SAG Awards: Weighing the Odds in the Best TV Ensemble Categories

8:30 AM 11/20/2019

by Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter assesses the prospects for 13 comedies and dramas that SAG-AFTRA voters are excited about.

Courtesy of HBO, Amazon and FX

  • 'Barry'

    HBO

    Aron Epstein/HBO

    Actors love shows about actors, and this comedy series — which star Bill Hader co-created, co-writes and often directs — provides a hilarious window into their struggle. It has the added benefit of featuring one of the most beloved of their lot, Henry Winkler, in a key supporting role.

     
  • 'Big Little Lies'

    HBO

    Jennifer Clasen/HBO

    Thanks to popular demand, the girl gang at the center of the hit 2017 limited series — Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz — reunited for a similarly juicy second season, which most voters watched and a great many enjoyed.

  • 'The Crown'

    Netflix

    Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix

    Claire Foy's throne has been transferred to Olivia Colman as Peter Morgan's epic drama series about Queen Elizabeth II moves into its third season. Helen Mirren and Foy can attest that Morgan's magnificent writing sets up his stars — lead and supporting — to shine brightly.

  • 'Euphoria'

    HBO

    Eddy Chen/HBO

    A young set of actors, including the immensely popular Zendaya, carry this often disturbing but immensely gripping new drama series about high school students dealing with matters of sex, drugs and trauma. Storm Reid, Algee Smith and Maude Apatow also star.

  • 'Fleabag'

    Amazon

    Courtesy of Amazon

    There is nobody whom actors — like the rest of the biz — are more enamored with at the moment than Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who wrote and stars in this comedy series' second and final season, just like its first, again surrounding herself with pros like Colman, Sian Clifford and "hot priest" breakout Andrew Scott.

  • 'Killing Eve'

    BBC America

    Parisa Taghizadeh/BBCAmerica

    Anything Waller-Bridge touches turns to gold, and even though she is not in front of the camera on this drama series, it is no exception. Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer star, the latter playing a criminal who is, in effect, an actor, complete with accents, disguises and the works. Comer picked up her first Emmy in September.

  • 'The Loudest Voice'

    Showtime

    JoJo Whilden/SHOWTIME

    Russell Crowe — as good as he has been in years — is the former Fox News chief and habitual sexual harasser Roger Ailes. Sienna Miller plays his wife and Naomi Watts is one of his targets in this limited series about Ailes' genius and derangement. (The movie Bombshell focuses more on the survivors.)

  • 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

    Amazon

    Everyone loves Midge Maisel thanks to Rachel Brosnahan’s star-making turn as the 1950s housewife-turned-standup in this comedy series, which also stars numerous great character actors, none better than Tony Shalhoub. Its highly anticipated third season lands in December.

  • 'The Morning Show'

    Apple TV+

    Courtesy of Apple TV+

    Apple's new streaming service made an expensive but smart calculation: If you want people to pay attention, just get Jennifer Aniston (in her first return to series TV since Friends), Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. Now everyone is talking about the workplace comedy series.

  • 'The Politician'

    Netflix

    Courtesy of NETFLIX

    Ryan Murphy's shows feature large and diverse ensembles, so there's usually something for everyone to like. This dramedy centers on Tony winner Ben Platt surrounded by the likes of fellow rising stars Zoey Deutch and Lucy Boynton, revered veteran Jessica Lange and, yes, Gwyneth Paltrow.

  • 'Pose'

    FX

    JoJo Whilden/FX

    You won't find a more LGBTQ-inclusive cast than the one for this drama series from Murphy, which, two seasons into its run, stars the inimitable Billy Porter alongside a host of trans talent (Indya Moore, Mj Rodriguez and Dominique Jackson) re-creating the highs and lows of New York's 1980s ballroom scene.

  • 'Succession'

    HBO

    Graeme Hunter/HBO

    Since Game of Thrones ended, no drama series has been more central to the cultural conversation than this Shakespearean one from the same network, starring Brian Cox, Matthew Macfadyen, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook and other top-notch thesps as the Murdochs in all but name.

     
  • 'Unbelievable'

    Netflix

    Beth Dubber/Netflix

    Actors' actors Merritt Wever and Toni Collette (playing a pair of tireless detectives) and up-and-comer Kaitlyn Dever (as a rape survivor whose story isn't believed) anchor this limited series, based on a true story, about the hunt for a serial rapist and the impact he has on the lives of his victims and pursuers.

    This story first appeared in a November stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.