Producers Guild just announded that “award-winning television and film producer and director J.J. Abrams will be honored with the 2013 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. The award will be presented to Abrams at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.”

More from the press release after the cut.

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  • Theatrical Feature: The Artist
  • Animated Feature: The Adventures of Tintin
  • TV Drama: Boardwalk Empire
  • TV Longform: Downton Abbey
  • TV Comedy: Modern Family
  • TV News: 60 Minutes
  • TV Sports: ESPN’s 30 for 30
  • TV Variety: The Colbert Report
  • TV Documentary: American Masters
  • TV Reality: The Amazing Race
  • Web Series: 30 Rock Presents
  • Documentary Feature: Beats, Rhymes and Life: the Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

I assume everyone is predicting The Artist to win here, and then win the DGA and then maybe win the SAG ensemble, with some serious heat from The Help, but if you had to choose a film that might upset, which one do you choose?

Here are a few things to note.  The first, for the past two years the Oscar race has seemed to have one film in mind for Best Picture until another one takes its place at the Producers Guild and from thence, to Oscar.  In both of these years, we had ten Best Picture nominees in the race.  The Producers Guild went to ten and then did preferential voting, just as the Academy did.  The only truly horrifying step in the race last year was how the DGA shook out.  One expected, with such visionary directors in the race, that the DGA would have decided to honor one of them.  Instead, it chose the most conventionally made, traditional “Oscar movie” – even when almost everyone (except me) thought that Fincher would win the DGA.

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It is always this time of year when you know for sure whether a film is going to finish the race as the “winner” or not. The Producers Guild has, for the last two years anyway, been the turning point. The Globes come and go and one year it was Avatar and the next year it was The Social Network. Then the Producers Guild honored The Hurt Locker, and the Producers Guild honored The King’s Speech and such was the signal that it was all over but the shouting. It was especially exciting when The Hurt Locker won because everyone naturally assumed that the movie that made the most money in the race (Avatar) would beat the movie that made the least (The Hurt Locker). The Hurt Locker had been winning on the strength of Kathryn Bigelow’s underdog status, being a woman, and the simple fact that she had the better movie. But The King’s Speech beating The Social Network, Black Swan, Inception, The Fighter and True Grit? There was something else at play. There was profit, sure, but there was also low cost and there was also those swollen hearts. Everybody felt sorry for the stuttering King who couldn’t give a speech, his friendship with his teacher, and on and on and on it went. Masterpiece Theater for the ages. The King’s Speech wasn’t a bad film. It was a very very good film. It just wasn’t better than the best film. But hey, Rocky was a great film too. It just wasn’t better than Network. It just wasn’t better than Taxi Driver. It just wasn’t better than All the President’s Men. Time helped us to see that year more clearly but at the time, there was no stopping Rocky. Rocky and The King’s Speech are very similar in that way. You’re always going to find people who respond, still, to both movies. That the greater movies were nominated alongside them also speaks well of the Academy for noticing at all.

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Producer: Thomas Langmann

Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Clayton Townsend

Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Producers: Ceán Chaffin, Scott Rudin

Producers: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Brunson Green

Producers: Graham King, Martin Scorsese

Producers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver

Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum

Producers: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt

Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg

The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

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Our Producers Guild prediction contest closes tomorrow AM.  We’ll be sending a $25 online Amazon gift card to the lucky winner.  You can still enter.  Feel free to put your No Guts, No Glory pics here – please no more than three choices.

Meanwhile, here are my predictions for the PGA ten. Ryan’s follow [shortly], and I’ve also asked one of my Oscar Poker podcast partner‘s Phil Contrino for his.

Best Picture
The Artist
The Help
The Descendants
Midnight in Paris
War Horse
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Alt. Tree of Life
Also possible: Bridesmaids

The Producers could wind up choosing The Ides of March or J. Edgar, too, come to that. I am not certain at all of these predictions. In fact, I feel like it’s a wide open Oscar year in every respect, up to and including the potential winner.

My No Guts, No Glory pic for Best Picture would be Rise of the Planet of the Apes!  I am going to pass on animated this year, but Phil has elected to include his, after the cut.

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Fixed: The contest form now allows you to choose more than one option on the doc and animated categories.

Since we got our new form to generate contests, making them is going to be a lot easier. Therefore, for the second time this week we’re introducing another contest. Predict the PGAs! (If you haven’t yet entered our Golden Globes contest, it’s here.)

A quick check on awards calendar tells us that the Producers Guild will announce January 3rd, and the Writers Guild and Scripter awards will announce January 5th. The following Monday, January 9th the Directors Guild will announce, and the Monday after that, the Eddies. By then, we should have our Oscar picture mostly taking shape.

We will know if we Oscar pundits were very right or very wrong. We will know if the critics will have any impact at all this year. And we will know if the industry is embracing certain titles – like Tree of Life, or Drive, or Harry Potter or Rise of the Planet of the Apes. None of these are expected to hit in the major categories so if they start showing up that could signal possible presence at the AMPAS.

And of course, our scary scary Oscar nominations drop bright and early Tuesday morning January 24th. Are you ready? I’m only barely ready.

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Press release:  The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that producer, director, writer and Principal Partner of DreamWorks Studios Steven Spielberg will receive the 2012 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The award will be presented to Spielberg at the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 21st at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

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Press release from the Producers Guild announces key dates and deadlines.  The PGA aards will takes place January 21, 2012. They’ll be continuing to honor 10 motion picture nominees instead of an uncertain number derived from the new sliding scales adopted by the Oscars.

The Producers Guild of America announced today its key submission deadlines for the 2012 Producers Guild Awards, along with the formation of additional television categories. The Guild also confirmed that it will continue to recognize 10 nominees for its Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures category. The 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Veteran producer and PGA board member Paula Wagner will once again chair this year’s event, along with producer Michael Manheim.

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The Social Network will get its first real challenge with the preferential ballot at Saturday night’s PGA awards. Up until now, it has not lost a single major award it has been up for. Inception has won a few critics awards, Black Swan won Austin, but other than that, The Social Network is to this year’s Oscar race what Secretariat was to the Belmont Stakes the year he not only won the Triple Crown, but finished by 25 lengths in the final race.

If the Oscars were a horse race, that is, which they aren’t.

Last year, the Producers Guild went 8 for 10 with the Oscars for identical Best Picture nominations. Last year, we assumed at the time that the preferential balloting was the reason for this and that Avatar would have won in a weighted ballot scenario. Will that logic work against The Social Network this year? Would a weighted ballot give The Social Network a better chance at a win? Or can it still win under the preferential balloting? If it’s mildly close at all, as in – The Social Network does not come in at number one for the first round, another film could win. Black Swan, or maybe Inception, or maybe The Fighter. It’s hard to say — we still don’t know if we’re looking at an out and out sweep (like Slumdog) or a mix n’ match, like Crash v. Brokeback.

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Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson

Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver

Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas

Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Mark Wahlberg

Producers: Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray

Producers: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin

Producers: Dana Brunetti, Ce√°n Chaffin, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin

Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Graham King

Producer: Darla K. Anderson

Producers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin

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On Tuesday, the Producers Guild will announce their nominees for the 2010 Oscar year. This will be the second year that they’d upped their nominees from five to ten, as they offer up what they think are the year’s best for Oscar consideration. Oscar sits there, at the very end of the whole magilla, and considers all of the offerings and decides for Himself whether or not He agrees.

It is rather fruitless, then, to go back and look at the years that did or didn’t match the PGA, since so much has changed since the last year’s expansion. We only really have last year to go on. I will say that finding ten is a hell of a lot easier than finding five, thus much of the suspense has been removed from the equation when it comes to finding nominees. It turns out that, by the time the end of the year rolls around, one just knows what films are considered the best. But there is still some wiggle room for the 8, 9 and 10th slots.

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Okay, Oscar watchers. We aren’t going to run a WGA contest, but we will run a Producers Guild top ten predictions contest. Do your worst!

Remember, if you choose to use the alternates to write in films you don’t see on the list, leave two slots blank in the pull-down menu selection.

The Producers Guild nominations will occur on January 4th, 2011.


It’s hard to imagine that the Producers Guild and Directors Guild nominations are just around the corner. The PGA should help clarify something about the Best Picture race, while the WGA could give us an indication as to where the original and adapted screenplays will be headed.

Last year was the first year for the PGA to go up to ten, and of those, only two were swapped out with AMPAS – Star Trek and Invictus became The Blind Side and A Serious man. Interesting choices there.

This year, how do you think it will go? We’ll probably post a nominee contest for the PGA and the DGA (announcing Jan. 10). But I would be very surprised if these weren’t on the list:

The Social Network
The King’s Speech
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Black Swan
The Kids Are All Right
Winter’s Bone
The Fighter

And then maybe either The Town or 127 Hours.

The WGA is a bit more tricky. Last year was a wash-out because there were so many ineligible films, like Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds.

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And they are, as follows:

The nominated films, listed below in alphabetical order, are:


scott rudin

Important to note the Scott Rudin films in play this season are The Social Network, The Way Back, and True Grit.

Press Release: LOS ANGELES, CA (November 15, 2010) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that producer Scott Rudin will receive the 2011 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The award will be presented to Rudin at the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 22nd at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

“Scott Rudin’s body of work speaks for itself. He has impressively set a high bar for filmmaking and the Guild is proud to honor him with the Selznick Award this year,” said PGA Co-Presidents Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon.

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From a just-announced press release:

The Producers Guild of America (PGA), a national non-profit trade group committed to protecting the rights and credits of producers in film, television and new media, announced today that the legendary Oscar award-winning producer, director, writer James Cameron will be honored with the 2011 Milestone Award. The award will be presented to Cameron at the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 22nd at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

The Milestone Award is the Guild’s highest honor that recognizes an individual (or team) who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry. The Producers Guild has paid tribute to such luminaries as Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Howard & Brian Grazer, and Walt Disney, among others.

“James Cameron is an exceptionally talented producer—a true innovator with the rare combination of technical ingenuity and creative vision,” said Paula Wagner, Chair of the 2011 Producers Guild Awards. “Jim has continued to change the film landscape with his ability to deliver groundbreaking masterpieces that present audiences and the industry with unrivaled beauty, originality and impact.”

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