The Big Short
Courtesy of Paramount

In a major surprise, Paramount’s “The Big Short” has won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award from the Producers Guild of America as the year’s top movie.

The comedy-drama — delving into the 2008 financial crisis and starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt — won over “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Ex Machina,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Sicario,” “Spotlight” and “Straight Outta Compton.”

“Game of Thrones,” “Transparent” and “Fargo” took the top TV awards in ceremonies at the Century Plaza while “Inside Out” and “Amy” won the other key film awards.

Producers Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner were clearly stunned in accepting the award from Michael B. Jordan, as both took the stage without prepared remarks and thanked director Adam McKay and Paramount profusely. Producer Brad Pitt was not in attendance.

Gardner said she wanted to discuss what she termed “the elephant in the room” and sought to address the diversity issue by noting, “We have privilege in our hands as storytellers. We need to tell stories that reflect our world on every street corner.”

“Spotlight” and “The Revenant” — which has a leading 12 Oscar nominations — had been considered the front-runners for the PGA trophy with “The Big Short,” “The Martian” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” regarded as upset candidates. Alejandro Inarritu’s “Birdman” won the Zanuck and the Best Picture Oscar last year.

The Zanuck trophy is based on voting by the 7,000 members of the PGA. The producers branch of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences constitutes about 8% of the AMPAS membership.

The Zanuck award has become a strong indicator of Oscar sentiment in recent years, partly due to it using a preferential balloting system that’s similar to that of the AMPAS. It’s matched the Oscar for best picture in 19 of its 26 years — including the last eight, with “Birdman,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Argo,” “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “No Country for Old Men.”

The PGA winner last diverged from the Oscar Best Picture in 2006, when “Little Miss Sunshine” won the Zanuck while the Academy opted for “The Departed.”

Seven of the 10 PGA nominees are also nominated for Best Picture, with “Ex Machina,” “Sicario” and “Straight Outta Compton” being left out by the Academy. “Room” was nominated for the Oscar Best Picture but not for the PGA award.

The PGA win for “The Big Short” was the second for Kleiner, Pitt and Gardner, who were producers on “12 Years a Slave” two years ago. “The Big Short” has received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director for McKay, Best Supporting Actor for Bale, Best Adapted Screenplay for McKay and Charles Randolph and Best Editing for Hank Corwin.

Kleiner, Gardner and Pitt produced “The Big Short” through their Plan B banner with New Regency.

Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy” won for top documentary for James Gay-Rees. “Amy,” the front-runner for the Oscar, topped “The Hunting Ground,” “The Look of Silence,” “Meru” and “Something Better to Come.”

Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” won the award for top animated movie for producer Jonas Rivera. “Inside Out,” which explored the mind of an 11-year-old girl and became a surprise hit with worldwide grosses of $856 million, topped “Anomalisa,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Minions” and “The Peanuts Movie” and is widely expected to win the Oscar.

“We set out to make a movie that spoke to us as parents,” Rivera said in his acceptance speech.

The second season of FX’s “Fargo” won the David L. Wolper Award for long-form television for the second year in a row. Producer Noah Hawley noted in his acceptance that the season had been a challenge partly because “The Revenant” had the snow makers in Calgary tied up.

The fifth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” took the Norman Felton Award for best drama series and the first season of “Transparent” won the Danny Thomas Award for top comedy series.

Amazon’s transgender skein won the award for producers Jill Soloway, Andrea Sperling, Victor Hsu, Nisha Ganatra, Rick Rosenthal and Bridget Bedard. It topped “Modern Family,” “Inside Amy Shumer,” “Silicon Valley” and “Veep”; “Orange Is the New Black” won the award last year.

“Last Week with John Oliver” won the Live Entertainment and Talk Television award. NBC’s “The Voice” took the competition TV award for the second year in a row. “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” won the non-fiction TV award.

Lady Gaga dazzled the audience with her performance of “Til It Happens to You” as part of the introduction to “The Hunting Ground” winning the honorary Stanley Kramer Award. The song, co-written with Diane Warren, is up for the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Other previosly announced award included Fox’s Jim Gianopulos receiving the Milestone Award from Ridley Scott and being accorded a standing ovation; “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman won the David O. Selznick Achivement Award, presented by Gary Oldman; Shonda Rhimes received the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television from Viola Davis; and Industrial Light & Magic was presented the Visionary Vanguard Award by J.J. Abrams.
The diversity issue was addressed by the PGA leadership during the opening of the event. PGA Awards co-chair Michael De Luca noted that Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs was in the audience and added, “No one is working harder to make our world a fairer place.”
PGA co-president Lori McCreary also said in her remarks, “Producers have always served the industry as leaders and we are tonight asking all of you to pledge to make a conscious decision to challenge the status quo until our casts, our crews and our own companies are as diverse as the audiences for which we make this entertainment,” she said.

 

The theatrical motion picture and television nominees are as follows (winners in boldface):

 

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:

“The Big Short”
Producers: Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner  WINNER

“Bridge of Spies”
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, Kristie Macosko Krieger

“Brooklyn”
Producers: Finola Dwyer & Amanda Posey

“Ex Machina”
Producers: Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich

“Mad Max: Fury Road”
Producers: Doug Mitchell & George Miller

“The Martian”
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Mark Huffam

“The Revenant”
Producers: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon

“Sicario”
Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Edward L. McDonnell, Molly Smith

“Spotlight”
Producers: Michael Sugar & Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagon Faust

“Straight Outta Compton”
Producers: Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez, F. Gary Gray, Dr. Dre, Scott Bernstein

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

“Anomalisa”
Producers: Rosa Tran, Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman

“The Good Dinosaur”
Producer: Denise Ream

“Inside Out”
Producer: Jonas Rivera  WINNER

“Minions”
Producers: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy

“The Peanuts Movie”
Producers: Craig Schulz, Michael J. Travers

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television:

*The Long-Form Television category encompasses both movies of the week and mini-series.

“American Crime” (Season 1)
This show is in the process of being vetted for producer eligibility

“American Horror Story: Hotel” (Season 5)
Producers: Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, Brad Buecker, Tim Minear, Jennifer Salt, James Wong, Alexis Martin Woodall, Robert M. Williams Jr.

“Fargo” (Season 2)
Producers: Noah Hawley, John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Warren Littlefield, Kim Todd  WINNER

“True Detective” (Season 2)
Producers: Nic Pizzolatto, Scott Stephens, Steve Golin, Aida Rodgers

“A Very Murray Christmas”
This show is in the process of being vetted for producer eligibility

The Award for Outstanding Sports Program:

“Back on Board: Greg Louganis”
“E:60”
“Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Houston Texans”
“Kareem: Minority of One”
“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”  WINNER

The Award for Outstanding Digital Series:

“30 for 30 Shorts”
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”  WINNER
“Epic Rap Battles of History”
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Double Agent”
“This American Life Presents: Videos 4 U”

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

“Amy”
Producer: James Gay-Rees  WINNER

“The Hunting Ground”
Producer: Amy Ziering

“The Look of Silence”
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen

“Meru”
Producers: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin

“Something Better to Come”
Producers: Sigrid Dyekjær, Hanna Polak

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama:

“Better Call Saul” (Season 1)
Producers: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Melissa Bernstein, Mark Johnson, Stewart A. Lyons, Thomas Schnauz, Gennifer Hutchison, Nina Jack, Diane Mercer, Bob Odenkirk

“Game of Thrones” (Season 5)
Producers: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Bernadette Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss, Bryan Cogman, Lisa McAtackney, Chris Newman, Greg Spence  WINNER

“Homeland” (Season 4)
Producers: Alex Gansa, Alexander Cary, Lesli Linka Glatter, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Meredith Stiehm, Patrick Harbinson, Michael Klick, Claire Danes, Lauren White

“House of Cards” (Season 3)
Producers: Beau Willimon, Dana Brunetti, John David Coles, Josh Donen, David Fincher, Eric Roth, Kevin Spacey, John Mankiewicz, Robert Zotnowski, Karen Moore

“Mad Men” (Season 7B)
Producers: Matthew Weiner, Scott Hornbacher, Janet Leahy, Semi Chellas, Erin Levy, Jon Hamm, Blake McCormick, Tom Smuts

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy:

“Inside Amy Schumer” (Season 3)
This show is in the process of being vetted for producer eligibility.

“Modern Family” (Season 6)
Producers: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Jeff Morton, Jeffrey Richman, Brad Walsh, Danny Zuker, Vali Chandrasekaran, Megan Ganz, Elaine Ko, Kenny Schwartz, Chuck Tatham, Rick Wiener, Chris Smirnoff, Sally Young

“Silicon Valley” (Season 2)
Producers: Mike Judge, Alec Berg, Jim Kleverweis, Clay Tarver, Dan O’Keefe, Michael Rotenberg, Tom Lassally

“Transparent” (Season 1)
Producers: Jill Soloway, Andrea Sperling, Victor Hsu, Nisha Ganatra, Rick Rosenthal, Bridget Bedard WINNER

“Veep” (Season 4)
Producers: Armando Iannucci, Chris Addison, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Godsick, Stephanie Laing, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Frank Rich, Tony Roche, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Will Smith, Bill Hill

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television:

“30 for 30” (Season 6)
Producers: Connor Schell, John Dahl, Bill Simmons, Erin Leyden, Andrew Billman, Marquis Daisy, Libby Geist

“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (Season 3)
Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig

“The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” (Season 1)
Producers: Marc Smerling, Andrew Jarecki, Jason Blum  WINNER

“Shark Tank” (Season 6)
Producers: Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill, Yun Lingner, Max Swedlow, Jim Roush, Brandon Wallace, Becky Blitz, Laura Roush, Shaun Polakow, Phil Gurin

“Vice” (Season 3)
Producers: BJ Levin, Bill Maher, Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith, Jonah Kaplan, Tim Clancy, Ben Anderson, Shawn Killebrew

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television:

“The Amazing Race” (Seasons 25 and 26)
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman, Elise Doganieri, Mark Vertullo

“Dancing with the Stars” (Seasons 19 and 20)
Producers: Rob Wade, Ashley Edens-Shaffer, Joe Sungkur

“Project Runway” (Season 13)
Producers: Jonathan Murray, Sara Rea, Desiree Gruber, Jane Cha, Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Teri Weideman

“Top Chef” (Season 12)
Producers: Daniel Cutforth, Tom Colicchio, Chaz Gray, Casey Kriley, Padma Lakshmi, Jane Lipsitz, Doneen Arquines, Erica Ross

“The Voice” (Seasons 7 and 8)
Producers: Audrey Morrissey, Mark Burnett, John de Mol, Marc Jansen, Lee Metzger, Chad Hines, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker, Carson Daly  WINNER

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television:

“The Colbert Report” (Season 11)
Producers: Stephen T. Colbert, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart, Meredith Bennett, Barry Julien, Emily Lazar, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Paul Dinello, Matt Lappin

“Key & Peele” (Season 4)
This show is in the process of being vetted for producer eligibility.

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (Season 2)
Producers: Tim Carvell, John Oliver, Liz Stanton WINNER

“Real Time with Bill Maher” (Season 13)
Producers: Bill Maher, Scott Carter, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Billy Martin, Dean E. Johnsen, Matt Wood

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (Season 2)
Producers: Lorne Michaels, Jamie Granet Bederman, Katie Hockmeyer, Jim Juvonen, Brian McDonald, Josh Lieb, Gavin Purcell

The Award for Outstanding Children’s Program:

“Doc McStuffins”
“The Fairly OddParents”
“Octonauts”
“Sesame Street” WINNER
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
“Toy Story That Time Forgot”

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