With Birdman pulling an upset at the first test of industry sentiment with last night’s Producers Guild Awards, it continued the momentum Sunday night at the SAG Awards, taking the top film honor the cast ensemble award. On the TV side, Orange Is The New Black and Downton Abbey took the ensemble prizes. Here’s how it all went down at the Shrine Auditorium:

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20154:59 pm

A nice warmup for Viola Davis with TNT rebroadcasting The Help just before the SAG Awards, with Davis’ powerful final scene leading directly into the telecast. Will she score a rare acting win for a freshman show in a year when the film SAG categories have been criticizes for their complete lack of diversity?

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20154:59 pm

Julianna Margulies has a shot at the history books tonight. She can set a new record for most SAG wins with another victory in the drama actress category (she is currently tied with Alec Baldwin, each claiming 8 trophies). After winning four Emmys for his standout performance on The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons is still seeking his first SAG Award. Will he finally get recognized by his peers tonight?

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:01 pm

Other things to look out for include if J.K. SImmons , Patricia Arquette and Julianne Moore win their respective categories as expected. If not, it could be an interesting night. I am betting SAG will be predictable.

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:03 pm

And not to be discounted in the Outstanding Film Cast category are the impressive acting collections on display in Grand Budapest hotel and Imitation Game although I am still guessing Birdman gets that one. Stay tuned

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:06 pm

Bryan Cranston is EVERYWHERE. He accepted for Breaking Bad last night at PGA, then turned immediately around and presented the Best Picture to Birdman. Now without missing a beat he is the first presenter at SAG. The guy gets around. I think he could be back at SAG next year for his film role as Dalton Trumbo in the upcoming biopic Trumbo that he just finished.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:06 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren – “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” (Netflix)

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:10 pm

Only minutes after she told the audience she god her SAG card on Orange Is the New Black, Uzo Aduba won the award for best comedy actress, adding to her best guest series Emmy and beating several best comedy actress Emmy winners. “The day I got I got
this job is the day I stopped acting,” she said on stage, wiping tears. 

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:10 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series: WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank Gallagher – “SHAMELESS” (Showtime)

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:12 pm

Uzo Aduba also adds a nice touch of diversity to the SAG show in addition to her terrific and touching speech. As I have pointed out there are 62 performances nominated in the five film categories and all are white actors this year.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:15 pm

SAG tried tackling the issue head-on with a diverse group of actors in the opening “I Am an Actor” bit, which featured Aduba as well as Mahershala Ali.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:16 pm

‘Shameless’ controversial switch to comedy from drama categories continues to work wonders for William H. Macy, earning him his first major award for the Showtime dramedy. He was funny, referring to “the great acceptance speeches I never got to give.”

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:18 pm

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (Netflix)

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:19 pm

‘Modern Family’s four-year streak as best comedy ensemble is over. After snubbing Orange Is the New Black completely last year when it was still competing as a drama, the SAG Awards more than made it up to the Netflix comedy-drama this year with two big trophies.   

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:19 pm

Macy’s funny, but Emmy Rossum’s not in that show. The switch probably killed her chances of getting SAG or Emmy nominations.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:20 pm

To recap: all comedy series SAG awards tonight went to hourlong series that were submitted as dramas for awards consideration until they switched to comedy before last year’s Emmys.

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:21 pm

Guess it shows the fine line between comedy and drama.

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:23 pm

Who needs a win at SAG. So far Boyhood and American Sniper have bought ad time on the show to catch those Oscar voters that may be tuned in at home. Smart move.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:25 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: PATRICIA ARQUETTE / Olivia – “BOYHOOD” (IFC Films)

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:25 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: PATRICIA ARQUETTE / Olivia – “BOYHOOD” (IFC Films)

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:27 pm

No surprise here. Patricia Arquette was the heavy favorite and she didn’t disappoint. It’s great that she’s crying too in her acceptance . That she comes from a four generation acting family makes this moment irresistible. There is no way she will lose the Oscar, just as – sadly – there is probably no way her equally fine co-star Ethan Hawke will WIN.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:30 pm

Great timing for CBS. I doubt anyone was thinking so highly of Boyhood a year ago when CBS cast Arquette as star of its latest CSI spinoff but now it boasts a newly minted Golden Globe, SAG (and likely Oscar) winner as the lead, giving the series extra pre-launch promotion.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:31 pm

Great timing for CBS. I doubt anyone was thinking so highly of Boyhood a year ago when the network cast Arquette as star of its latest CSI spinoff but now CSI: Cyber boasts a newly minted SAG winner as the lead, giving the series extra pre-launch promotion.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:31 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: J.K. SIMMONS / Fletcher – “WHIPLASH” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:33 pm

Again , going just as expected. J.K Simmons is a veteran actor now getting his really big shot in film. And his speech emphasizes he comes from not a place of stardom , but as a journeyman actor. Nice! This may be predictable but it is very well deserved. He wins the Oscar too. Place your bets now.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:35 pm

Zach Galifianakis brought a fun twist to the now pretty stale “I am an Actor” opening schtick. Deadpanned the Hangover star, “I’m Zach Galifianakis. I am an actor?” 

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:36 pm

As for Arquette starring in a new CSI spinoff as Nellie just wrote, I only hope their promos don’t run hot and heavy during Oscar voting. Those Oscar voters can be snobs and may not look too kindly on constant reminders that he main gig in recent years has been in workman-like TV shows.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:36 pm

Arquette so genuine up there though that doesn’t hurt: “I can’t tell you what this means to me. I’m a fourth-generation actor. My family have been committed actors for over a century, through feast or famine. My father, Lewis Arquette, taught me to approach work with compassion and gratitude, and taught me also how hard it is to make a living as an actor.”

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:37 pm

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:38 pm

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:40 pm

Odd fact. Patricia Arquette took 12 years to create her SAG winning role. J.K. Simmons took just 19 days on Whiplash’s super short shoot. It certainly worked out for both of them, no matter how long the commitment. And it pays off doing low budget indies when awards season comes along.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:40 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: MARK RUFFALO / Ned Weeks – “THE NORMAL HEART” (HBO)

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:44 pm


William H Macy on his ‘Shameless’ win — very Frank Gallagher of him: “I have written so many great acceptance speeches that I never got to give, but not tonight.” And, “To my fellow nominees…ah, forget it, you lost.”

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:44 pm

First award for Mark Ruffalo for his performance in the AIDS drama. After snubs at the Emmys and the Golden Globes, he may have given up (he was a no show). But his peers found a nice way to spread the wealth, recognizing his performance after fellow nominees Benedict Cumberbatch and Billy Bob Thornton got their due at the Emmys and the Globes.

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:47 pm

And maybe they were making it up for Mark by not giving him Supporting Actor in movies for Foxcatcher.

Pete Hammond January 25, 20155:49 pm

Nice clip package of films showcasing tolerance and diversity in all its forms and nice they included David Oyelowo’s great role as Martin Luther King Jr in Selma. Too bad the SAG nominating committee couldn’t be bothered to actually NOMINATE him. I heard they blame it on the fact they didn’t get screeners. They should be forced to see films in a theatre!

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:50 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: FRANCES McDORMAND / Olive Kitteridge – “OLIVE KITTERIDGE” (HBO)

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20155:55 pm

Moments after Billy Bob Thornton’s nomination for FX’s Fargo reboot, more throwbacks to the classic Coen movie. This is Frances McDormand’s first SAG Award since winning for her breakout role in the quirky caper 17 years ago.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20155:57 pm

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:02 pm

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:08 pm

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:10 pm

Debbie Reynolds: One of my favorite movies was ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ and there’s a song, “I Ain’t Done Yet”. Well, I ain’t.

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:13 pm

Now THAT is a movie star. Debbie Reynolds . You got it right SAG. The Oscars should have given her an Honorary Award years ago , but they still haven’t . Her one and only Oscar nom came for Unsiinkable Molly Brown in 1964. She lost to Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins but otherwise she may well have won. Loved Carrie Fisher’s intro. Debbie is walking a lot slower but at 82 she’s still a survivor. Interesting to see Meryl Streep applauding so loudly when she got a standing ovation. Streep played the fictionalized Carrie in the movie version of Carrie’s book, Postcards From The Edge. Shirley MacLaine was the thinly disguised Debbie. Great movie. GREAT star. Nice , SAG.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:17 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:17 pm

By the way it is too bad that the Motioin Picture Academy didn’t team up and work with Debbie Reynolds in creating the upcoming Academy Museum with her help. Sadly she auctioned off most of her amazing collection of movie memorabailia. It is Gone With the Wind now. The Academy could have used that stuff for a REAL movie museum.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:19 pm

It’s hard to believe but Matthew McConaughey was left without a single award for his acclaimed and pop culture-transcending performance in True Detective. Instead, Kevin Spacey continued a streak, which he kicked off at the Golden Globes.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:20 pm

No follow-up to his great Globes speech however. He is a no show.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:20 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (6 nominees): VIOLA DAVIS / Annalise Keating – “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” (ABC)

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:25 pm

This is the first award for Viola Davis for her role on the breakout ABC drama. She addressed the lack of diversity on screen, thanking the network and the producers of HTGAWM for thinking that “their sexualized, messy mysterious lead can be a 49-year-old dark skinned woman who looks like me.”

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:26 pm

That Spacey Golden Globes speech here, by the way. It caused quite a ruckus with some over his Stanely Kramer shout-out.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:28 pm

Indication that TV provides stronger roles for minority actors at the moment: While no back actors made it to the film nominations, two black actresses, Davis and Uzo Aduba, walked away with SAG Awards tonight.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:29 pm

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:29 pm

Wow, When you look at that list of those who died since the last SAG show , it’s pretty astounding. So many great stars. The In Memoriam segment seemed pretty complete but they always miss someone on these things. It would have been nice to include Taylor Negron but maybe that was just too recent. Anyway it was well-constructed.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:32 pm

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:34 pm

If you had any doubt that Warner Bros is going all out to pull off a Best Picture win for American Sniper, just watch the SAG awards tonight. So far they have run 3 brand new spots I haven’t seen before. All very powerful. Publicist for the film sent a reminder email earlier today basically to have me keeip in mind all the upcoming awards the film is nominated for. But one place it ISN’T nominated is at SAG – also likely due to late release date and early SAG nom voting. WB is bombarding the SAG audience with reminders of the film that isn’t a part of this show! Smart. They certainly aren’t doing it to boost boxoffice I imagine. It’s more to catch Oscar voters.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:35 pm

And some nice corporate synergy – TNT and TBS, which carry the SAG Awards are part of Time Warner, just like Warner Bros.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:35 pm

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: DOWNTON ABBEY (PBS)

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:38 pm

Allen Leech of Downton Abbey in going up with the TV cast for their Cast award noted he was sitting at a different table.. He is also nominated for film ensemble for Imitation Game and was sitting with them.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:39 pm

Downton Abbey is clearly becoming a SAG Awards favorite, getting an award for third consecutive year.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:39 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: EDDIE REDMAYNE / Stephen Hawking – “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING” (Focus Features)

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:41 pm

Downton Abbey is clearly becoming a SAG Awards favorite, getting a trophy for third consecutive year. It repeated as best drama ensemble, a category it also won in 2014, while Maggie Smith took the drama actress statuette last year. Once again, a very small group representing the 20-something member cast, helped by Imitation Game-representing Leech.

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:45 pm

Well we knew this was going to be a nail biter. The most competitive actor race in years continues to be just that with Eddie Redmayne taking the SAG prize over the man many thought would win, Michael Keaton in Birdman. After all this is a group of actors and Keaton is playing one of them. Not good enough, apparently. The strength and challenge of Redmayne’s work was too much to overcome. It makes Oscar night a continuing nail biter in this category. And I would thrown in one of the names Redmayne so graciously mentioned as not being nominated , but deserving: Bradley Cooper. What a race. His speech was elegant and heartfelt. All those SAG Q&As paid off. Eddie has been very visible this season . That’s important.

Nellie Andreeva January 25, 20156:46 pm

Overall, strong showing for Netflix in the series categories, with 3 wins total for Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards. Nice rebound for broadcast with the very last 2 awards going to HTGAWM and Downton Abbey after the networks were shut out in comedy. HBO dominated the long-form field. 

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:49 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: JULIANNE MOORE / Alice Howland – “STILL ALICE” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:52 pm

No surprise with lead actress. Julianne Moore has had this locked up since it premiered on September 8th at Toronto. Moore is a lock for Oscar as are Arquette and Simmons as I surmised at the beginning of tonight’s blog. The real race is for lead actor.

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20156:53 pm

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Pete Hammond January 25, 20156:56 pm

Two nights in a row and the first two industry awards show and the big prize at the end of the night goes to BIRDMAN. Big weekend for this movie and not a good one for the once-said-to-be front runner Boyhood. Most consider this Cast award to be SAG’s version of Best Picture . The Birdman surge makes the Feb 7 DGA awards all that more crucial and important .

Patrick Hipes January 25, 20157:20 pm