'Knight' gets some PGA love

Warner Bros. blockbuster in the running for guild's best picture nod

"The Dark Knight's" prospects just got a little brighter. The Producers Guild of America on Monday announced the film and television nominees for its 20th annual PGA Awards, and the blockbuster Batman sequel made the list.

The producers of "Knight," along with those of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Frost/ Nixon," "Milk" and "Slumdog Millionaire," are in the running for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures.

The PGA awards are often not a perfect match for the quintet of Academy best picture slots, but "Knight's" appearance in the PGA field with four high-probability Oscar contenders gives the billion-dollar-grossing film tantalizing momentum.

Individual PGA nominees include Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall and Cean Chaffin ("Button"); Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven and Emma Thomas ("Knight"); Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner ("Frost/Nixon"); Dan Jinks & Bruce Cohen ("Milk"); and Christian Colson ("Slumdog").

Kennedy and Marshall, both previous nominees, were handed lifetime achievement awards by the guild last year. Grazer, another PGA lifetime achievement recipient, won the motion picture producer of the year award for "Apollo 13" in 1996. Jinks and Cohen took the prize in 2000 for "American Beauty."

Grazer and Howard will receive the honorary Milestone Award, and Jinks and Cohen will get the honorary Stanley Kramer Award during the Jan. 24 ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium.

Nominees for the producer of the year award in the film documentary category include Simon Chinn for "Man on Wire," Julie Bilson Ahlberg and Errol Morris for "Standard Operating Procedure" and Carl Deal and Tia Lessin for "Trouble the Water."

Clark Spencer ("Bolt"), Melissa Cobb ("Kung Fu Panda") and Jim Morris ("WALL-E") are nominated for producer of the year in animated films.

In episodic television, the producers of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Entourage," "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Weeds" have been nominated for the Danny Thomas Producer of the Year award for comedy. The Norman Felton drama award nominees are the producers of "Boston Legal," "Damages," "Dexter," "Lost" and "Mad Men."

The David L. Wolper nominees in longform TV are the producers of "24: Redemption," "Bernard and Doris," "John Adams," "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Recount."

The producers of "Deadliest Catch," "Frontline," "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," "60 Minutes" and "This American Life" are the nominees for nonfiction TV. And the live entertainment/competition nominees are the producers of "The Amazing Race," "The Colbert Report," "Project Runway," "Top Chef" and "Real Time With Bill Maher."

The 3,600 members of the guild vote on the winners. Additional recipients of PGA honorary awards include Michael Douglas, David Chase, Participant Media chairman Jeff Skoll and MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson. (partialdiff)
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