PGA Awards: Will ‘The White Lotus: Sicily’ avenge limited series loss in new drama category?

Although its 10 Emmy wins for its first season made HBO’s “The White Lotus” the TV academy’s most-honored program of 2022, it didn’t receive much love at all from other awards bodies last year. Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award voters kept it out of their Best Limited Series lineups, and it lost in the corresponding PGA Award category to “Mare of Easttown.” Its second season has now earned it another shot at a PGA Award victory, but it is now competing in Best Drama Series due to its incorporation of preexisting characters. Whether or not this move was beneficial remains to be seen, but the odds appear to be in its favor.

Whereas less than 3% of Gold Derby users who made predictions for the 2022 limited series PGA Award race selected “The White Lotus” as the likeliest winner, a much more decisive 72% of the 2023 drama series odds-makers are expecting it to triumph. “Better Call Saul” is in a distant second place with 19% of the top choice votes, while “Severance,” “Andor” and “Ozark” split the remaining 9%. One factor that surely influences these numbers is the frontrunner’s recent Golden Globe win for its sophomore season (albeit for Best Limited Series).

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“The White Lotus” is only the third series to ever achieve PGA Award recognition as both a continuing and non-continuing program. Since it is an anthology series, it may be deemed eligible for limited status again in the future, but only if no characters or storylines from previous seasons carry over. This time, the continued involvement of season one characters Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge) and Greg Hunt (Jon Gries) triggered the rule enforcement.

The only show that precedes “The White Lotus” in having jumped from the PGA’s limited to drama series category is “Downton Abbey,” which made the move in 2013 after winning for its then-supposed standalone first season in 2012. It ended up receiving three drama nominations but no wins there. “True Detective” made the opposite move in 2016 and currently stands at one drama and two limited series losses. Honorary members of this group include drama series “24” and “Breaking Bad” and their respective TV movie sequels “24: Redemption” and “El Camino.”

“The White Lotus” would be the sixth show to ever win the Best Drama Series PGA Award for its second season, and the second after “Succession” (2020) to not have been nominated here for its first. The other entrants on the list are “The West Wing” (2001 and 2002), “24” (2003), “Grey’s Anatomy” (2007) and “Mad Men” (2010).

The 34th annual PGA Awards will be handed out on Saturday, February 25 during a non-televised ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.

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