Now it gets interesting. In a surprising development that could be heard from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah to New York City, the Producer's Guild of America chose "The King's Speech" over "The Social Network" for best motion picture of 2010. This on the same night the organization lauded Scott Rudin, the primary producer on "Network," with a lifetime achievement award.
If you are looking for a historical comparison of why this win is so significant for "Speech," over the past 10 years only four films have won the PGA Award and were unable to duplicate the feat at the Oscars, "Little Miss Sunshine" in 2007, "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006, "The Aviator" in 2005 and "Moulin Rouge" in 2002. However, the last three best picture winners all won the PGA including indies "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Hurt Locker."
Beyond the fact it suggests not all the guilds are as in love with "Network" as the nation's critics, it also points the race is much more open than many have been led to believe. Moreover, the upcoming road gets bumpier for "Network." Most pundits, including this one, are counting on "The Fighter" to win the best ensemble honor during next Saturday's SAG Awards. And while "Network" should easily win it's WGA Awards category, "Speech" wasn't even eligible to compete. Tuesday's Oscar nominations may be even more telling as "King's" is expected to rack up more individual nods than "Network." With "King's" also expected to sweep the BAFTA Awards, "Network" will no doubt push to seal the deal through a very heavy advertising push.
Will "King's" return to frontrunner status? Or, will "Social Network" survive this blip on the awards season radar to win best picture? Or, more intriguingly, does it open up the race for a true surprise on Feb. 27? Much to ponder, but in the meantime, here is the complete list of 2011 PGA Award winners including "Modern Family" and "Mad Men" on the television side.
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
"The King's Speech"
Producers: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
"Waiting for 'Superman'"
Producer: Lesley Chilcott
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
"Toy Story 3"
Producer: Darla K. Anderson
The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television - Comedy:
“Modern Family” (ABC)
Producers: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O’Shannon, Jason Winer, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker
The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama:
"Mad Men” (AMC)
Producers: Lisa Albert, Scott Hornbacher, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria
Jacquemetton, Blake McCormick, Dwayne Shattuck, Matthew Weiner
The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television:
“The Pacific” (HBO)
Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Eugene Kelly, Todd London, Cherylanne Martin, Bruce C. McKenna, Steven Shareshian, Steven Spielberg, Tony To, Tim Van Patten, Graham Yost
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment and Competition Television:
“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central)
Producers: Meredith Bennett, Stephen T. Colbert, Richard Dahm, Tom Purcell, Allison Silverman, Jon Stewart
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television:
“Deadliest Catch” (Discovery Channel)
Producers: Thom Beers, Jeff Conroy, Sheila McCormack, Ethan Prochnik, Matt Renner
Everything: Academy Awards
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