Casting Society of America Artios Awards preview: Will ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Transparent’ repeat?

The Casting Society of America holds its 32nd Annual Artios Awards this Thursday (Jan. 19). As these kudos share the Emmys’ eligibility period of June 2015 to May 2016,  programs like “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” can’t contend until next year.

However, unlike the Emmys, the CSA has additional categories to honor casting for new series. Before this year, the CSA had additional categories to recognize achievements in pilot casting specifically. For example, “Empire” won Best Drama Pilot Casting last year for its premiere episode and was also nominated for Best Drama Series Casting for the work done over the rest of its first season; it lost the latter to “Game of Thrones.” This year, the CSA reconfigured its categories to prevent any such overlap. Awards now split between series that premiered this year and those that are in their second seasons or later.

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Like the Emmy Awards for Best Casting, the Artios Awards are voted on by industry casting directors. As some of the CSA members also vote for the Emmys,  there is often significant overlap between the nominees and winners. The last five Emmy winners for Best Drama Casting won Artios Awards for the same seasons.

Four of the five 2016 Emmy nominees for Best Drama Casting are up for Artios Awards this year: “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” contend for Best Continuing Drama Casting opposite “The Americans” and “Bloodline;” “Mr. Robot” vies for Best New Drama Casting opposite “Billions,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Narcos” and “UnREAL.” The final season of “Downton Abbey” received nine Emmy nominations, including a bid for Best Drama Casting and wins in three races, but the industry guilds and societies seem to have almost completely forgotten it in their nominations over the last few months.

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A far more conspicuous omission by the CSA this year is “Veep,” which won the last two Emmys for Best Comedy Casting. Three of the other Emmy nominees are up in the Best Continuing Comedy Casting race: “Silicon Valley,” “Transparent” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” “Modern Family” was snubbed with “Veep.” In their place are “black-ish” and “Girls,” neither of which was nominated in the main CSA category or the Emmys last year.

Despite “Veep” winning the Emmys on both sides of last year’s Artios Awards, “Transparent” was victorious with the CSA last year, for both Best Comedy Series Casting and Best Comedy Pilot Casting. It marked the first time in five years that the Emmy winner for Best Comedy Casting did not claim an Artios Award for the same season. With “Veep” out of the way, the path would appear to be clear for another win by “Transparent,” but support for the series and its cast(ing) in particular might be waning. “Transparent” was replaced by “black-ish” this year in the Screen Actors Guild Award race for Best Comedy Ensemble.

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The Best New Comedy Casting race consists entirely of series that were snubbed at the Emmys for Best Comedy Casting; in fact, four of them — “Casual,” “Scream Queens,” “Superstore” and “Wet Hot American Summer” — were not nominated in any Emmy race. The fifth nominee is “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which won Best Choreography and Comedy Editing at the Emmys, in addition to two further nominations, for its music. Notably absent from the list is “Master of None;” although it was not nominated at the Emmys for its casting, it was nominated in four above-the-line categories, including Best Comedy Series.

The CSA has nominated the  same five as the Emmys in Best Movie or Miniseries Casting: “Fargo,” “Grease: Live!,” “The Night Manager,” “Roots” and Emmy winner “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” The CSA and Emmys shared the last six winners in this category.

Make your SAG predictions now; change them till Jan. 29

Do you think that “Veep” can find redemption at the Screen Actors Guild Awards? Log your predictions now for the television categories and change them as often as you please until the ceremony on Jan. 29, 2017. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s nominees). Read our contest rules.

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