The past several weeks have seen several of Hollywood’s entertainment guilds weigh in on the best that TV had to offer in 2019, with award nomination announcements from the Writers Guild of America, the Costume Designers Guild, the American Cinema Editors, and the Screen Actors Guild.
During a period where awards announcements are dime-a-dozen, particularly in a week where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its Golden Globe nominations dominated the news cycle, there’s no better time to examine the preferences of industry insiders as the winter awards season continues to build.
Writers Guild of America
On December 5, the WGA and Writers Guild of America, East announced the nominees for their annual awards and saw a decent amount of turnover in both the comedy and drama series categories. In drama, Netflix’s “The Crown,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and HBO’s “Succession” were held over from last year, as the series were the only drama nominees from last year eligible again for this year’s awards, with AMC’s “Better Call Saul” last airing episodes and FX’s “The Americans” ending in 2018. The nominations also reflected plenty of love for freshman shows with Hulu’s “PEN15,” Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” and HBO’s “Watchmen” all nominated in their respective overall categories (comedy for “PEN15” and “Russian Doll,” and drama for “Watchmen,” as well as for new series.)
Costume Designers Guild
Hollywood’s costume designers announced the nominations for their awards just before the most hectic part of the week, detailing the nominees competing for costuming honors on December 10. Like the Emmys, the CDGAs divide scripted television into three distinct categories: contemporary, period, and sci-fi. The contemporary category saw plenty of turnover from the Emmy nominations, in part because of eligibility — limited series including HBO’s “Sharp Objects” and Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora” both aired in 2018 — while other series, including ABC’s “Black-ish” and Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” found themselves falling out of favor. That meant plenty of room for HBO’s “Big Little Lies” to sneak into the category, along with Amazon Prime’s “Fleabag” and BBC America’s “Killing Eve.” Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek” and Emmy winner “Russian Doll” rounded out the CDGA nominees for contemporary costume.
Alternatively, the period costume category stayed static compared to the Emmy nominees, save for Netflix’s “The Crown” bumping FX’s “Pose,” while the designers from HBO’s “Chernobyl,” FX’s “Fosse/Verdon,” Netflix’s “GLOW,” and Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” all found their work again honored.
American Cinema Editors
The ACE Editing Awards (or Eddies) offered up a slate full of unique nominees on December 11, celebrating several new series including HBO’s “Watchmen” and “Euphoria,” while honoring shows often overlooked by awards bodies, including Netflix’s “Mindhunter” and “Dead to Me,” as well as NBC’s “Chicago Med.” Also of note was the organization’s decision to recognize the “Chernobyl” episode “Vichnaya Pamyat” for nomination, instead of the episode of the limited series that won an Emmy for editing, “Please Remain Calm.”
Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio
Second only to the Golden Globes, the SAG nominees garnered plenty of headlines when announced on December 11. The organization appeared to double down on shows it previously expressed interest in, eschewing the opportunity to invest in a few highly regarded, previously unrecognized, or brand new series. Specifically, SAG maintained its allegiance to Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” and “The Kominsky Method,” in lieu of nominating HBO heavyweights including “Succession” and “Watchmen.” The performers guild also planted its flag for Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show,” with nominations for Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Billy Crudup.