2023 PGA Awards Nominations: Film Nominees Include Four Sequels — and Two Glaring Omissions

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has announced the nominations for both their Motion Pictures and Television categories for the 34th Annual Producers Guild Awards happening on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

As previously announced, the Producers Guild will also use the February ceremony to present special honors to powerhouse producers and leaders who have left their undeniable marks on the industry. Honorees this year include Tom Cruise (David O. Selznick Achievement Award), Mindy Kaling (Norman Lear Achievement Award), and Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy (Milestone Award). “Till” will receive the Stanley Kramer Award sponsored by Delta Air Lines.

After strong showings at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations, the PGA Awards film nominations show that three movies continue to pace the pack as Oscar voting gets under way January 12: Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” Daniels’ “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin” all turned up, as expected, on the Producers Guild of America list of ten motion pictures vying for the night’s biggest award, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. 

Making the cut after weak showings at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations are three box-office behemoths, sequels all: James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Disney), Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Disney), and DGA nominee Joseph Kosinski’s “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount). Assuming all three land in the Best Picture race on Oscar nominations morning January 24, there will be plenty of mainstream movies to root for on Oscar night March 12. 

Similarly, Netflix is happy that Rian Johnson’s popular sequel “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” which not only played well in theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday week, but also performed well on the platform (which did not win a Globe or land a SAG nod), outperformed the original by scoring a PGA nomination. In all likelihood, ”Glass Onion” is duking it out for the tenth BP slot with “Wakanda Forever.”

And steady as they go is the year’s most successful original film: Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” (Warner Bros., $282 million worldwide), starring Globe-winner and SAG nominee Austin Butler, which did not land a SAG Ensemble slot or DGA nomination for Luhrmann. But craft, producer, and actor support should easily earn it a place in the Best Picture race. 

On the art film side, it was no surprise that heady “TÁR” (Focus Features), featuring high-profile Globe winner and SAG nominee Cate Blanchett, was included by PGA voters. But Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” (A24, $8.6 million domestic) may have more support than expected outside the hair & makeup and acting categories, where Brendan Fraser and Hong Chau are strong contenders. 

PGA voters tend to be more male, white, and mainstream than the Academy. This may account for the shocking omission of two movies directed by women: Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” which made SAG Ensemble but did not notch any acting nominations at SAG, and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King,” which only yielded a SAG Leading Female nomination for Viola Davis. Neither landed a DGA nomination.

This is a sign of weakness for both films, although Academy voters are younger, more international and diverse. That said, the stats are still damning: After all the inclusion efforts since 2015, Oscar voters are 66 percent male and 81 percent white.

Are these films being punished for being ardently feminist or for being at the end of the alphabet? The Academy portal, surprisingly, is organized alphabetically. This favors “Banshees of Inisherin” over anything that starts with W. “Women Talking” falls into the Oscar-friendly drama category, while “The Woman King” is a period action epic about women warriors in Africa, comparable to Oscar-winners “Gladiator” or “Braveheart.”

Also not making the PGA top ten are any foreign language films. In 2019, “Parasite,” that film that eventually won Best Picture Oscar, did get nominated, while “1917” won. 

While the guild’s nominations are often seen as an important bellwether for what films will be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, as the guild has determined 23 of the last 33 Best Picture winners (including “CODA” last year), the 10 PGA nominees do not always match up with the Best Picture roster (also guaranteed to be 10 nominees this year). In 2022, the Guild nominated “Tick Tick Boom” and “Being the Ricardos,” which both did not make the final cut at the Oscars, but snubbed “Nightmare Alley,” which did (It takes something less than 900 votes to land in BP). That all said, the Oscar winner is almost always a PGA nominee. 

Nominees for Theatrical Motion Pictures are:

Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

  • “Avatar: The Way of Water”
  • “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  • “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
  • “Elvis”
  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
  • “The Fabelmans”
  • “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
  • “TÁR”
  • “Top Gun: Maverick”
  • “The Whale”

Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

  • “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”
  • “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
  • “Minions: The Rise of Gru”
  • “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”
  • “Turning Red”

The following Documentary nominees were previously announced in December. Since then, all but “Nothing Compares” made the 95th Oscars shortlist. With Laura Poitras’ “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” not making the cut for this awards show, the PGA Awards could be the grounds for its presumed main Best Documentary Feature competitor “All That Breathes” to pull ahead. Though the rest of the nominees are in good standing for an Oscar nomination as well, and could use a PGA Awards win to garner more attention from overlapping Academy members before final Oscar voting opens.

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Picture

  • “All That Breathes”
  • “Descendant”
  • “Fire of Love”
  • “Navalny”
  • “Nothing Compares”
  • “Retrograde”
  • “The Territory”

As for the PGA Awards TV nominations, the Producers Guild mainly focuses on titles already recognized by the Emmys last year, from the final season of “Ozark” to the deluge of limited series that came last spring like “The Dropout” and “Pam & Tommy.”

Still, one look at the nominees list also offers good insight into what new TV shows could break into the Emmys race this fall.

Final ballots for Theatrical Motion Pictures, Animated Motion Pictures, Documentary Motion Pictures, Television Series/Specials Streamed or Televised Motion Pictures Will Close on February 17, 2023; final ballots for Children’s, Short Form and Sports Programs Will Close on February 10, 2023. Winners of these categories will be announced at the 34th Annual Producers Guild Awards on February 25, 2023.

Nominees for Television are:

Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama

  • “Andor” 
  • “Better Call Saul” 
  • “Ozark” 
  • “Severance” 
  • “The White Lotus” 

Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy

  • “Abbott Elementary” 
  • “Barry” 
  • “The Bear” 
  • “Hacks” 
  • “Only Murders in the Building”

David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited or Anthology Series Television

  • “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”
  • “The Dropout” 
  • “Inventing Anna” 
  • “Obi-Wan Kenobi” 
  • “Pam & Tommy” 

Award for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures

  • “Fire Island”
  • “Hocus Pocus 2”
  • “Pinocchio”
  • “Prey”
  • “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”

Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television

  • “30 for 30”
  • “60 Minutes” 
  • “George Carlin’s American Dream” 
  • “Lucy and Desi”
  • “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” 

Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment, Variety, Sketch, Standup & Talk Television

  • “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” 
  • “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” 
  • “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” 
  • “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” 
  • “Saturday Night Live” 

Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television

  • “The Amazing Race” 
  • “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” 
  • “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” 
  • “Top Chef” 
  • “The Voice” 

The following nominees were previously announced. 

The Award for Outstanding Sports Program

  • “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” 
  • “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions” 
  • “Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers” 
  • “McEnroe” 
  • “Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Come Off”

The Award for Outstanding Children’s Program

  • “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock” 
  • “Green Eggs and Ham” 
  • “Sesame Street” 
  • “Snoopy Presents: It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown” 
  • “Waffles + Mochi’s Restaurant” 

The Award for Outstanding Short-Form Program

  • “Better Call Saul: Filmmaker Training” 
  • “Love, Death + Robots” 
  • “Only Murders in the Building: One Killer Question” 
  • “Sesame Street’s #ComingTogether Word of the Day Series” 
  • “Tales of the Jedi”

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