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2020 PGA Awards: ‘Succession’ Takes Top TV Prize in Long March Toward Emmys

"Succession" makes its mark, as "Chernobyl" and "Fleabag" continue to awe.

Succession PGA

Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox in “Succession”

Graeme Hunter / HBO

As the film industry’s long, excruciating march to the Academy Awards toils on, TV continues to surf painlessly in its wake.

On Saturday, Hollywood’s producers took center stage, with the Producers Guild of America Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium. While the ceremony celebrates both film and television, its reputation as a significant indicator in the Oscar Best Picture race often means that TV takes a backseat to its big screen brethren.

All the same, the celebration featured seven TV categories, in addition to honoring several luminaries of the medium, among them Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and “Grace and Frankie” creator Marta Kauffman.

Many of the evening’s awards served as an echo of the Emmy awards, with the producing teams for HBO’s limited series “Chernobyl” and Amazon Prime’s comedy series “Fleabag” repeating their series accolades from September.

But the big news of the evening came from the drama series category, where HBO’s “Succession” continued its string of winter wins, further bolstering its 2020 Emmy hopes.

“Jesse Armstrong, Jesse Armstrong, Jesse Armstrong. None of the genius of ‘Succession’ would be possible without Jesse Armstrong,” the producing team from the show stated upon accepting the award. Creator Jesse Armstrong was not present at the ceremony and was reportedly “hard at work” on Season 3 of the show, which another team member promised would debut in the fall.

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Introduced by Jimmy Kimmel by way of gentle roast, Sarandos accepted the PGA’s Milestone Award and took a moment to remember his childhood in Arizona where, he shared, he grew up as one of five children in a lower-middle-class family that never seemed to have all of the utilities on at one time.

Despite the hardships — or perhaps related to them — the executive said that in a “weird, reckless, beautiful thing” his mother bought a VCR for the family, before anyone Sarandos knew had one. He deemed her the original “early adopter.”

In TV, Sarandos said that he found the order that he lacked within his home, saying that he couldn’t always count on everything while growing up, but that he could always depend on “Happy Days” airing right on time.

Coupled with the opening of the second video store in Arizona mere blocks from his home, Sarandos found his path forward in entertainment was set.

“TV was my escape from my house,” he said. “Film was my escape from everything.”

While accepting the Norman Lear Achievement Award, Kauffman used her time at the podium on two objectives. First, she praised the legacy of the man whose name graced her accolade, and then she implored the producers present to take a stand on climate change and adopt green production initiatives on their sets.

“Unless someone like you cares a lot, it’s not going to get better,” Kauffman said, invoking the words of Dr. Seuss. “It’s not.”

A full list of PGA TV Award winners is available below.

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama

“Big Little Lies” (Season 2)

“The Crown” (Season 3)

“Game of Thrones” (Season 8)

“Succession” (Season 2)

“Watchmen” (Season 1)

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy

“Barry” (Season 2)

“Fleabag” (Season 2)

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Season 3)

“Schitt’s Creek” (Season 5)

“Veep” (Season 7)

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited Series Television

“Chernobyl”

“Fosse/Verdon
”

“True Detective”

“Unbelievable”

“When They See Us”

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures

“American Son
”

“Apollo: Missions to the Moon”

“Black Mirror: Striking Vipers
”

“Deadwood: The Movie”

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television

“30 for 30” (Season 10)

“60 Minutes” (Season 51, Season 52)

“Leaving Neverland”

“Queer Eye” (Season 3, Season 4)

“Surviving R. Kelly” (Season 1)

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television

“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Season 25)

“Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones”

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (Season 6)

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (Season 5)

“Saturday Night Live” (Season 45)

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television

“The Amazing Race” (Season 31)

“The Masked Singer” (Season 1)

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Season 11)

“Top Chef” (Season 16)

“The Voice” (Season 16, Season 17)

The Award for Outstanding Short-Form Program

“Billy on the Street with Billy Eichner”

“Born This Way” (Season 5)

“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (Season 11)

“Creating ‘Saturday Night Live’” (Season 3)

“Under a Rock with Tig Notaro” (Season 1)

The Award for Outstanding Sports Program

“Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Oakland Raiders” (Season 14)

“Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season”

“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (Season 25)

“SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” (Season 5)

“What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali”

The Award for Outstanding Children’s Program

“Carmen Sandiego” (Seasons 1 and 2)

“Green Eggs and Ham” (Season 1)

“Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” (Season 1)

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Season 3)

“Sesame Street” (Season 49)

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