For those who missed the Primetime Emmy Awards in September, there was a repeat at the SAG Awards tonight, with Modern Family winning the top comedy prize for a fourth straight time and Breaking Bad topping the drama field for the first time. “What a way to go out in style,” Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston exclaimed when accepting the best drama ensemble trophy for the show’s final season. That going out in style included a sweep for the acclaimed AMC drama, which won both categories it was nominated in — best drama series ensemble and best actor in a drama series for Cranston, his second consecutive win. It was also the second consecutive year that three time Emmy winner Cranston left the Shrine Auditorium with two SAG trophies — last year he won best actor for Breaking Bad and shared best feature ensemble for Argo.
Related: 20th Annual SAG Awards – Live Blog
Best comedy ensemble victor Modern Family also was a double winner tonight, with Ty Burrell earning the first individual SAG Award for the show. He ended Alec Baldwin’s incredible streak of seven consecutive wins for actor in a comedy series. Because of a SAG Awards rule quirk, 30 Rock qualified for the SAG Awards for an eighth year, even through the comedy ran for seven seasons. The Emmy-winning NBC comedy landed three nominations — for best comedy ensemble, Baldwin, and last year’s comedy actress winner Tina Fey — but for the first time in its history left without a single statuette. Burrell’s win means that three-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons, on his third consecutive SAG Award nomination, is yet to get a win as is the ensemble of his show, three-time nominee The Big Bang Theory.
Can you blame Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “forgetting” what awards show she was at while accepting her best comedy actress SAG Award for HBO’s Veep? She has been a fixture on the awards circuit for the past two years and is the two-time reigning Emmy champion. And let us all just agree that while Maggie Smith is playing the deliciously cantankerous elder Lady Grantham on Downton Abbey, she automatically gets at least one major acting award a year. In 2011 and 2012 it was an Emmy, last year it was a Golden Globe, now she won her first individual SAG Award (she also shared in the show’s best drama ensemble trophy last year.)
On the longform side, the SAG Awards rubber-stamped Michael Douglas’ awards-season sweep as he added an Actor statuettes to the Emmy and Golden Globe he won for his starring role in HBO’s Behind The Candelabra. There was a mild surprise in the actress in a TV movie/miniseries category, won by Helen Mirren for the HBO movie Phil Spector, which had been nominated but had not won any awards until today. But then, it can’t be that surprising for an respected Oscar winner to get any acting award.