Producers Guild Awards eligibility switcheroo helps newcomers ‘Stranger Things’ & ‘Atlanta’ win big

Hey, “Stranger Things” and “Atlanta”: Do you know that you have a rule switch to thank for your victories at the 2017 Producers Guild Awards? After years of the PGA Awards heeding to the Emmys’ schedule of nominating programs airing between June 1 of one year and May 31 of the next, the producers guild decided to change the eligibility period this year. And these two shows benefited big league in the new system.

For this ceremony only, there was a year-and-a-half eligibility on the TV side, from June 2015 to December 2016, meaning newcomers “Stranger Things” and “Atlanta” were allowed to compete despite not being seen yet by the Emmys. Next year’s eligibility will change yet again, likely for good, when the cycle of contention for TV programs will be the strict calendar year of January through December.

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Besides FX’s “Atlanta,” the other PGA comedy contenders were all eligible last year: “Black-ish,” “Modern Family,” “Silicon Valley” and Emmy champ “Veep.”

Battling it out against Netflix’s “Stranger Things” was freshman drama “Westworld” as well as returning shows “Better Call Saul,” “House of Cards” and Emmy winner “Game of Thrones.”

In the TV movie/limited series race, FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson” continued its juggernaut through the entire awards derby. It faced off against “The Night Manager” and “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride,” as well as new programs “Black Mirror” and “The Night Of” which also benefited from the PGA’s new eligibility period.

Producers Guild Awards: 10 red carpet interviews with winners & nominees

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