Another year has passed, giving us all the greatest gift of all: another year full of spectacular television. 2021 has given so much television, both new and returning, that it can be difficult to keep up with everything coming out. With the SAG nominations coming up, it’s time to look at prospective nominees for the television categories. This year, SAG-AFTRA will be considering all television programs that aired from March 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. Let’s take a look at what is considered eligible and will be competing for the SAG Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series.
It’s important to first note that none of last year’s nominees for this award are eligible for this year’s award for Ensemble in a Drama (say goodbye to The Crown, Ozark, Lovecraft Country, Better Call Saul and The Crown!). With plenty new and returning shows, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s great to keep the nominations diverse year after year. But what will be nominated?
HBO’s critical darling Succession has so far been cursed when it comes to gaining SAG nominations, the Emmy winning series having been nominated for zero awards by the Screen Actors Guild. With a much-talked about third season having just finished coupled with season 2 steamrolling through the Emmys in 2020, the show will have likely found itself being watched by more members of SAG-AFTRA. That’s not even mentioning that some of the best performances on television are found in Succession. The show is likely to earn a nomination for Ensemble in a Drama (while also earning a couple individual achievements as well).
Another show that has found itself pushed aside by SAG-AFTRA is Pose. While its first two seasons carried buzz and even led Billy Porter to an Emmy win, the Screen Actors Guild has yet to nominate the show for… well, anything. That seems likely to change this year, though, as the final season of Pose garnered much critical acclaim, especially for its two leads (Billy Porter and Mj Rodriguez). This year, expect Pose to make more of an impact at the SAG Awards.
Two shows that have had better luck with the Screen Actors Guild are The Morning Show and The Handmaid’s Tale. While The Morning Show did not receive an ensemble nod for its first season, it did manage to nab three individual nominations (and one winner!). The second season just finished recently, and it has a better chance of getting nominated for the ensemble prize. The Handmaid’s Tale, however, has been nominated for the ensemble award for all three of its prior seasons, so expect it to show up here again.
Turning towards a new series that could cause waves at the Screen Actors Guild awards, Netflix’s Squid Game has made several best-of-the-year lists and is Netflix’s most-watched series ever. This could directly translate to awards recognition, especially at the SAG awards: the entire ensemble of Squid Game is marvelous in the show, bringing to life one of the tensest shows of the year. If nominated, Squid Game would be the first ever nominee in the category for a foreign language show. It would be a shock if this series didn’t end up in the line-up.
While the aforementioned five seem like near locks for the category, there are a couple of other shows that could be considered outliers. Amazon’s new fantasy series The Wheel of Time has drawn Amazon’s biggest audience ever for a TV Series and is led by previous SAG nominee Rosamund Pike. While it seems far off to believe this show could stand a chance, they nominated Game of Thrones seven times for the ensemble award. Perhaps as the show goes on and gains more of an audience, it would be more a sure shot.
Shows like Loki and The Falcon and the Winter Solider seem to be far-off from nominations, as WandaVision wasn’t even able to crack the nominations this past year. This is Us has won the top prize before but doesn’t seem as competitive as it once was. If any of these outsider shows has a chance to break in, it’s gonna be This is Us.
These are my predictions for the nominations of the SAG Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series:
- Squid Game
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- The Morning Show
SAG nominations come out January 12.