For years, broadcast series including Modern Family, Black-ish, 30 Rock and most recently This Is Us ruled the SAG Awards, scoring multiple nominations annually and taking home statuettes.
But network television has been losing ground and, two days after broadcast was shut out completely at the Golden Globe nominations for the first time, it almost suffered the same fate at the SAG Award nominations.
The U.S. broadcast networks were represented by a single nomination, for This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown for Male Actor in a Drama Series. That is down from two broadcast nominations last year — both for This Is Us — five in 2017 and seven in 2016. The This Is Us cast, which won the drama ensemble award for the past two years, was left out.
The SAG Awards decline has been most dramatic on the comedy side, where broadcast has been dominant with long winning streaks for 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin, Modern Family and Will & Grace, among others. Only three years ago, broadcast series dominated the comedy ensemble field with three out of five nominations. There have been zero SAG Award nominations for broadcast half-hours the past two years amid the rise of streaming comedies such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Grace and Frankie, The Kominsky Method and Fleabag. HBO continues to do well with Barry, though perennial favorite Veep was shut out in its final season.
Big Emmy winner Fleabag is one of several hot newcomers in the SAG Awards TV race, earning its first three nominations, along with another comedy series, veteran Schitt’s Creek, which continued its late awards surge with two SAG nominations. Both landed nominations in the ensemble category, SAG’s equivalent to best series.
The third big rookie this year, Apple TV+’s recently launched The Morning Show — hot off its strong showing at the Golden Globes nominations — landed three nominations for stars Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup. That was tied with Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for most individual nominations and with HBO’s Game of Thrones and Netflix’s The Crown and Stranger Things for most drama series nominations. Surprisingly, The Morning Show was the only series with multiple nominations — comedy or drama — not to land an ensemble nom.
With its fortunes diminishing in the past two years, broadcast still had managed to come out victorious at the SAG Award, with two wins for This Is Us (actor in a drama, ensemble) at the 2018 ceremony and one (ensemble) earlier this year. The responsibility to carry the flag for network television lies squarely on Brown’s shoulders now.
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