Jean Smart (‘Hacks’) poised to become 5th actress to sweep all 5 TV awards

What do Sarah Paulson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Michelle Williams and Catherine O’Hara all have in common? They’re the only performers to sweep all five major TV awards — Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics Choice Awards and Television Critics Association — in a single television season. Now, Jean Smart (“Hacks”) is poised to join this elite list of grand slam winners.

Smart has already claimed the Emmy, Golden Globe and TCA statues for her role as Deborah Vance on the HBO Max comedy series. Deborah is a legendary Las Vegas stand-up comedian whose career is stalling, so her agent hires a young writer (played by Hannah Einbinder) to help shake up her material. Smart is favored to win at the upcoming SAG Awards (February 27) as well as the Critics Choice Awards (March 13), which would make her only the fifth person to dominate an entire television award season.

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At the SAG Awards, Smart competes in the comedy actress category against a pair of “Ted Lasso” co-stars, Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple, plus leads Elle Fanning (“The Great”) and Sandra Oh (“The Chair”). Remember, the actors guild forces lead stars and supporting players to face off against each other, which is part of the reason Smart is so favored to win here. After working in the industry for decades, this would actually be Smart’s first-ever individual SAG Award victory. (She’s also nominated individually for “Mare of Easttown” and as part of the “Hacks” ensemble cast.)

Likewise, Smart is favored to triumph at the Critics Choice Awards, though it wouldn’t be her first win with that group. The actress previously claimed victory for her supporting turns in both “Fargo” and “Watchmen.” Now in the lead race for “Hacks,” Smart faces off in Best Comedy Actress against Fanning, Oh, Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Selena Gomez (“Only Murders in the Building”) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (“Girls5eva”). Even though the critics’ group tends to go its own way in the TV races, it would be a surprise to see anyone else take home this trophy. (And yes, Smart was also recognized here for her “Mare of Easttown” supporting role.)

The four grand slam champions represent limited series (“The People v. O.J. Simpson” for Paulson, “Fosse/Verdon” for Williams) and comedy series (“Fleabag” for Waller-Bridge, “Schitt’s Creek” for O’Hara), while no one has yet accomplished this feat for a drama series. Also of note, all of the champions so far are women. Men have come close over the years, with Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”) just missing out last year — he lost the TCA Award to, you guessed it, Smart.

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