They’re still called the SAG Awards. But the upcoming 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild show on January 30th could just as easily be called the AFTRA Awards in terms of television. That’s because an increasing number of categories, especially among comedy series, are dominated by AFTRA shows. On December 16th when the SAG Awards nominations were announced, AFTRA put out a congratulatory note listing all nominees from AFTRA shows. And while SAG still represents movies and such TV heavy hitters as Mad Men, Dexter, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, and The Big Bang Theory as well as hot awards prospects like Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead, AFTRA now boasts top awards TV contenders such as Modern Family, The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Nurse Jackie as well as Parks & Recreation and Community.
I’m now hearing that this could be the last SAG Awards. If even the most optimistic merger scenarios come true, then by the end of 2011 and just in time for the 18th SAG Awards, Hollywood may have a single actors union that would replace SAG and AFTRA. And therefore a newly conceived awards show for the combined actors’ union. The awards telecast would reflects what’s been happening union-wise on the TV side over the past couple of years. Where once TV was populated by virtually 100% SAG-designated series, the pendulum has swung to AFTRA in primetime since the writers strike.
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One year after receiving the SAG life achievement award, Betty White is back as a double nominee. How beloved by her peers is the 89-year-old ‘Golden Girls’ alumna? She turned a conventional sitcom, TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland, into an awards contender, helping it score its first 2 nominations at this year’s SAG Awards, which are determined entirely by fellow actors: one for White as comedy series actress and one for the show’s cast in the comedy ensemble category. Besides Hot in Cleveland, the only other new series to make the cut this year was HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which also landed two noms: for star Steve Buscemi and best drama ensemble.
Also notable is the influx of cast members from Glee and Modern Family in the individual comedy acting category after the two shows scored only ensemble nominations last year and Glee won. Last year, only leads of their comedy series were nominated for best actor and actress: Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Larry David, Tony Shalhoub, Charlie Sheen, Toni Collette, Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tina Fey. This year, half of the 10 individual comedy series nominations went to Glee and Modern Family ensemble players: Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara and Glee‘s Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer. This marks the first awards recognition for Modern Family for veteran O’Neill who was famously the only actor from the hit comedy not to get an Emmy nomination. Of … Read More »