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‘Mrs. Maisel’ Remains the Comedy Series to Beat, According to the PGAs

FX's "The Americans" is off the air but triumphed in the drama category Saturday night, denying Netflix's "Ozark" a shot of Emmys momentum.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Marin Hinkle, Rachel Brosnahan, and Tony Shaloub in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Nicole Rivelli/Amazon

We’re hardly two weeks into 2019, and Amazon Studios’ “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is already the clear frontrunner in the Emmys race. For the second year in a row, the Producers Guild Awards named the Amazon series as the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy. This comes just two weeks after star Rachel Brosnahan scored her second Golden Globes trophy for her performance as Midge Maisel.

The show, held the January 19 at the Beverly Hilton, edged out a handful of up-and-coming comedy series hopefuls, including HBO’s “Barry,” Netflix’s “GLOW,” and NBC’s “The Good Place,” all of which could have used the momentum of a PGA win.

Amy Sherman-Palladino and 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'Producers Guild Awards, Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 20 Jan 2018

Amy Sherman-Palladino accepts the PGA Award for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Also clear from the “Mrs. Maisel” triumph: While the PGA offers clues as to what the Emmys will look like eight months from now, its eligibility rules make for an eccentric mix. Of the comedies, only “Mrs. Maisel,” “GLOW,” and “The Good Place” are currently Emmys eligible. Both “Barry” and FX’s “Atlanta” aired the majority of their episodes in the first half of 2018, so the seasons judged by the PGA were eligible — and nominated — at last year’s Emmy ceremony.

A win for FX’s Cold War spy game “The Americans” also reflected the quirks of PGA deadlines: Eight months after the series completed its six-season run, the guild recognized it as the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama.

While “The Americans” was often overlooked while on the air, it’s made up for lost time in its final pass on the awards circuit. It received two Emmys in September, and the Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Drama earlier this month.

Joel Fields, Darryl Frank, Ben Stiller. Ben Stiller, center, poses with Joel Fields, left, and Darryl Frank, winners of the Norman Felton Award for Episodic Television, Drama for "The Americans," at the 30th Producers Guild Awards presented by Cadillac at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, Calif30th Producers Guild Awards presented by Cadillac - Inside, Beverly Hills, USA - 19 Jan 2019

Ben Stiller, center, poses with Joel Fields, left, and Darryl Frank, winners of the Norman Felton Award for Episodic Television, Drama for “The Americans.”

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The FX win was a surprise — it was the first-ever PGA nomination for the FX drama — and robbed Netflix’s “Ozark” of some valuable heat moving into the remaining guild races. It also denied previous Emmy drama series nominees AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and NBC’s “This Is Us” of additional accolades.

Other PGA television winners included FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” which continued its awards-season prowess in the limited series category; Netflix sports documentary serial “Being Serena,” which marked the first time a series other than “Sports Center” or “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” topped the category; and PBS’s “Sesame Street,” which saw its seventh consecutive win. It’s topped the children’s programming category since its creation seven years ago.

VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” broke a five-year streak of dominance for NBC’s “The Voice” in the game and competition category, while CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” scored a posthumous win for its eponymous host in non-fiction programming.

Meanwhile, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and Netflix’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” each earned a fourth victory in their respective categories, live entertainment and talk television and short-form program.

In the newly created category for streamed or televised motion pictures, HBO’s “Fahrenheit 451” scored a surprise win.

Next up for the television awards season is the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards on Sunday, January 27, televised at 5 p.m. Pacific on TNT.

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