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2023 Directors Guild of America TV and Documentary Nominations: ‘Severance,’ ‘Station Eleven,’ and More

The first round of 2023 DGA Awards nominations also includes the Documentary category, which includes films that are all on the Oscars shortlist.

A group of employees in an office space huddle together as if in defense; still from "Severance."

“Severance”

Atsushi Nishijima / Apple TV+

The Directors Guild of America rolled out the first round of nominations for their annual awards, consisting of the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television, Commercials, and Documentary categories for projects from 2022. Tomorrow, the guild will announce its full film nominations, including its lauded First Feature.

The DGA Awards are voted on by over 18,000 members of the guild. The 2022 nominees include TV series broadcast between March 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022. Voting for the awards occurred between December 9, 2022, and January 6, 2023.

First question: Did members of the Director’s Guild watch any TV dramas this winter? The Dramatic Series field is stocked with long-time DGA favorites in Vince Gilligan, who snagged a nomination for “Better Call Saul’s” final season (his fifth overall, after winning for “Breaking Bad” in 2014), Jason Bateman, who earned his third nomination for “Ozark,” and Ben Stiller, who won for “Escape at Dannemora” in 2019. But rather than spotlight new series like “House of the Dragon” or “Andor,” the final two slots went to Sam Levinson for “Euphoria” and a second nod for “Severance,” this time focused on Aoife McArdle.

McArdle is one of eight women to be nominated across Drama, Comedy, Limited Series, Reality, Children’s Programs, Variety, and Variety Specials, a field which also includes Amy Sherman-Palladino for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (her fourth nod for the show’s fourth season), Deborah Chow for “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” and Helen Shaver for “Station Eleven” (their first nominations).

The Directors Guild fell hard for Patrick Somerville’s HBO Max limited series; not only did they nominate two of the directors this year (Jeremy Podeswa got the nod, as well), but they’d already nominated Hiro Murai last year. “Station Eleven” only aired three episodes in 2023, and the DGA Awards honored two of them — over expected nominees like “The Dropout,” “Pam & Tommy,” “Black Bird,” or “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” The latter two of which were released in the second half of 2023, but “Inventing Anna” wasn’t — and Tom Verica snagged a surprise nomination for the widely shunned Netflix adaptation. (“Pam & Tommy” director Craig Gillepsie did earn a nod for directing three commercials, though.)

The Comedy category is filled with wonders, as well. In addition to Sherman-Palladino, Tim Burton broke in for the late-2022 hit “Wednesday” (his first ever DGA nod) and Mike White earned his second straight nomination for “The White Lotus.” It’s worth noting that though the hit HBO series stays in Comedy contention this year, it won the Limited Series category at the Emmys, and now will be in the Drama categories for the upcoming SAG nominations, further indicating awards shows have no idea what to do with anthology series. Bill Hader remains the presumed favorite after snagging his third nomination for “Barry” in three seasons — he won for the last two — and Christopher Storer rode “The Bear” wave to his first DGA nomination.

As for the Documentary category, the Directors Guild opted to recognize only feature films, although notable TV projects like Showtime’s “We Need to Talk About Cosby” were also eligible. While the nomination is only another boost for “Fire of Love,” “Retrograde,” “Navalny,” “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” and “All That Breathes,” which all made the 2023 Oscars Documentary Feature shortlist, with the latter two pegged as the frontrunners to win the Academy Award, it does spell the end of the run for “Good Night Oppy,” a Critics Choice Documentary Awards winner from Amazon Studios that did not make the final cut at for Academy Awards consideration, and really only looks to the Producers Guild Awards as its last hope for one more major awards nomination this winter.

With TV, the impressive showing for dual nominees like “Severance” and “Station Eleven” are welcome and warranted; both are immaculately crafted and resonated throughout the year. Plus, the DGA Awards are prone to a singular focus; this nominees class is more diverse than recent groupings, considering last year’s Comedy category featured three “Ted Lasso” nominees and the Drama race was exclusive to “Succession” directors. Still, it’s odd to look at the list and not see Lucia Aniello for “Hacks,” Hiro Murai for “Atlanta” (or Donald Glover, for that matter), or anyone from “House of the Dragon,” “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” or “Andor.” The latter grouping could’ve used the boost as they prepare for July’s Emmy nominations, but the DGAs aren’t worried about playing precursor. They like what they like, and this year, at least they liked more shows than usual.

The 75th Annual DGA Awards will take place Saturday, February 18 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

See below for the full list of DGA Awards TV, Documentary, and Commercial nominees.

Drama Series

Jason Bateman, “Ozark” – “A Hard Way to Go” (Netflix)
Vince Gilligan, “Better Call Saul” – “Waterworks” (AMC)
Sam Levinson, “Euphoria” – “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird” (HBO)
Aoife McArdle, “Severance” – “Hide and Seek” (Apple TV+)
Ben Stiller, “Severance” – “The We We Are” (Apple TV+)

Comedy Series

Tim Burton, “Wednesday” – “Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe” (Netflix)
Bill Hader, “Barry” – “710N” (HBO)
Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?” (Amazon Prime Video)
Christopher Storer, “The Bear” – “Review” (Hulu)
Mike White, “The White Lotus” – “BYG” (HBO)

Movies for Television and Limited Series

Eric Appel, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (Roku Channel)
Deborah Chow, “ Obi Wan Kenobi” (Disney+)
Jeremy Podeswa, “Station Eleven” – “Unbroken Circle” (HBO Max)
Helen Shaver, “Station Eleven” – “Who’s There?”” (TK)
Tom Verica, “Inventing Anna” – “The Devil Wore Anna” (TK)

Variety Talk/News/Sports (Regularly Scheduled Programming)

Paul G. Casey, “Real Time With Bill Maher,” “Episode 2010” (HBO)
Jim Hoskinson, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Episode 1333” (CBS)
David Paul Meyer, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” “Brandi Carlile Discusses Her New Deluxe Album and Performs ‘You and Me on the Rock’” (Comedy Central)
Liz Patrick, “Saturday Night Live,” “Host and Musical Guest Jack Harlow” (NBC)
Paul Pennolino, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “Afghanistan” (HBO)

Variety Talk/News/Sports (Specials)

Ian Berger, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents Jordan Klepper Fingers the Globe – Hungary for Democracy” (Comedy Central)
Hamish Hamilton, “Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show 2022” (NBC)
James Merryman, “Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter” (ABC)
Marcus Raboy, “Mark Twain Prize 2022: Celebrating Jon Stewart” (PBS)
Glenn P. Weiss, “The 75th Annual Tony Awards” (CBS)

Reality Programs

Joseph H. Guidry, “The Big Brunch,” “Carb Loading Brunch” (HBO Max)
Carrie Havel, “The Go Big Show” – “Only One Can Win” (TBS)
Rich Kim, “Lego Masters” – “Jurass-brick World” (FOX)
Michael Shea, “FBoy Island” – “Do You Like Cats?” (HBO Max)
Ben Simms, “Running Wilds with Bear Grylls” – “Florence Pugh in the Volcanic Rainforests of Costa Rica” (National Geographic Channel)

Children’s Programs

Tim Federle, “Better Nate Than Ever” (Disney+)
Bonnie Hunt, “Amber Brown” – “I, Amber Brown” (Apple TV+)
Dean Israelite, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” – “The Tale of Room 13” (Nickelodeon)
Michael Lembeck, “Snow Day The Musical” (Paramount+)
Anne Renton, “Best Foot Forward” – “Halloween” (Apple TV+)

Documentary

Sara Dosa, “Fire of Love” (National Geographic)
Matthew Heineman, “Retrograde” (Disney+)
Laura Poitras, “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (Neon)
Daniel Roher, “Navalny” (CNN/Warner Bros.)
Shaunak Sen, “All That Breathes” (HBO Documentary/Sideshow)

Commercials

Juan Cabral (MJZ)
Kim Gehrig (Somesuch, Inc.)
Craig Gillespie (MJZ)
David Shane (O Positive, LLC)
Ivan Zachariáš (SMUGGLER)

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