SAG noms jump on niche bandwagon

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This story was updated at 4:47 p.m.

A correction was made to this article on Jan. 9, 2006.

The big studio contenders remained largely AWOL on Thursday as Focus Features’ “Brokeback Mountain” roped in a leading four noms for the 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

With its nominations the org offered up one relative newcomer to this year’s kudo campaign: Paramount Classics’ “Hustle & Flow” picked up a nomination for perf by an ensemble cast.

Joining “Hustle” in the leading ensemble category were the four films sweeping this week’s stampede of guild noms — “Brokeback,” UA/Sony Pictures Classics’ “Capote,” Lionsgate’s “Crash” and Warner Independent Pictures’ “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

“Crash” tied “Capote” with three noms. Universal’s “Cinderella Man,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” Warner Bros.’ “North Country” and 20th Century Fox’s “Walk the Line” drew two each.

Hollywood is likely to scour the SAG results for Oscar clues, since actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy membership. At the same time, while there has been consistent overlap between SAG and Oscar winners, it’s hardly a five-to-five correlation.

For the SAG noms, the guild seeks a cross-section of opinion and taste, sending ballots to 2,100 randomly selected thesps living across the country.

“Brokeback” noms include lead actor for Heath Ledger and supporting mentions for Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams. Including a supporting actress nod for Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”), Focus scored five noms, the most for any studio, specialty arm or indie house.

“It’s incredibly encouraging when SAG, like the other peer groups, embrace the film as a big, classic American movie. It’s really crossing over,” said Focus co-prexy David Linde.

Next to Focus on the film side, Sony Pictures Classics (“Capote,” “Junebug”) logged in with four noms each. Lionsgate and Warner Bros. Pictures each picked up three. The Weinstein Co. (“Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Transamerica”) tied with Fox, U and Warner Independent in nabbing two.

“Good Night” helmer-star George Clooney was popular Thursday: He picked up an ensemble cast nom for “Good Night,” a supporting actor nom for “Syriana” and a DGA directing nom for “Good Night.”

As for “Hustle,” which Par Classics bought at Sundance for a hefty $8 million, it hasn’t received that much recognition from critics and year-end groups.

Felicity Huffman picked up the most noms — three — of any thesp: one for her leading role in feature “Transamerica” and two for ABC’s “Desperate Housewives”: ensemble and lead actress in a comedy series.

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ABC’s “Boston Legal” picked up the most noms — four — of any television series, including mentions for Candice Bergen, William Shatner and James Spader.

NBC frosh sitcom “My Name Is Earl” and TNT newcomer “The Closer” also made strong showings, with respective stars Jason Lee and Kyra Sedgwick picking up noms. The shows also received a nom for ensemble cast in their respective comedy and drama categories.

Otherwise, TV noms covered the usual suspects, such as HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” NBC’s “The West Wing,” along with hospital dramas ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and Fox’s “House.”

Broadcast held its own against cable, with ABC and HBO tying with 11 noms each.

HBO saw multiple noms for longform dramas “Empire Falls” and “Warm Springs,” with Ed Harris, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Robin Wright Penn, Kenneth Branagh and Cynthia Nixon all nabbing individual noms. Christopher Plummer also received a nom for Showtime movie “Our Fathers.”

NBC scored eight noms; Fox and TNT (three) and CBS and Showtime (two) followed.

The 12th annual Screen Actor Guild Awards will be held Jan. 29. Kudocast from the Shrine Auditorium will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS.

MOTION PICTURES
Actor
Russell Crowe - “Cinderella Man” (Universal)
Philip Seymour Hoffman - “Capote” (UA/Sony Pictures Classics)
Heath Ledger - “Brokeback Mountain” (Focus Features)
Joaquin Phoenix - “Walk the Line” (20th Century Fox)
David Strathairn - “Good Night, and Good Luck” (Warner Independent Pictures)

Actress
Judi Dench - “Mrs. Henderson Presents” (Weinstein Co.)
Felicity Huffman - “Transamerica” (Weinstein Co.)
Charlize Theron - “North Country” (Warner Bros.)
Reese Witherspoon - “Walk the Line”
Ziyi Zhang - “Memoirs of a Geisha” (Columbia/DreamWorks/Spyglass)

Supporting Actor
Don Cheadle - “Crash” (Lionsgate)
George Clooney - “Syriana” (Warner Bros.)
Matt Dillon - “Crash”
Paul Giamatti - “Cinderella Man”
Jake Gyllenhaal - “Brokeback Mountain”

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - “Junebug” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Catherine Keener - “Capote”
Frances McDormand - “North Country”
Rachel Weisz - “The Constant Gardener” (Focus Features)
Michelle Williams - “Brokeback Mountain”

Ensemble Cast
“Brokeback Mountain” - Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Heath Ledger, Randy Quaid, Michelle Williams
“Capote” - Bob Balaban, Marshall Bell, Clifton Collins Jr., Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Pellegrino
“Crash” - Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate
“Good Night, and Good Luck” - Rose Abdoo, Alex Borstein, Robert John Burke, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Reed Diamond, Tate Donovan, Robert Downey Jr., Grant Heslov, Peter Jacobson, Frank Langella, Tom McCarthy, Dianne Reeves, Matt Ross, David Strathairn, Ray Wise
“Hustle & Flow” - Anthony Anderson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Isaac Hayes, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Taryn Manning, Elise Neal, Paula Jai Parker, D.J. Qualls (Paramount Classics)

TELEVISION

Actor in a Telefilm or Miniseries
Kenneth Branagh - “Warm Springs” (HBO)
Ted Danson - “Knights of the South Bronx” (A&E)
Ed Harris - “Empire Falls” (HBO)
Paul Newman - “Empire Falls”
Christopher Plummer - “Our Fathers” (Showtime)

Actress in a Telefilm or Miniseries
Tonantzin Carmelo - “Into the West” (TNT)
S. Epatha Merkerson - “Lackawanna Blues” (HBO)
Cynthia Nixon - “Warm Springs”
Joanne Woodward - “Empire Falls”
Robin Wright Penn - “Empire Falls”

Actor in a Drama Series
Alan Alda - “The West Wing” (NBC)
Patrick Dempsey - “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
Hugh Laurie - “House” (Fox)
Ian McShane - “Deadwood” (HBO)
Kiefer Sutherland - “24” (Fox)

Actress in a Drama Series
Patricia Arquette - “Medium” (NBC)
Geena Davis - “Commander in Chief” (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay - “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC)
Sandra Oh - “Grey’s Anatomy”
Kyra Sedgwick - “The Closer” (TNT)

Actor in a Comedy Series
Larry David - “Curb Your Enthusiasm”(HBO)
Sean Hayes - “Will & Grace” (NBC)
Jason Lee - “My Name Is Earl” (NBC)
William Shatner - “Boston Legal” (ABC)
James Spader - “Boston Legal”

Actress in a Comedy Series
Candice Bergen - “Boston Legal”
Patricia Heaton - “Everybody Loves Raymond” (CBS)
Felicity Huffman - “Desperate Housewives” (ABC)
Megan Mullally - “Will & Grace”
Mary-Louise Parker - “Weeds” (Showtime)

Drama Ensemble
“The Closer” - G.W. Bailey, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Tony Denison, Robert Gossett, Gina Ravera, Corey Reynolds, Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Tenney
“Grey’s Anatomy” - Justin Chambers, Patrick Dempsey, Katherine Heigl, T.R. Knight, Sandra Oh, James Pickens Jr., Ellen Pompeo, Kate Walsh, Isaiah Washington, Chandra Wilson
“Lost” - Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Naveen Andrews, Emilie De Ravin, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Maggie Grace, Josh Holloway, Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, Terry O’Quinn, Harold Perrineau, Michelle Rodriguez, Ian Somerhalder, Cynthia Watros (ABC)
“Six Feet Under” - Lauren Ambrose, Joanna Cassidy, Frances Conroy, James Cromwell, Rachel Griffiths, Michael C. Hall, Tina Holmes, Peter Krause, Justina Machado, Freddy Rodriguez, Jeremy Sisto, Mathew St. Patrick (HBO)
“The West Wing” - Alan Alda, Kristin Chenoweth, Janeane Garofalo, Dule Hill, Allison Janney, Joshua Malina, Mary McCormack, Janel Moloney, Teri Polo, Richard Schiff, Martin Sheen, Jimmy Smits, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford

Comedy Ensemble
“Arrested Development” - Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter (Fox)
“Boston Legal” - Rene Auberjonois, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Candice Bergen, Julie Bowen, Justin Mentelli, Rhona Mitra, Monica Potter, William Shatner, James Spader, Mark Valley
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” - Shelley Berman, Larry David, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Richard Lewis
“Desperate Housewives” - Roger Bart, Andrea Bowen, Mehcad Brooks, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Marcia Cross, Steven Culp, James Denton, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Brent Kinsman, Shane Kinsman, Eva Longoria, Mark Moses, Doug Savant, Nicollette Sheridan, Brenda Strong, Alfre Woodard
“Everybody Loves Raymond” -Peter Boyle, Brad Garrett, Patricia Heaton, Monica Horan, Doris Roberts, Ray Romano, Madlyn Sweeten
“My Name Is Earl” - Jason Lee, Jaime Pressly, Eddie Steeples, Ethan Suplee, Nadine Velazquez

Life Achievement Award
Shirley Temple Black

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