Producers Guild of America Awards shocker: ‘The Big Short’ wins Best Picture over frontrunner ‘Spotlight’

Just when we thought the top Oscar race was between “Spotlight” and “The Revenant,” “The Big Short” pulled off a shocking upset at the Producers Guild of America Awards, winning Best Picture.

For the complete list of PGA winners, click here.

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The guild and Oscars have agreed on 19 of the most recent 26 Best Picture champs, including the last eight 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 eliminated, with those ballots being placed on the pile of the next-highest ranked film still in play, until one film has a majority.

Even last year when the Oscar race was as close as it’s been this year, the PGA predicted the Oscar winner using this system by recognizing “Birdman” over, among others, the presumptive frontrunner “Boyhood.” 

Elsewhere, Best Animated Feature went to “Inside Out” and Best Documentary Feature to “Amy,” both of which are favored to win those Oscar races. 

The winners of the television awards mostly diverged from the most recent Emmys, with two major exceptions: “Game of Thrones” won Best Drama Series for the first time while “The Voice” won Best Competition TV Series for the third year in a row. 

However, “Transparent” won Best Comedy Series over reigning Emmy champ “Veep” among others. Live Entertainment/Talk Series went to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” And Best Non-Fiction TV Series went to “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.” 

Fargo” repeated as Best Longform TV Program. Other repeat winners included “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (Sports Series), “Sesame Street” (Children’s Series), and “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (Digital Series).

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Photo: The Big Short” (Paramount)

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