The Producers Guild of America announced the winners of its year end awards tonight at a banquet in Los Angeles.
Often a harbringer for the Academy Award for Best Picture (though not in recent years), The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award for Theatrical Motion pictures went to "Slumdog Millionaire's" Christian Colson. This is significant as "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button's" Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are previous Lifetime Achievement winners of the guild.
The Fox Searchlight team is no doubt breathing a bit easier tonight as the clock ticks toward the Feb. 17 ballot deadline. Another win at the SAG Awards for Best Ensemble and the underdog "Millionaire" will retain its frontrunner status.
Coming as no surprise, the Guild also awarded Animated Producer of the year to Jim Morris for "WALL-E" and Documentary producer of the year to Simon Chinn for "Man on Wire."
On the television side, The David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television went to David Coatsworth, Frank Doelger, Gary Goetzman,Tom Hanks and Steven Shareshian for (surprise) "John Adams." The Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in Television - Drama went to "Mad Men's" Matthew Weiner and Scott Hornbacher.
The Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television - Comedy went to the multiple men and women behind "30 Rock," Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey, Marci Klein, Robert Carlock, Jeff Richmond, Jerry Kupfer and David Miner.
The Non-Fiction Television Award went to Jeff Fager of "60 Minutes" and, no doubt giddy that he trumped "The Daily Show," Stephen T. Colbert, DFA joined Jon Stewart (who still won), Allison Silverman, Richard Dahm, Allison Silverman, Meredith Bennett and Tom Purcell in winning the Live Television Producer's Award.
In addition, the PGA honored Brian Grazer and Ron Howard with their Milestone Award. Michael Douglas received the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures and David Chase the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. The Stanley Kramer Award honored the film "Milk." The Vanguard Award, for some inexplicble reason, was bestowed upon MySpace Founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe. Producer Jeff Skoll received the Visionary Award.