Broadcasting Press Guild Awards: Why in the Age Of Netflix, TV Has Still Got Its Mojo

11/02/2016 10:53 GMT | Updated 10/02/2017 10:12 GMT

'Netflix and chill' may have been transformed into a euphemism for something altogether more physical, but the phrase's origins do tell a story for telly enthusiasts like me. I won't bore you with theory or blind you with statistics because the fact is simple: people are increasingly heading online to get their content kicks.

Netflix sparked into life on these shores in 2012 and the ember red of its logo has spread like wildfire. The likes of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have toiled with these flames and all now realise that they cannot be extinguished. Instead, our broadcasters are all lighting their own candles and experimenting with programmes online.

I'll drop the fire analogy now, but this is not an easy process for our TV tastemakers. If anything, it's completely counterintuitive for a generation of commissioners still beholden to the box in the corner of the living room. It's partly why it took two years (TWO YEARS) to decide that BBC3 should be moved online. It will go live next week in what could be a landmark moment.

For now though, efforts to take on American internet giants on their home turf should be applauded. It is why the Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG), a collection of the top TV and radio journalists in the UK, has added a new category to its awards, sponsored for the first time by Sky's online streaming service NOW TV and taking place this year on March 11th.

The Made for Online gong will celebrate innovations in UK digital content in 2015. Among our nominees (see full list below) is Car Share, the commuter comedy that Peter Kay insisted debut on BBC iPlayer before making its way to BBC One.

A million miles from this is another BBC iPlayer treat: Bitter Lake, a 136-minute opus from brilliant British filmmaker Adam Curtis. Free from the confines of a TV schedule, Curtis' mind is allowed to roam free - and often to devastating effect.

And America is represented as well. Flying the flag is Amazon, chiefly because Ripper Street and The Man in the High Castle are co-produced by companies in the UK.

Next year, Netflix (them again) will enter the race because its British-produced £100m epic The Crown will have premiered on a tablet near you. The BPG will also have loads of BBC3 content to mull over, as well as other digital premieres, such as iPlayer comedy The Rack Pack. You can see why we think we're ahead of the curve in introducing our Made for Online category in 2016.

But for all my cage rattling about the internet, TV remains joyously healthy. Quality is writ large through our nominees, which have been chosen after a rigorous two-stage voting process among BPG journalists and critics.

Wolf Hall has enough political potency to match any episode of House Of Cards, while a vengeful Doctor Foster would put fear even into Amazon's Lucifer. The Murder Detectives was doing the box-set documentary thing well before Netflix's Making A Murderer exploded and comedy Catastrophe was so good, Amazon went and bought it.

And it's not just channels one through five that are making waves. The BPG changed its voting system this year to raise the profile of broadcasters further down the TV guide, including UKTV, Discovery and Sky. It's why Sky Atlantic's controversial Scientology film Going Clear receives recognition and frozen thriller Fortitude is going toe-to-toe with 2015's big dramas.

So before you jump into bed with Netflix, remember, good old TV is still pretty damn sexy.

TV Nominations BPG Awards 2016

Best Single Drama

An Inspector Calls (BBC One)

The Dresser (BBC Two)

The Vote - live from Donmar Warehouse (More 4)

Best Drama Series

Doctor Foster (BBC One)

Fortitude (Sky Atlantic)

Humans (C4)

Wolf Hall (BBC Two)

Best Single Documentary

Going Clear (Sky Atlantic)

Love You to Death: A Year of Domestic Violence (BBC Two)

My Son the Jihadi (C4)

Professor Green: Suicide and Me (BBC Three)

Best Documentary Series

Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man (Gold)

Inside the Commons (BBC Two)

Face of Britain by Simon Schama (BBC Two)

The Murder Detectives (C4)

Best Entertainment/Factual Entertainment

First Dates (C4)

The Great British Bake Off (BBC One)

The Graham Norton Show (BBC One)

Wild Things (Sky1)

Best Comedy

Car Share (BBC One)

Catastrophe (C4)

Detectorists (BBC Four)

Hunderby (Sky Atlantic)

Made for Online (Digital First)

Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake (BBC iPlayer)

Car Share (BBC iPlayer)

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)

Ripper Street (Amazon)

Best Actor

Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, BBC Two)

Timothy Spall (Enfield Haunting, Sky Living)

Aidan Turner (Poldark BBC One/And Then There Were None, BBC One)

Ben Whishaw (London Spy, BBC Two)

Best Actress

Gemma Chan (Humans, C4)

Julia Davis (Hunderby, Sky Atlantic)

Claire Foy (Wolf Hall, BBC Two)

Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, BBC One)

Nicola Walker (River, BBC One/Unforgotten, ITV)

Best Writer

Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, BBC One)

Rob Delaney/Sharon Horgan (Catastophe, C4)

Simon Donald (Fortitude, Sky Atlantic)

Peter Straughan (Wolf Hall, BBC Two)

Breakthrough Award

Gemma Chan (Humans, C4)

Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum, E4)

Sian Gibson (Car Share, BBC iPlayer/BBC One)

Aidan Turner (Poldark, BBC One/And Then There Were None, BBC One)

Innovation in Broadcasting Award

BT TV for its UHD Channel

The Sound of Music Live (ITV)

The Vote - live from Donmar Warehouse (More 4)

Russell T Davies for multiplatform series: Cucumber, Banana & Tofu (C4, E4 & All 4)