‘Gravity’ and ’12 Years a Slave’ win at PGA Awards in unprecedented tie

The Producers Guild of America may not have clarified the Oscar race as much as we expected, awarding two winners in an unprecedented tie for Best Picture: “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave,” leaving out their closest Oscar rival, “American Hustle,” which had just won top honors on Saturday night from the Screen Actors Guild.

For the complete list of PGA winners, click here.

Also numbering among the 10 PGA nominees were five more of the Oscar contenders for Best Picture: “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” However, the academy snubbed PGA nominees “Blue Jasmine” and “Saving Mr. Banks” with Brit hit “Philomena” getting the ninth slot in the Oscar race.

The guild and Oscars have agreed on 17 of the most recent 24 Best Picture champs, including the last six in a row. Key to the import of this precursor prize is that it picks a winner using the same kind of counting as the Oscars — the preferential ballot.

The 6,000 or so members of the PGA (almost the same number as the motion picture academy) rank the ten Best Picture nominees. Each ballot is placed in a pile according to its number one choice. In each successive round, the film with the fewest votes was elminated, with those ballots being placed on the pile of the next-highest ranked film still in play. This year’s unprecedented tie meant that “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” each had the EXACT same number of PGA voters ranking it higher than the other.  

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Best Animated Feature went to Disney’s “Frozen,” which is favored to repeat that win at the Oscars. At the PGA, it won over Oscar rivals “The Croods” and “#Despicable Me 2” as well as “Epic” and “Monsters University.” 

None of this year’s Oscar contenders for Best Documentary were nominated by PGA, which chose “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” over “A Place at the Table,” “Far Out Isn’t Far Enough,” “Life According to Sam,” and “Which Way is the Front Line From Here?

The winners of the television awards mostly echoed those of the most recent Emmys. Indeed, just as the guild follows the motion picture academy’s eligibility period by considering films released during the 2013 calendar year, so too it heeds to the TV academy’s schedule and nominates programs airing between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

Four-time Emmy winner “Modern Family” successfully defended its PGA title against three-time PGA winner “30 Rock,” returning nominee “The Big Bang Theory,” the reboot of “Arrested Development,” and category newcomer “Veep.” 

Breaking Bad” won Best Drama Series, following top wins at the Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards. Five of the six Emmy nominees were in contention for the PGA prize, including last year’s PGA champ Homeland,” as well as past PGA winners “Boardwalk Empire” and “Downton Abbey,” which won Best TV Movie/Miniseries in 2011, and returning nominee “Game of Thrones.”

Behind the Candelabra” also continued its awards-show romp, winning Best Longform TV Program following wins at SAG, the Golden Globes, and the Emmys.

“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” won Best Non-Fiction TV Series, beating “30 for 30,” “Duck Dynasty,” “Inside the Actors Studio,” and “Shark Tank.” Reigning PGA champ “American Masters” was not nominated.

Live Entertainment/Talk Series went to defending champ “The Colbert Report,” which was up against the same lineup as last year: “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Saturday Night Live.”

Newly crowned Emmy champ “The Voice” won Best Competition TV Series, thus preventing “The Amazing Race” from a third consecutive win in the category. 

Other winners included “SportsCenter” (Sports Series), “Sesame Street” (Children’s Series), and “Wired: What’s Inside” (Digital Series).

5 thoughts on “‘Gravity’ and ’12 Years a Slave’ win at PGA Awards in unprecedented tie

  1. I thought a tie was basically impossible under preferential voting, as in it was ONLY mathematically possible if the ballots aligned EXACTLY in a way that’s almost impossible without collusion…

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