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With the SAG Awards on Deck, What’s Next in TV Honors?

Don't expect any big surprises from the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT (L to R) ANYA TAYLOR-JOY as BETH HARMON in episode 106 of THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT Cr. PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX © 2020

Anya Taylor-Joy in “The Queen’s Gambit”

Phil Bray / Netflix

It was a quiet week on the TV Awards front, with the calendar largely going dark after the March 24 Producers Guild of America Awards, where many of the usual suspects — Netflix’s “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” namely — added new shinies to their rapidly expanding collections.

That awards drought will end on Sunday night, as the actors take to the virtual stage in a short and sweet ceremony that promises to be my favorite of the season, considering it’s all pre-taped with an hour-long run time.

But despite the (slight) departure in form, don’t expect a ton of changes when it comes to the winners. It’s easy to tell ourselves that “Bridgerton” could upset “The Crown” or, who knows, “The Great” could upset “Schitt’s Creek,” its most likely that we’ll see more of the same with the bulk of the wins going to, in no particular order: “The Crown,” “Schitt’s Creek,” “Ted Lasso,” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”

The reality is that the actors aren’t exactly iconoclasts and more often than not their nominations and winners are actually more mundane than other groups. For instance, the last three drama ensemble winners were “The Crown” (last year) and then “This Is Us” two years in a row. That means they celebrated the royals in arguably the worst season of the show and before that showered affection on a truly mediocre (melo)drama.

Notice — as I always do — that not only has the Screen Actors Guild declined to award HBO’s “Succession,” they’ve also declined to nominate it. It’s an interesting choice given that the series earned nine individual acting nominations at last year’s Emmy Awards.

But once the SAG Awards are dispensed, what’s left of the TV Awards calendar?

Probably the most significant outstanding entry left on the schedule is the Directors Guild of America, scheduled for Saturday, April 10. Now, the DGA is happy to blaze its own trail when it comes to awards, with TV winners rarely matching up with the correlating Emmy categories.

Less than two weeks later are the Film Independent Spirit Awards — now featuring TV! — and the conclusion of Emmy Awards pre-gaming. Between now and then are plenty of craft guilds celebrating the below the line contributions of so many Hollywood artisans, including visual effects, sound design, costuming, editing, cinematography, and so much more. These individual awards will all provide rough blueprints for the Emmy season to come, narrowing down the field of contenders and favorites and setting the tone of the rest of the year to come.

And with that, make sure you conserve your strength, hydrate, and ready yourself for a long-haul Emmy season, your express train to autumn.

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