In 1998, “Chicago Hope” and “ER” jointly made history as the first television drama series to have their ensemble casts receive Screen Actors Guild award nominations for each of their first four seasons. Only six other dramas have matched the feat since then, from “The Sopranos” in 2003 to “The Crown” this year. The latter won the ensemble award for its third season at the most recent SAG ceremony. Since the series overhauls its cast every two seasons, the second group has already bid farewell to their characters and are looking to commemorate their tenure with another collective victory.
At the upcoming SAG Awards, the 12-actor ensemble from “The Crown” faces off against the casts of “Better Call Saul,” “Bridgerton,” “Lovecraft Country” and “Ozark” in the race for Best TV Drama Ensemble. The “Better Call Saul” and “Ozark” ensembles competed against each other once before in 2019. Both lost to the cast of NBC’s “This Is Us.” “Bridgerton” and “Lovecraft Country” both earned their first nominations here for their first seasons.
Netflix’s “The Crown” is a dramatization of the lives of the British royal family, headed by Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman). The fourth season covers the entirety of the 1980s and focuses on the Queen’s role in two decade-defining situations: the premiership of Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) and the troubled marriage of Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin).
“The Crown” is tied with the comedy series “Schitt’s Creek” as the most-nominated program of the year. Anderson, Colman, and Corrin are all in contention for the Best TV Drama Actress award, while O’Connor has been recognized in the corresponding male category. It is the second drama series in SAG history to earn four individual nominations in one year. The first was “The Sopranos,” which received the ensemble prize in 2000 along with bids for the work of Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, James Gandolfini and Nancy Marchand.
If the regal cast experiences a second victory, they will be the eighth dramatic ensemble to earn back-to-back wins. The first to do so were the cast of “ER,” followed in chronological order by the teams on “The West Wing,” “Six Feet Under,” “Mad Men,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Downton Abbey” and “This Is Us.”
This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “SAG Awards nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.
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