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 the 5, Lynch, Vergara and Colfer, as well as Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, landed Golden Globe noms earlier this week. Other than that, it was perennial favorites that made the lists: last year’s winner Baldwin and Carell for best comedy actor; last year’s winner Tina Fey and Edie Falco for best comedy actress; last year’s winner Michael C. Hall, Hugh Laurie, Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston for best drama actor; and last year’s winner Julianna Margulies, Glenn Close, Mariska Hargitay, Kyra Sedgwick and Elisabeth Moss in the best drama actress category, which featured four returning nominees and one, Moss, who had been nominated the year before. Four of the five best drama ensembles, last year’s winner Mad Men, The Closer, The Good Wife and Dexter, were also repeats from last year, joined by Boardwalk Empire, which replaced another HBO drama, True Blood. Ditto on the comedy side, which features 4 returning nominees 30 Rock, Glee, Modern Family and The Office, and one newcomer, Hot In Cleveland, taking over for HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which did not air a new season this year.
The longform categories were once again completely dominated by portrayals a real-life persons or classic characters: Al Pacino, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon were nominated for HBO’s Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don’t Know Jack; Claire Danes, Catherine O’Hara and Julia Ormond for another HBO biopic, Temple Grandin, Edgar Ramirez for playing Carlos the Jackal in Carlos, Winona Ryder for playing the title character in the CBS’ When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story; and Patrick Stewart for playing the title character in the latest adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.