Brisk pace gives winners last word

Screen Actors Guild Awards 2012

No host. No superfluous song-and-dance numbers. And, consequently, no marathon running time.

In the winter whirlwind known as kudos season, the Screen Actors Guild Awards telecast is celebrated almost as much for what it isn’t as for what it is: A briskly paced two-hour ceremony that allows actors to honor those peers who have given the year’s best performances in film and television.

Expect that to once again be the case come Sunday when the telecast is simulcast live on TNT and TBS from the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles.

“My philosophy,” says longtime exec producer-director Jeff Margolis, “is, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’?”

With just 13 trophies to present, all of them to thesps, the kudoscast is as star-studded at the winner’s podium as it is in the audience.

“It doesn’t matter where I put the camera,” says Margolis, who spends 11 months out of the year working on the show. “You’re going to see somebody you know. That’s exciting for the audience at home.”

Not to mention a perfect fit Turner’s cable nets that air the show.

“We have a real fondness for stars,” says Michael Wright, exec VP and head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM. “That’s on display in the movies we run and the series we acquire and develop.”

Besides the individual and ensemble acting awards, which are voted on by the guild’s 100,000-plus strong membership, this year’s telecast will honor Oscar nominee and multiple Emmy winner Mary Tyler Moore with the Life Achievement Award. Moore will be presented with the statue by her former TV husband Dick Van Dyke.

There will also be the telecast’s trademark opening, which features actors sharing often-funny, little-known moments from their careers, and the “In Memoriam” segment, which honors those members of the guild who have passed away during the year.

And for those actors fortunate enough to win their respective categories, Margolis has only one note that he hopes will resonate with all: Keep the acceptance speech to 45 seconds or less. Seriously.

“Speeches in the past couple of years have started to get a little longer,” he says. “I hope I don’t have to cut anybody off this year.”

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