SAG moving back awards telecast

Move hopes to hike ratings facing sweeps competish

The 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be held three weeks earlier next year — on Saturday, Feb. 5,at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.

This year, SAG’s awards telecast suffered substantial ratings erosion after years of steady growth. For the first time in four years, viewership dropped, with ratings falling 31% when compared with 2003’s telecast, and losing more than 1.5 million viewers.

That unusually severe erosion was attributable to the show’s airing during Nielsen sweeps week, a challenge that the 11th annual kudocast will almost surely face again next year. However, by airing on a less competitive Saturday evening in 2005, it won’t likely face such keen competition from rival nets as this year.

Like many awards shows, the SAG honors were substantially earlier this year due to the accelerated Oscarcast. In the past, both SAG and Oscar held their events in March.

Kudocast will again be carried by Turner Network Television, for the eighth consecutive year, and produced by Jeff Margolis Prods. in association with SAG.

Awards show is the only one where prizes are selected solely by actors’ peers. The 11th annual actor ceremonies will honor performances of 2004 in five film categories and eight TV races, including ensemble awards.

Full calendar for the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be released later this year.

The kudocast will be executive produced by Jeff Margolis and produced by Kathy Connell. Yale Summers, Karla Tamburrelli, Daryl Anderson, Shelley Fabares and Paul Napier are producers for SAG. Gloria Fujita O’Brien and Mick McCullough are supervising producers. Benn Fleishman is the exec in charge of production.

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