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‘Watchmen’ Is the Watchword at DGA TV Awards, as HBO Wins Big

"Barry," "Chernobyl," and "Song of Parkland" all score wins for HBO.

Watchmen Don Johnson Frances Fisher

Don Johnson and Frances Fisher in “Watchmen”

Van Redin / HBO

We’re two paltry weeks away from the Oscars and while the race for Best Picture continues to narrow, the Emmy race couldn’t be more wide open. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few conclusions to be drawn from TV’s winter awards cycle, but their significance remains to be seen.

Saturday night saw the Directors Guild of America step into the spotlight and celebrate the artists in their midst. Hosted by fellow director Judd Apatow, it was a ceremony even Jimmy Hoffa could love, with many winners touting the benefit of working within a strong union.

“I’m very moved by this,” “Chernobyl” director Johan Renck said of his award. “As a Swede I really believe in the power of unions and organized labor for justice and solidarity.”

HBO came out on top, winning Dramatic Series (Nicole Kassell for “Watchmen”), Comedy Series (Bill Hader for “Barry”), Limited Series (Renck for “Chernobyl”), and Children’s Programs (Amy Schatz for “Song of Parkland”).

Several of the DGA winners served as echoes of September’s Emmy Awards, opting to honor people who won or were nominated in 2019. Hader’s win comes after “Fleabag” director Harry Bradbeer took home the Emmy, while Renck now has a DGA to place next to his Emmy statuette. James Burrows and Andy Fisher, who helmed ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” were successful in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials after being edged out by Netflix’s “Springsteen on Broadway” previously.

One curiosity offered up by the comedy series category came in the wake of Hader’s second consecutive DGA win. Despite apparently being beloved by the 18,000 members of the DGA and that love boosting Hader enough to have directing nominations at the Emmys for the last two years, the support hasn’t been enough to score him the win on the big stage. While the most recent directing Emmy went to Bradbeer, the prior year went to Amy Sherman-Palladino from Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Nicole Kassell Watchmen DGA

Nicole Kassell

Variety/Shutterstock

However the most interesting win of the evening came with Kassell’s victory in Drama Series, where she edged out fellow “Watchmen” director Stephen Williams, in addition to two “Game of Thrones” directors and Mark Mylod, the man responsible for directing the spectacular Season 2 finale of HBO’s “Succession.” (Yes, HBO owned every nomination in the Drama race.)

While “Game of Thrones” is dead and gone as far as the Emmys are concerned, Kassell vs Williams vs Mylod seems like a showdown destined to repeat itself in the future.

A full list of the TV-related DGA winners can be found below.

Dramatic Series

Nicole Kassell

“Watchmen” (HBO)
Episode: “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”


Mark Mylod
“Succession” (HBO)
Episode: “This Is Not For Tears”

David Nutter
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Episode: “The Last of the Starks”

Miguel Sapochnik
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Episode: “The Long Night”

Stephen Williams
“Watchmen“ (HBO)
Episode: “This Extraordinary Being”

Comedy Series

Dan Attias
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video)
“It’s the Sixties, Man!”

Bill Hader

“Barry” (HBO)
Episode: “ronny/lily”


David Mandel
“Veep” (HBO)
Episode: “Veep”

Amy Sherman Palladino
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video)
Episode: “It’s Comedy or Cabbage”

Daniel Palladino
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video)
Episode: “Marvelous Radio”

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials

James Burrows and 
Andy Fisher
“Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons'” (ABC)

Spike Jonze
“Aziz Ansari: Right Now”
(Netflix)

Stan Lathan
“Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones”
(Netflix)

Linda Mendoza
“Wanda Sykes: Not Normal”
(Netflix)

Glenn Weiss
“The 91st Annual Academy Awards”
(ABC)

TV Movies or Limited Series

Ava DuVernay
“When They See Us” (Netflix)

Vince Gilligan
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” (Netflix)

Thomas Kail
“Fosse/Verdon” (FX)
Episode: “Nowadays”

Johan Renck
“Chernobyl” (HBO)

Minkie Spiro
“Fosse/Verdon” (FX)
Episode: “All I Care About Is Love”

Jessica Yu
“Fosse/Verdon” (FX)
Episode: “Glory”

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming

Paul G. Casey
“Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO)
Episode: “#1730”

Nora S. Gerard
“CBS Sunday Morning” (CBS)
Episode: “40th Anniversary”

Jim Hoskinson
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS)
Episode: “A. Ocasio-Cortez; Incubus”

Don Roy King
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Episode: “E. Murphy; Lizzo”

Paul Pennolino and Christopher Werner
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
Episode: “SLAPP Suits”

Reality Programs

Hisham Abed
“Queer Eye” (Netflix)
Episode: “Black Girl Magic”

Jason Cohen
“Encore!” (Disney+)
Episode: “Annie”

Jon Favreau
“The Chef Show” (Netflix)
“Hog Island”

Ashley S. Gorman
“First Responders Live” (FOX)
Episode: “103”

Patrick McManus
“American Ninja Warrior” (NBC)
Episode: “1116 Las Vegas National Finals Night 4”

Commercials

Fredrik Bond
“Lighter Than Air,” HP Elite Dragonfly; “Take it Lightly,” Coca-Cola Light; “Nap,” iPhone

Spike Jonze
“Dream It,” Squarespace; “The New Normal,” Medmen

Mark Molloy
“Underdogs,” Apple

Ridley Scott
“The Seven Worlds,” Hennessy X.O.

Dougal Wilson
“Train,” AT&T

Children’s Programs

Dean Israelite
“Are You Afraid of the Dark” (Nickelodeon)
Episode: “Part One: Submitted For Your Approval”

Jack Jameson
“Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Special” (HBO Documentary Films)

Luke Matheny
“Ghostwriter” (Apple TV+)
Episode: “Ghost in the Wonderland, Part 1”

Amy Schatz
“Song of Parkland” (HBO Documentary Films)

Barry Sonnenfeld
“A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Netflix)
Episode: “Penultimate Peril: Part 1”

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