TV SAG Award nominees follow familiar patterns, even grudgingly

Actors still watch (too much) Netflix and still don’t watch enough TV.

The SAG Awards, like many winter awards that are split between television and film honors, tend to focus on film nominees. After all, movies follow a traditional calendar year, the SAG Awards are key precursors to the Oscars, and at least until recent decades, being on the big screen was considered a higher artistic expression than popping into people’s living rooms. seven. Even in 2023, the bias will remain, as evidenced by everything from the way the press covers the morning nominations (many channels completely ignore TV) to the way the nominations are announced (TV first, because you want the best save last).

OK. By now, TV fans are used to being the chaperones. Culture doesn’t change overnight (or 20 long years, it seems), and the small screen will have a ceremony in September. But where things are less good is within the markings. This year’s SAG Award nominees aren’t all that shocking. Some may have raised eyebrows that both “Pam & Tommy” stars were left off the list, and others may be surprised to learn that no one received more nominations than Julia Garner and Jean Smart (three each!), but among the guild many of the established patterns remained. They love Netflix and, to a lesser extent, HBO. They like ‘Barry’, ‘Only Murders in the Building’ and ‘Ozark’. They love Christina Applegate (seventh nomination), Jason Bateman (who received his tenth and eleventh nominations) and Steve Carell (his 19th nod in just 16 years).

Yet such repetitions may explain the distaste. Of this year’s first individual nominees, only 11 of the 25 came from television, despite the fact that TV has six individual categories and film only four. Of the 45 TV nominations, only 15 were for new shows — meaning shows that premiered in 2022 and haven’t yet been nominated for an Emmy. So let’s take a closer look at some of this year’s nomination trends and learn what we can learn from what actors preferred.

Actors don’t care about blockbusters – not even good ones

I guess if Tom Cruise didn’t get the nod for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, then his fellow actors in big-budget TV shows shouldn’t have expected nominations either. The SAG Awards excluded “Andor,” “House of the Dragon” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” in all categories except for Stunt Ensemble (where all three were nominated). Given that all three received high scores — “Andor” and “House of the Dragon” built especially strong fan bases — it’s surprising that they were shut out of the Ensemble and Individual categories.

Stellan Skarsgärd and Diego Luna certainly deserve attention, as does the entire cast. (From Andy Serkis to Fiona Shaw, every part was filled with ideal actors—thanks to casting directors Nina Gold and Martin Ware.) As for “Dragon’s House,” everyone got Emma D’Arcy’s bona fides in the previous night’s Gold . Globes, but Paddy Considine and Matt Smith were also reasonable predictions. And I’d be damned if anyone gave a more impactful supporting turn than Owain Arthur in “The Rings of Power,” imbued with the warmth and soul needed to pull off an epic tale.

Fall and winter premiere contenders tend to get overlooked because there isn’t enough time to see everything, and less time to catch the latest—especially when those screenings are competing with movie screenings dropping at the same time. But based on the metrics we have in the streaming era, people have tuned in to these shows. Are the actors who voted on the nominations? You never know, but there may be a different bias in the game than the movie via TV. Actors may not be as blockbusters. Even “Stranger Things,” nominated for best ensemble and featuring three separate actors (Winona Ryder, David Harbor and Millie Bobby Brown), only got a Stunt Ensemble nod this year.

Ozark.  Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore in Ozark Season 4 Season 2 Episode 7.  BC Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Julia Garner in Ozark

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix dominates, but “The Crown” disappoints

Speaking of “Stranger Things,” let’s look at Netflix’s numbers. Once again, Netflix received the most TV nominations at the SAG Awards, with 12 — three more than HBO/HBO Max and four more than Hulu/FX. Those dozen nominations were spread among seven shows, with “Ozark” with four (the most nominated program overall), and “The Crown” and “Dahmer” with two each. It’s a strong showing and in line with what Netflix has been doing at the SAG Awards for years. (Even on the film side, the influence is visible, with Ana de Armas’ somewhat surprising nomination for “Blonde” and Adam Sandler’s very surprising nomination for “Hustle.”)

But their golden geese only laid eggs for a small omelette. (Can goose eggs make omelets? Let’s leave it.) “The Crown” has long been a SAG favorite: The first season received three nominations and won two; Season 2 received only two nominations, but won one; Season 3 earned three nods and the series’ first Ensemble trophy, and Season 4 revived it with five nominations and two wins (including an Ensemble Award). Season 5 was down to two nominations: one for Best Ensemble and the other for Elizabeth Debicki. This makes Imelda Staunton the first actor to portray the late Queen Elizabeth not to be nominated in her debut season. It also means Jonathan Pryce and Dominic West have been ruled out, which could indicate weakness around a presumptive front-runner. Are SAG voters tired of royal drama? Were you disappointed with the new season? Or is the competition simply that great?

Old shows and favorite actors still rule

No matter how you take “The Crown’s” declining returns, it hasn’t changed the overall SAG Awards trend of old shows and personal favorites. Recurring series (aka shows not in their first seasons) and 2022 Emmy juggernauts (like “Severance” and “Abbott Elementary”) have 30 of the 45 nominations, 22 of the 25 dramas and comedies- they make up t. (Limited series are usually new because they have to be to qualify for the category.) “Barry” and “Just Murder in the Building” provided four of the five best comedy actors, while the only other nominees in the best category. Actress in a drama category who hasn’t been nominated before is Debicki for “The Crown,” which has apparently been nominated a billion times.

The bottom line is that SAG Awards voters haven’t branched out much in 2022. In addition to “Andor” and “House of the Dragon,” first-year series such as “Pachinko,” “Somebody Somewhere,” “Mo,” “High School,” “Our Flag Means Death,” “Interview with the Vampire,” “Slow Horses,” “Bad Sisters” and “This Is Gonna Hurt” were nowhere to be found — not to mention the critical favorite’s second season. Reservation Dogs.” The biggest surprises of the morning were Anthony Carrigan and Jonathan Banks (two worthy actors in shows we already know the SAGs are watching), and Sam Elliott, a three-time nominee in a limited series (1883) who also falls. to be Sam Freaking Elliott.

It may only be a matter of time before television is truly seen as equal to film (or at least for its inherent biases to be removed from the awards shows), but until then, SAG TV voters could certainly help by broadening their horizons.

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