Studio specialty units dominate PGA noms

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For a second consecutive year, the Producers Guild of America's nominees for best theatrical motion picture are dominated by films produced by studio specialty divisions.

The category's nominated producers, vying for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award, include those behind "Babel" from Paramount Vantage, "Little Miss Sunshine" from Fox Searchlight and "The Queen" from Miramax Films. The major studios fielded two nominees, "The Departed" from Warner Bros. Pictures and "Dreamgirls" from Paramount Pictures' DreamWorks.

Although none of the nominees represented a major surprise, the biggest omission arguably was the absence of a nomination for either of this year's two Clint Eastwood films, "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima." Eastwood previously was nominated by the PGA for "Mystic River" in 2004 and for "Million Dollar Baby" in 2005.

Both of the latest Eastwood films deal with the World War II battle on Iwo Jima, with one representing the U.S. perspective and the other the Japanese view of the carnage. So there is the possibility, impossible to quantify, that each film canceled out the other -- something that could bear watching in the buildup to Oscar noms.

Eligible producers for each PGA-nominated film include Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Steve Golin and Jon Kilik ("Babel"); Graham King ("The Departed"); Laurence Mark ("Dreamgirls"); Marc Turtletaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, and Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa ("Little Miss Sunshine"); and Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward ("The Queen.")

The PGA places no limit on the number of producers who can be nominated for individual films, unlike the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which limits best picture nominees to three producers per film and tends to choose from among those listed by the PGA. If "Sunshine" is nominated by the Academy, its five PGA-nominated producers would have to be reduced to three producers eligible to receive Oscars.

PGA executive director Vance Van Petten said he was "heartened by the variety" of films nominated in the best-picture category this year.

"There are films with big budgets and small budgets, comedies, a musical and dramas," Van Petten said. "I love that variety of choices."

PGA noms are made by its full membership, but film producers can nominate only in film categories and television producers likewise are limited to TV categories. All of the guild's 3,000-plus members can select winners in all categories.

Among the PGA's other six film and TV categories were five nominees in the category of animated theatrical motion picture. Those nominated included producers on five CGI films: "Cars" (Disney/Pixar), "Flushed Away" (DreamWorks Animation), "Happy Feet" (Warners), "Ice Age: The Meltdown" (Fox) and "Monster House" (Sony).

The PGA Awards historically have served as one of the more accurate barometers of best-picture Oscar voting, but its forecasting has been a bit haywire of late.

Producers Guild members voted differently than Academy voters in each of the past three years, last year selecting "Brokeback Mountain" over eventual Oscar winner "Crash." In 2005, PGA members picked Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" over Eastwood's Oscar-winning "Baby."

Winners in all PGA categories will be announced at the 18th annual Producers Guild of America Awards gala, to be held Jan. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.

Among several special awards, the PGA will honor Universal Studios president Ron Meyer with its Milestone Award. Producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will receive the David O. Selznick Award for film achievement, and Jerry Bruckheimer will receive the Normal Lear Award for achievement in TV producing.

A complete list of PGA Awards nominees follows.

THE DARRYL F. ZANUCK PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES

"Babel"
(Paramount Vantage)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Steve Golin
Jon Kilik

"The Departed"
(Warner Bros.)
Graham King

"Dreamgirls"
(Dreamworks SKG/Paramount Pictures)
Laurence Mark

"Little Miss Sunshine"
(Fox Searchlight)
Marc Turtletaub
David T. Friendly
Peter Saraf
Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa

"The Queen"
(Miramax Films)
Andy Harries
Christine Langan
Tracey Seaward

THE PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN ANIMATED THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
"Cars"
(Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation)
Darla K. Anderson

"Flushed Away"
(Dreamworks Animation)
Cecil Kramer
Peter Lord

"Happy Feet"
(Warner Bros.)
Doug Mitchell
George Miller
Bill Miller

"Ice Age: The Meltdown"
(20th Century Fox Animation)
Lori Forte

"Monster House"
(Sony Pictures Animation)
Steve Starkey
Jack Rapke

LONG-FORM AND NON-FICTION TELEVISION NOMINEES: THE DAVID L. WOLPER PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN LONG-FORM TELEVISION
"Bleak House"
(PBS/BBC)
Nigel Stafford-Clark

"Elizabeth I"
(HBO)
Suzan Harrison
George Faber
Charles Pattinson
Barney Riesz

"Flight 93"
(A&E Television)
David Gerber
Clara George

"High School Musical"
(The Disney Channel)
Bill Borden
Barry Rosenbush

"Mrs. Harris"
(HBO)
Elizabeth Karlsen
Pamela Koffler
Christine Vachon

THE PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN NON-FICTION TELEVISION
"The Amazing Race 9"
(CBS)
Jerry Bruckheimer
Betram van Munster
Jonathan Littman
Amy Chacon
Hayma "Screech" Washington
Evan Weinstein
Elise Doganieri
Mark Vertullo

"American Idol"
(Fox)
Nigel Lythgoe
Ken Warwick
Simon Fuller
Charles Boyd
Simon Lythgoe
Megan Michaels

"Dancing With the Stars"

(ABC)
Conrad Green
Richard Hopkins
Izzie Pick

"Project Runway"
(Bravo)
Award Eligibility Under Appeal

"60 Minutes"
(CBS)
Jeff Fager

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED TELEVISION NOMINATIONS: THE DANNY THOMAS PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN EPISODIC TELEVISION -- COMEDY
"Arrested Development"

(Fox)
Ron Howard & Brian Grazer
David Nevins
Mitchell Hurwitz
John Amodeo
Dean Lorey
Jim Vallely
Richard Day
Tom Saunders

"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
(HBO)
Larry David
Jeff Garlin
Robert B. Weide
Larry Charles
Tim Gibbons
Erin O'Malley

"My Name Is Earl"
(NBC)
Greg Garcia
Marc Buckland
Henry Lange Jr.

"The Office"
(NBC)
Greg Daniels
Kent Zbornak

"Weeds"
(Showtime)
Jenji Kohan
Roberto Benabib
Mark A. Burley

THE NORMAN FELTON PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN EPISODIC TELEVISION -- DRAMA

"Grey's Anatomy"

(ABC)
Shonda Rhimes
Betsy Beers Katie Jacobs
Mark Gordon
James Parriott
Peter Horton
Rob Corn
Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Elizabeth Sarnoff

"House"
(Fox)
David Shore

"Lost"
(ABC)
J.J. Abrams
Carlton Cuse
Bryan Burk
Jack Bender
Jean Higgins
Damon Lindelof

"The Sopranos"
(HBO)
David Chase
Brad Grey
Ilene S. Landress
Terence Winter
Matthew Weiner
Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider
Henry Bronchtein
Martin Bruestle
Gianna Smart

"24"
(Fox)
Joel Surnow
Robert Cochran
Howard Gordon
Evan Katz
Jon Cassar
Michael Loceff
Michael Klick


THE PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN VARIETY TELEVISION
"The Ellen Degeneres Show"
(Warner Bros. Television)
Ellen DeGeneres
Mary Connelly
Ed Glavin
Andy Lassner
Karen Kilgariff

"Late Night With Conan O'Brien"
(NBC)
Lorne Michaels
Jeff Ross
Tracy King
Frank Smiley
Daniel Ferguson

"The Late Show With David Letterman"
(CBS)
Maria Pope
Barbara Gaines
Rob Burnett
Jude Brennan

"Real Time With Bill Maher"
(HBO)
Bill Maher
Scott Carter
Sheila Griffiths
Dean Johnsen

"The XX Olympic Games: Opening Ceremony"
(NBC)
Dick Ebersol
David Neal
Molly Solomon
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