How ‘Killing Eve’ Broke The BAFTA Rules And Led To Change

Killing Eve is not only a popular show, it’s award-winning. Most recently, Jodie Comer won an Emmy for her work in the series. The show also did well at the BAFTA TV Awards, getting 14 nominations and winning for Outstanding Drama Series, Best Leading Actress for Jodie Comer, and Best Supporting Actress for Fiona Shaw.

Yet there was a lot of controversy over the nominations. Since Killing Eve aired in the U.S. a while before it aired in the U.K., it was therefore not technically eligible for any BAFTAs except in the International Series category. So the BAFTAs broke their own rules to reward the show, which is interesting. And now the rules have changed.

Why was there controversy over ‘Killing Eve’ doing well at the BAFTAs?

Jodie Comer at the Killing Eve season 2 premiere
Jodie Comer at the Killing Eve season 2 premiere | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

It all has to do with the BAFTAs rules. According to IndieWire, “rules state that a series ‘must have had the worldwide premiere transmission in the U.K.’ between 1 January and 31 December 2018, and that ‘a U.K .broadcaster must have the primary editorial control over the program.'” Neither was the case for Killing Eve. Apparently those behind the BAFTAs didn’t mind bending the rules a bit— or a lot — if the show was the right one.

Though Killing Eve did not air on BBC America—which is considered as a separate channel from the BBC— until June 2018, after its premiere in April, the show won several awards. This just shows how good the show really is. The BAFTAs most likely wouldn’t have bent the rules for just any series. Killing Eve is really something special.

How did the rules change?

View this post on Instagram

Partners. #KillingEve

A post shared by Killing Eve (@killingeve) on

According to Deadline, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has decided to change their rules for the BAFTAs. Now, there will hopefully be no problems with nominating shows like Killing Eve. According to the new rules, “‘U.K. programs’ will no longer be required to premiere in the U.K. to be eligible for U.K. production categories.” Though the rules do still state that a “series must still be initiated and developed in the U.K. with creative control residing in the U.K.”

So basically, the new rules give more flexibility on what shows can be nominated. No matter when shows premiere in the U.K., they can win. We wonder what shows besides Killing Eve will benefit from these new rules. At any rate, there will no longer be any controversy over the show if it gets nominations for the BAFTAs.

Why were the BAFTA rule changes made?

View this post on Instagram

Saturday. #KillingEve

A post shared by Killing Eve (@killingeve) on

This is not the first time that the BAFTAs have changed their rules. In 2016, the rules changed. It was then more important where the show was created than where the funding came from. Before this, at least 50% of the funding for a show had to come from the U.K.

Hannah Wyatt, Chair of BAFTA’s Television Committee,  told Deadline that “BAFTA is committed to rewarding British productions that can be enjoyed by British audiences. We are always looking to reflect the ever-changing industry, ensuring our rules remain fit for purpose.” This likely explains the rule change now as well. To stay relevant in a changing industry, awards shows must adapt or be behind the times.