper and incorruptible intelligence agent Angela Burr who pursues him relentlessly.

The show’s Emmys success matches its critical reception; it was described by the Guardian as “the BBC’s glossiest, smartest, most indecently entertaining Sunday night drama in ages”.

The Emmy nominations proved an overall triumph for the BBC which received 22 different nominees. As well as The Night Manager, shows such as Luther, which has long been a favourite at the awards with eight previous nominations under its belt, Sherlock and War and Peace ensured that British television held its own at the esteemed American television awards.

The Sherlock Christmas special – The Abominable Bride – and Luther will go head to head in the outstanding television movie category.

ITV’s Downton Abbey, beloved by Brits and Americans, was granted a last hurrah for its final season, with 10 nominations including best drama and best supporting actress for Maggie Smith.

Overall, this year’s Emmy nominations proved that Game of Thrones still dominates the TV landscape, even after six series, picking up 23 nominations – just one short of the record 24 nominations it received last year.

Newer additions to the nominee roster this year included the gripping dramatisation of the OJ Simpson trial, The People v OJ Simpson which received 22 nominations. Cuba Gooding Jr, who played OJ, and Sarah Paulson, who played prosecutor Marcia Clark, are among the nominees from the series, which is the first since ER in 1995 to take more than 20 nominations in its first season.

After Viola Davis became the first black woman to win a best actress Emmy last year, and made a stirring speech about the lack of opportunity for black actors on television, this year’s nominations were a showcase for diversity. Three of the nominees for best actor – Courtney B Vance, Elba and Gooding Jr – are black; and Black-ish, a celebrated American sitcom about an African American family, received its first Emmy nomination. Overall, 18 actors from ethnic minorities received nominations across 16 acting categories.

Spy drama The Americans, which stars Welsh actor Matthew Rhys as a Russian spy living undercover in the US, picked up nominations in all the major categories including outstanding drama series, best actor for Rhys, best actress for Keri Russell and best writing for the final episode in the season.

Beyoncé, never one to be left out of any awards ceremony, picked up four nominations for her visual album Lemonade.

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