Seconds after the Producers Guild announced the TV series nominations for its 2012 awards, commenters started asking in disbelief: Where is Breaking Bad? Indeed, the acclaimed AMC drama was conspicuously missing from the PGA Award nominations. Underscoring what appeared like a baffling omission, the WGA announced its TV series nominations minutes later, and Breaking Bad led the pack with three nominations. But while their ceremonies are only a month apart in January-February, the PGA Awards and WGA Awards’ eligibility windows vary wildly, leading to the puzzling discrepancies.
Despite taking place in January, the PGA Awards use the same edibility period rules as the Emmys, which are held in September: from June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011. That automatically excludes all summer/fall cable fare, including new Showtime drama Homeland, the most recent seasons of Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie, etc., as well as any new fall broadcast series. In contrast, the WGA Awards’ window of eligibility is closer to that for the Golden Globes, between Dec. 1, 2010 and Nov. 30, 2011. That’s why Breaking Bad, Curb and Homeland, which were not eligible at all for PGA Awards this year, landed WGA Award nominations, along with Fox’s new comedy New Girl. In fact, Breaking Bad and Homeland scored the most WGA nominations, three, along with perennial favorites Mad Men and Modern Family. Meanwhile, Mad Men, which was featured prominently in the PGA Award nominations, is MIA for WGA accolades because its fifth season was delayed. Given how much the TV landscape has changed, with some of the best series airing in the summer and promising new series launching on both broadcasting and cable networks in fall, the eligibility period for the PGA Awards seems outdated and should be adjusted, so series don’t get awarded for episodes that aired 1.5 years prior.