Working off the Primetime Emmys same eligibility window — June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014 — the PGA Awards stayed close to the TV Academy’s nomination choices five months later. The quirk affects summer and fall series — for instance, Netflix’s dark comedy Orange Is The New Black already is working on its third season but was nominated today for its first, which was released a year and a half ago.
All best drama and comedy series PGA nominees also were nominated in the categories at the Emmys earlier this year.
For a second year in a row, there was was only one change in the best drama field. Last year, it was Netflix’s House Of Cards pushing out two-time winner Mad Men. This time it’s HBO’s hot newcomer True Detective squeezing out another previous winner, Homeland. True Detective and House Of Cards will square off three perennial nominees: AMC’s now-ended Breaking Bad, hot off winning back-to-back best drama Emmys and a PGA Award; PBS’ Downton Abbey; and Game Of Thrones. Commercial broadcast networks were shut out of the category completely for a third straight year.
The changes on the comedy series side were by attrition, filling vacancies left by two of last year’s nominees: the departed Arrested Development and 30 Rock. Their spots were taken by Orange Is The New Black and FX’s Louie, back in contention after skipping a year with a long break. They join last year’s nominees, ABC’s Modern Family, which is aiming at a fifth consecutive PGA win; HBO’s Veep; and CBS’ mega-hit The Big Bang Theory.
There was one newcomer in the variety category: HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which only aired five episodes in the eligibility window but qualified for the PGA Awards. It replaced veteran Saturday Night Live. Jimmy Fallon’s new late-night gig, The Tonight Show, stepped in for his 2013 nominee Late Night, joined by returning favorites, 800 lb. gorilla The Colbert Report, gunning for its eighth consecutive win, Real Time With Bill Maher and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Like at the Emmys, the reality-competition series category is frozen in time, with the same nominees repeating from last year: winner The Voice, current Emmy champ The Amazing Race, Top Chef, Project Runway and Dancing With The Stars.
The PGA Awards played it safe in the nonfiction series category after nominating Duck Dynasty last year days before the controversy surrounding its star Phil Robertson erupted. Last year’s winner Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Shark Tank and 30 For 30 are back, joined by Seth MacFarlane’s Cosmos and veteran American Masters.