NEW YORK (AP) — Britain garnered a leading seven International Emmy nominations Monday, led by Sheridan Smith who received a best actress nod for her role in "Cilla."
Smith, who also has a BAFTA nomination for the same role, starred in the ITV miniseries about the rise to stardom of pop singer and TV personality Cilla Black, who was closely associated with the Beatles.
The nomination was particularly poignant because Black died on Aug. 1 after a fall in her Spanish villa. At the time, Smith tweeted that she was "absolutely devastated" over the death of "a true legend" and considered it "a privilege to play her."
Smith was previously nominated for an International Emmy in 2013 for her role in "Mrs. Biggs," about the wife of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.
Britain's Rafe Spall, who played John Hancock in the History Channel miniseries "Sons of Liberty" and appeared in the Oscar-winning film "Life of Pi," was nominated for best actor for his role opposite Jon Hamm in the techno-thriller "White Christmas," the holiday special of the Channel 4 anthology series "Black Mirror."
Brazil's five nominees include two shows that received double nominations. "Doce de Mae" ("Sweet Mother"), about a family matriarch who confronts issues of aging while dispensing wisdom to her children and grandchildren, is up for best comedy. Its veteran star, Fernanda Montenegro, who won the International Emmy for the same role in 2013, is among this year's best actress nominees.
The Brazilian series "Psi" ("Psy"), depicting the adventures of an unconventional psychotherapist, was nominated for best drama and actor (Emilio de Mello).
Norway's Anneke von der Lippe was the only other best actress nominee for "Oyevitne" ("Eyewitness"). The other best actor nominations went to Turkey's Engin Akyurek for "Kara Para Ask" ("Black Money Love") and the Netherlands' Maarten Heijmans for "Ramses."
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that 40 nominees from 19 countries will be competing in 10 categories for International Emmys, established to honor excellence in TV programming outside the U.S. The awards will be presented Nov. 23 at a gala at the Hilton New York Hotel, hosted by Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, dubbed "the Jon Stewart of the Arab world."
France had four nominations, followed by South Africa with three, while Colombia, Japan and Argentina had two apiece.
The other British nominees are: "Messiah at the Foundling Hospital" (Arts Programming), "Growing Up Down's" (Documentary), "My Mad Fat Diary" (Drama Series), "50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy" (Non-Scripted Entertainment) and "Common" (TV Movie/Mini-Series).
Also competing for best drama series are France's "Engrenages" ("Spiral") and Japan's "MOZU Season 1 - Night Cry of the MOZU." The other comedy series nominees include France's "Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca" ("Don't Do This, Don't Do That"), Colombia's "Familia en Venta," South Africa's "Puppet Nation ZA," and Canada's "Sensitive Skin."
"Downton Abbey" writer and creator Julian Fellowes will be presented the honorary International Emmy Founders Award at the awards ceremony. Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO of HBO, will receive the honorary International Emmy Directorate Award.
Last week, the international academy announced its nominees for the International Emmy Kids Awards for children's programming, which will be presented on April 5 at MIPTV in Cannes, France.
A total of 24 nominees from 13 countries will be competing in six categories, led by Britain, Japan and the Netherlands with four nominations apiece.