Producers Guild 2013 Awards: 'Argo' Wins, Also 'Homeland', 'Searching For Sugar Man', 'Wreck-It Ralph', 'Game Change', 'Modern Family', 'Amazing Race', 'Colbert Report'

UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND SPEECHES: The Producers Guild of America announced its 24th annual film, Producers Guild Awards 2013 Winnerstelevision, and digital award winners tonight during a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton. Cheers erupted when Warner Bros’ Argo won the top feature film honor, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award. Ben Affleck exclaimed: “I am surprised.” The thriller now takes the lead in what is still a very close Best Picture Oscar race. Because the PGAs since its start in 1990 have selected 16 of the 22 winners to that the Academy Award – a 73% success rate. And since 2008 (when No Country For Old Men won) the PGA has been on a 5-year hot streak.

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph won best animated film and Sony Pictures Classics’ Searching For Sugar Man best documentary feature. Showtime’s Homeland won best drama series. ABC/Twentieth TV’s Modern Family won best comedy series. HBO’s Game Change won for best long-form TV. The PGA Awards categories also include animated movies, feature documentaries, non-fiction programs, talk shows, competition shows, sports programs, children’s programs, as well as digital TV series. This year, the Producers Guild awards special honors to The Weinstein Company’s Bob and Harvey Weinstein (who cried onstage), Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams, Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. the PGA recognized several producers with honorary awards including Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Milestone Award), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), J.J. Abrams (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Russell Simmons (Visionary Award), and BULLY (Stanley Kramer Award).The 2013 Producers Guild Awards Chair is Michael DeLuca.

On the scene are Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and Awardsline’s Anthony D’Alessandro:

The show kicked off with PGA President Mark Gordon featured in an opening video clip singing a parody of The Sound Of Music‘s ‘Do Re Mi’ with Hawk Koch, Paula Wagner, Michael DeLuca, Norman Lear and others complaining about the challenges of producing films. The lyrics included this line: “When your job is on the brink, you will be trashed on Nikki Finke.” Deadline reporters say ‘The place went nuts.’ (I’m truly flattered by the diss, PGA.)

No doubt the longest acceptance speech of the night belonged to Harvey and Bob Weinstein in part because they received the Milestone Award from Robert De Niro, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez. De Niro took the podium first alone, saying “They’ve been my neighbors in Tribeca and have always been there for me… They’re enormous. But I’m not afraid of ‘em! (Harvey said it was OK for me to say that.)” De Niro ribbed about their Silving Linings Playbook: “When they came to me with a movie about mental illness, I asked which brother do they want me to portray?” Next came Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez who said: “Talking about them is like talking about how your family sacrificed everything for you. I watched Bob build Dimension, and when he believes in you as a filmmaker, he gives it his all. I can’t think of any producers who sit with you and go through it line by line.” Rodriguez then launched into a gruff imitation of Bob Weinstein. “He told me not to do test screenings for Sin City and he never questioned when I wanted to go from horror films to family films.” Rodriguez recalled how ecstatic Bob became over the first Friday grosses of Spy Kids 3D. Quentin Tarantino took the mike and said: “It is safe to say my filmography and my career would not be the same without the Weinstein Brothers. Bob is always there to hear me when Harvey can’t. To me, Harvey is the only game in town.”

Everybody in the ballroom rose to their feet when Bob and Harvey took the stage. Bob spoke first, “There isn’t a chance in hell I would be up here if it wasn’t for Harvey. That’s what he told me to say.” Bob launched into the origins of their partnership, how he was making $35,000 in 1988 at Miramax and Harvey less. “Brad Grey worked for us and even then he thought we worked for him.” Bob mentioned how he almost took a $60+K exhibitor booking jib in 1988 and abandon his and his brother’s dream of a film studio. But then Bob passed on the job. The brothers gave it another go for a year and in 1989 released My Left Foot, Cinema Paradiso and Sex, Lies, And Videotape and never looked back. He also thanked former New Line heads Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne. “If Macys needed Gimbels, if Ali needed Frazier, then we needed them,” said Bob. And to his brother Harvey, Bob said: “Like all geniuses, you are murder to live with. There is a 60-40 chance that he and I will have a fight before the night is done. Also thank you to Miriam and Max,” ended Bob with a note to his parents.

Harvey took the mike and said: “I had no idea he was that funny!” In a teary speech, Harvey remembered how Bob and he went to the Cannes Film Festival for the first time, shared a mattress, and had Sean Connery ensure they weren’t kicked out of a screening. He called Tarantino the company’s ‘Babe Ruth’ and mentioned De Niro’s generosity post 9/11. He covered numerous topics from how the power of movies obtained Nelson Mandela’s freedome, the executives and agents like Brad Grey and Robert Newman who have passed through their Miramax and Weinstein hallways, as well as “my kids who are the best marketing research team in the world.”

J.J. Abrams accepted the PGA’s Norman Lear Achievement Award. Jennifer Garner presented, recounting when Abrams first called her in late 2000 with the script of the TV show Alias. (“The more he imagines, the taller his hair gets.”) A clip showed off Abrams’ TV and film work, including Felicity, Lost, Alias, Mission: Impossible 3, Super 8, and Star Trek. “Typical week!” quipped Abrams, winking at the headlines he made about his new Star Wars directing job for LucasFilm. “I stand before you accepting the Norman Lear Award. What the hell has happened to our standards?” The producer recalled watching Norman Lear’s sitcoms as a kid in his family’s living room, particularly All In The Family. “Like life itself, the nuanced dialogue mattered more tham 3D itself.” Abrams poignantly segued to his late mother’s memorial service last June. “I walked into my father’s house and there was one guest who arrived first. It was Norman Lear. We laughed and drank. I was there once again in my parent’s living room – with Norman Lear.”

Bradley Cooper presented the Stanley Kramer Award to the Bully filmmakers, producers Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, citing the statistic that “every 7 minutes a child is bullied at school. Bully is about standing up, not standing by. This film continues to change lives.” Director Lee Hirsch thanked Harvey Weinstein for distributing the film. “You made a lot of promises when you bought the film, and you made good on them. If there was one thing Bully gave people something to point at, it was ‘This is going on at my school.'” Producer Cynthia Lowen added, “Bully was the result of those extraordinary voices of those families who were courageous enough to come forward with their painful stories and to make this film create change. We made this film for the brave kids who walk through their schools.”

Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner received the David O. Selznick Achievemen​t Award from their Les Miserables co-star Anne Hathaway, who read a witty letter that their frequent collaborator Richard Curtis wrote to her about the pair: “They are decent men and they calm things down in post production. Love Actually was a disaster until they gave me two months. Fellner said: “Thirty years ago, we were trolling the streets of Soho, dodging hookers and perverts which in the end prepped us for Hollywood. If we get to do Les Miz 2, all those guys will be in the movie.” Fellner listed his mentors throughout the years including Jeremy Thomas, David Puttnam, Brian Grazer, and Kathleen Kennedy. “These were people we wanted to be like. This is a tough thing we do. We are blessed. We see ourselves as enablers of really talented people, to make the best version of their projects. Years ago, we were looking for 70% of our budgets from the studios. Today you are lucky to get that percent of your budget from Harvey!” Tim Bevan followed. “I didn’t think 26 years ago I would live a career like David O Selznick. Doing this with someone is a lot better than doing it on your own. People always ask me what my favorite point of filmmaking is. First day of principal photography is always my favorite. Then there’s the magic moments in absolute moments of laughter and silence when you are with the cinema audience.”

Russell Simmons accepted the Visionary Award presented by LL Cool J who praised what a force he has been with Def Comedy Jam and Def Poetry Jam. Simmons kept it brief and humble, talking about how he has recently transplanted from New York to LA: “I’ve been staying at Brett Ratner’s house while I buy one here. Now what I really want to do is earn this award.”

2013 Producers Guild Of America Award Winners

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
Argo (Warner Bros.)
Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov

Ben Affleck and Gr​ant Heslov accepted the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstandin​g Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. (George Clooney was in Berlin.) The Beverly Hilton ballroom erupted in cheers when Nicole Kidman announced that Argo was the winner. Ben Affleck exclaimed: “I am surprised and I am not even in the PGA. I would be remiss to say that I am still acting.” He went on to thank Harvey Weinstein for all his compliments in his tribute speech and Bob Weinstein who “showed me longer isn’t always better”. Grant Heslov said: “The hardest thing about this movie is working with two producers who are the Sexiest Men Alive. That puts pressure on me.”

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Clark Spencer

Clark Spencer explained why the film was greenlighted: “I joined Disney 23 years ago during difficult times and always wondered when I should leave. But I always believed in the studio. There is a renaissance going on at the studio – and that is John Lasseter.”

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn accepted the award from Julianna Margulies. Bendjelloul said: “This is a film about a man who lived his life as a constructor worker in Detroit not realizing he was more famous in South Africa.” Chinn added: “It is wonderful that people are discovering the musician Rodriguez.”

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama
Homeland (Showtime)
Producers: Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Michael Cuesta, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Michael Klick, Meredith Stiehm

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television
Game Change (HBO)
Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, Amy Sayres, Steven Shareshian, Danny Strong

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy
Modern Family (ABC)
Producers: Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television:
American Masters (PBS)
Producers: Prudence Glass, Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television
The Amazing Race (CBS)
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Producers: Meredith Bennett, Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin, Emily Lazar, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart

The Award for Outstanding Sports Program
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)

The Award for Outstanding Children’s Program
Sesame Street (PBS)
“The Weight of the Nation for Kids: The Great Cafeteria Takeover” (HBO)

The Award for Outstanding Digital Series
“30 Rock: The Webisodes” (www.nbc.com)

  1. Good lord, “Game Change,” again.

    Look, I’ve seen it and unless you’re a “Sarah Palin hater” the film is incredibly terrible.

    This over good stuff like “Political Animals,” and “Hatfields and McCoys,” Thanks Producers, for confirming you really a bunch of political tools.

  2. Gosh, I’d be really really disappointed if Argo went on to win Best Picture. It’s an ok film, but to call it the best of 2012 – one of the best years in film – is an absolute travesty. Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, heck even Cloud Atlas and Skyfall, were all so much better, all had so much artistic merit. Seriously, what was so good about Argo? Someone explain to me? Theme? Visuals? Message? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???

    1. Never mind, I get it now. It’s a movie about movie producers saving the world. Of course, they got it, haha haha.

    2. “Argo” is all about liberal politics. Hollywood liberal Politics. Hollywood content, with Liberal Producers helming the product. Hollywood patting itself on the back for trying to do something good during the Iran hostage crisis. This of course because Liberal Hollywood does have a hard time coming up with true authentic liberal films to produce as they have very few liberal heroes and when they do find a story that fits their politics well it only well to reward it and as we know heaven forbid if they produce some film that has anything that conservatives can grasp as their politics like “Zero Dark Thirty”. They crap on these films no matter the artistic quality of the films.

      1. Holy elephants! Bitter much? Scrape the Romney bumper sticker off your car and move on. I’m sure there are better things for you to get enraged about other than liberal movies. Go attend a gun rally or an anti-abortion protest and cheer up!

      2. Well said. Totally agree. Argo is an OK film, lacking an emotional core, but it’s the best shot to deny Spielberg a boatload of Oscars and that’s apparently enough for the anti-SS crowd.

      3. Did you even see Argo? It’s not Hollywood patting itself on the back. The mission wasn’t anyone in Hollywood’s idea, it was a CIA agent’s. Argo’s success has nothing to do with politics – it has to do with a successful actor becoming a competent director, and Hollywood falling all over themselves to give him accolades. It’s happened before with Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, and of course, conservative darling Clint Eastwood. Starfucking knows no political boundaries, so kindly lay off the Republican BS.

        Secondly, love how you’re trying to co-opt “Zero Dark Thirty” as a film with conservative values. Last I heard we killed Osama during a liberal’s administration.

        1. Love your comments. 99% spot on.

          Only disagree on the Eastwood part. He’s no conservative. Heck, not even a republican anymore. He hasn’t been one since the 1980’s. He is listed as an interdependent with libertarian leanings. He even said at the GOP convention that the election wasn’t about liberal vs. conservative or democrat vs. republican. For him, it was about who the best man for the job was.

          Of course I completely disagreed with him, and thought Romney was the “wrong” man, but just wanted to clarify.

    3. Argo has won the best of the critics awards, now one of the major guilds. It was the best reviewed mainstream film of 2012 on Rottentomatoes. It has made close to 200 million internationally. Yeah, that’s worse than Skyfall, Life of Pi and ZD30.

      One can love one movie without denying the credits of another. Argo is the best film of the year according to most critics. Love it or hate it.

      Hopefully there is a best-director Oscar waiting for Affleck when he makes Whitey or Live By Night.

      1. “Argo is the best film of the year according to most critics. Love it or hate it.”

        Wrong, that honor actually goes to Zero Dark Thirty. And it’s only my second favorite after Life of Pi, a film with so much heart and soul. Best of luck to the actual best film of the year, anyway!

        1. I’m sure you are just counting Metacritic critics. Just yesterday Argo took the top Golden Tomato. A much more democratic reviewer site than all.

          So, not wrong.

          1. Mohammed, Zero Dark Thirty won the most 2012 critic group awards in North America. That is what Haggar is stating. Forget about a rottenttomatoe award.

  3. How pathetic to deride “liberal” Hollywood. What has the reiichwing contributed lately? Atlas shrugged part 2? If you don’t have a dog in the fight you are not really in the game are you? Go back to watching glen beck on the Internet . Loser.

    1. Reichwing? Lmao!!! I think I just found my new favorite political nickname term!

      Btw, I wonder if liberals troll all the conservative websites as much as the conservatives seems to troll the liberal ones?

  4. Couldn’t agree more. It’s a fine film but best picture? I’d add silverlining to the conversation and also concur about Skyfall in particular. It’s the complete package but because its Bond it gets snubbed

    1. SLP is good, but I’ve rarely seen that much overacting from multiple actors in ONE film. It takes great talent to achieve such a thing.

  5. I would of bought into Argo more if a latino instead of a white guy played the lead part. Seems like Hollywood is just a “good ol’ boys club”…….

  6. Actually you are wrong. Go to the critics top ten list part of metacritic and you will see that zero dark thirty is the most acclaimed film of the year. By the way, rotten tomatoes scores are only the percentage of good reviews a film gets. Metacritic is an acghal score

  7. “Hatfield & McCoys” screwed again so “Game Change” can get another hand out. To bad Hanks and his crew don’t know what hollow victorys they’ve been having, getting awards they don’t deserve.

  8. Game Change was forgettable. The team at HBO making movies under Len Amato makes the same meaningless crap with whatever movie stars or directors Amato has a creative crush on. His taste in films has the depth of a piece of paper. They used to make films from all points of view. All their films now are about how hard it is to be a middle aged white man. The content is loathsome.

  9. Argo was an exciting, tense and at times very funny rendering of a true event. It didn’t seem political to me — just good story-telling and a socko finish that had audiences applauding at the end. I don’t know anyone who didn’t like it.

  10. Ben Affleck is a very good director; I think he deserved Oscar nominations for “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town, ” and the fact that he was passed over as director of “ARGO” was deplorable. actually think “Zero Dark Thirty” is a better more important film but “Argo” was a very skillffully done, excellently directed film and part of its success at the various awards presentation is due, in my opinion, to a well deserved sympathy for Affleck who has been unfailingly gracious. I wouldn’t be unhappy if “Argo” won a best film Oscar. And shame on the Academy for snubbing Affleck and Katherine Bigelow and Tom Hooper whose work was superior to Spielberg’s muddled direction of “Lincoln.”

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