The Directors Guild of America has included the late Christopher Reeve and opted for a diverse mix in its television movie nominees, tapping a pair of inspirational stories, a historical drama, a showbiz biopic and a political series mixing reality and fiction.
Cable also dominated the nominated selections: Robert Altman for the Sundance Channel’s “Tanner on Tanner, Parts 1-4,” Stephen Hopkins for HBO’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” Reeve for A&E’s “The Brooke Ellison Story” and Joe Sargent for HBO’s “Something the Lord Made.” The lone network entry was Lloyd Kramer for ABC’s “Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.”
The winner will be announced Jan. 29 at the 57th annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Beverly Hilton.
The only rookie nominee was Reeve, who died Oct. 10; he’s up for helming the story of a quadriplegic who graduated from Harvard. The DGA has issued posthumous nominations before, tapping Frank Pacelli in 1998 in the daytime TV category for “The Young and the Restless” and John Frankenheimer in 2003 for telepic “Path to War.”
Hopkins and Kramer scored their second DGA noms. Hopkins was nominated in 2001 for the pilot of “24” while Kramer was tapped in 1988 for documentary “No One Dies Alone.”
The nom for “Tanner on Tanner,” which melds a fictional figure with real-life politicos, was Altman’s fourth. He received DGA noms for directing “MASH,” “Nashville” and “The Player”; he also won the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 and the DGA Honors Filmmaker trophy in 2003.
Sargent took his seventh nom for “Something the Lord Made,” which won the Emmy for TV pics last fall. He won the DGA Award for TV movies in 1973 for “The Marcus Nelson Murders” and also won the DGA Television Award for TV director in 1973. He was previously nominated for “For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story” in 2000; “A Lesson Before Dying” in 1999; “Miss Evers’ Boys” in 1997; “World War II: When Lions Roared” in 1994; and “Miss Rose White” in 1992.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first movie created expressly for television,” said DGA president Michael Apted. “The work of the five nominated directors exemplifies the power and strength of the art form for the past 40 years — where controversial social issues and compelling personal stories are writ large for the small screen.”