At this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, are we all underestimating “Better Call Saul” in the race for Best TV Drama Ensemble? Don’t forget, the show’s trio of headliners — Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks and Michael McKean — have worked with almost everybody in the industry over the years, which could benefit the show when SAG voters mark their ballots. And then there’s the whole “Breaking Bad” angle, too, which might just push them over the edge.
While it’s true that SAG voters were late to the “Breaking Bad” party, only nominating it for its final three years (2011-13), they made up for it by awarding the relatively small cast with the Best TV Drama Ensemble prize for the show’s swan song. And star Bryan Cranston rode the tidal wave of support by earning back-to-back trophies for Best Drama Actor in 2012 and 2013.
The latter-year victories for “Breaking Bad” suggest that SAG voters discovered the series late in its run, perhaps thanks to Netflix streamings or word of mouth from others within the industry. That’s great news for “Better Call Saul” and Odenkirk, who was a part of the parent show’s winning ensemble in 2013 and then went on to headline AMC’s prequel spinoff two yeas later.
Coming off an impressive seven nominations at the Emmy Awards including Best Drama Series, it’s clear there’s still major residual love for the original series and characters played by Odenkirk (Saul Goodman) and Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut).
And because these two, plus McKean, have resumes miles long, they could get an extra boost from their Hollywood friends and colleagues who want to see them take the stage. Other main cast members from the first season of “Better Call Saul” include Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian and Michael Mando.
According to exclusive Gold Derby odds that are derived from the predictions made by our Editors (website staff editors), Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who did the best predicting last year’s nominations) and other Users just like you, “Better Call Saul” is in seventh place to win the TV race with 22/1 odds.
Hoping to stop “Better Call Saul” from claiming the SAG ensemble prize is reigning Emmy champ “Game of Thrones,” which has leading 3/1 odds. Despite the show’s massive, worldly cast, this HBO fantasy epic has never won Best Drama Ensemble at SAG, though it did take home the Best Stunts trophy four years running.
“Game of Thrones'” failure is in part because of the success of English favorite “Downton Abbey,” which is in second place with 11/2 odds to win its third ensemble trophy following victories in 2012 and 2014. (The TV Drama record is still “ER” with four consecutive trophies from 1995 to 1998.)
Rounding out the other likely nominees, “Mad Men” (SAG’s two-time champ in 2008 and 2009) is in third place with 15/2 odds, “House of Cards” is in fourth place with odds of 8/1, “Empire” comes in fifth place at 10/1 odds, followed by “Homeland” in sixth place with odds of 16/1. See more SAG Awards odds and rankings right here.
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Photo Credit: Ben Leuner/AMC