'Manchester by the Sea' dominates Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations

- "Manchester by the Sea" took a leading four nominations, including one for its ensemble cast, among films vying for the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, with "Fences" and "Moonlight" just one nod behind, while in the television category five series had three nominations each and many others had two.

Netflix showed its muscle, beating out HBO, 17-13, in television nominations. Both clobbered all other contenders, with ABC and its five nods next in line.

In addition to Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester by the Sea," other films picking up a nod for their ensemble casts  included Denzel Washington's "Fences," Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight," "Hidden Figures" by writer-director Theodore Melfi and Matt Ross' "Captain Fantastic." The Screen Actors Guild ensemble award is widely considered the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' best picture Oscar.

"La La Land," a darling at the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards earlier this week, picked up nods for both of its leads, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Television dramas scoring nominations for their ensemble casts were "The Crown," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "Stranger Things" and "Westworld."

The casts of "The Big Bang Theory," "Black-ish," "Modern Family," "Orange Is the New Black" and "Veep"  were nominated for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series. "Modern Family" could break
its tie with the long-running medical drama "ER" for most actor awards in the ensemble category with a win.

Actor Jim Parsons bridged comedy and drama across television and movies for his roles in the cast of "The Big Bang Theory" and "Hidden Figures."

Denzel Washington picked up a best actor nomination for his portrayal of a former baseball star trying to support his family as a garbage collector in an adaptation of playwright August Wilson's "Fences." He will be competing
with Casey Affleck as an uncle forced to adopt his teen nephew in "Manchester by the Sea," Andrew Garfield as a conscientious objector in "Hacksaw Ridge," Gosling as a jazz pianist in love in "La La Land" and Viggo Mortensen for his turn as a free-spirited father in "Captain Fantastic."

Stone, who portrayed an aspiring actress in "La La Land," will be up against Amy Adams ("Arrival"), Emily Blunt ("The Girl on the Train"), Natalie Portman ("Jackie") and Meryl Streep ("Florence Foster Jenkins") for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role.

Actresses who garnered nominations for their supporting roles included Viola Davis for her emotional portrayal of a struggling wife and mother in "Fences," Naomie Harris as a drug-addicted mother in "Moonlight," Nicole Kidman in "Lion," Octavia Spencer as a behind-the-scenes mathematician at NASA in "Hidden Figures" and Michelle Williams in "Manchester by the Sea."

Mahershala Ali ("Moonlight"), Jeff Bridges ("Hell or High Water"), Hugh Grant ("Florence Foster Jenkins"), Lucas Hedges ("Manchester by the Sea") and Dev Patel ("Lion") were nominated for their supporting roles.

Ali was also nominated as part of the "Hidden Figures" cast, giving him three nominations in all. He has been nominated six times, but this is his first nomination for an individual role.

The SAG Awards are generally considered a strong predictor of who will pick up Oscar nominations, although the guild, which includes only actors, sometimes parts ways with the broader set of voters representing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Paramount Pictures led the pack of studios with six nominations, with Amazon Studios, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions close behind with four each.

The SAG Awards carry a prestige all their own as they represent approval by an actor's peers. Separate panels of 2,500 guild members from across the United States are randomly selected to choose nominees for film and TV.

Television actors nominated for leading roles in a drama series included Sterling K. Brown ("This Is Us"), Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones"), John Lithgow ("The Crown"), Rami Malek ("Mr. Robot") and Kevin Spacey
("House of Cards").

First-time nominees Mille Bobby Brown ("Stranger Things") and Claire Foy ("The Crown") will compete with Thandie Newton ("Westworld"), Winona Ryder ("Stranger Things") and Robin Wright ("House of Cards") for the
actress in a drama category.

Actors Sophia Bush ("Chicago P.D.," "One Tree Hill") and Common ("Suicide Squad," "Selma") joined SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris at the Pacific Design Center's SilverScreen Theater to announce the nominees early today.

On the comedy side, nominees included Uzo Aduba for her role as an inmate in a woman's jail ("Orange Is the New Black"), both Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin for their roles in "Grace and Frankie," Ellie Kemper for her
madcap portrayal of the "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her political send-up of presidential politics in "Veep." Tomlin will also receive a Life Achievement Award.

Actors nominated for their comedy roles were Anthony Anderson ("Black-ish"), Tituss Burgess ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), Ty Burrell ("Modern Family"), William H. Macy ("Shameless") and Jeffrey Tambor ("Transparent").

Two sets of actors from the same series will be competing against each other for their roles in a television movie or limited series: first-time nominee Riz Ahmed for his role as an accused murderer and John Turturro as his down-on-his-luck defense attorney in "The Night Of," and Sterling K. Brown as prosecutor Christopher Darden and Courtney B. Vance as defense attorney Johnnie Cochran in "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." Brown and Vance are both first-time nominees. Bryan Cranston will also be in the running based on his portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in "All the Way."

Actresses nominated for their roles in a television movie or limited series are Bryce Dallas Howard for "Black Mirror," Felicity Huffman for "American Crime," Audra McDonald for "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," Sarah Paulson for "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" and Kerry Washington as Anita Hill in "Confirmation."

"Captain America: Civil War," "Doctor Strange, "Hacksaw Ridge," "Jason Bourne" and "Nocturnal Animals" were nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for stunt ensembles in a motion picture. For television stunt teams, nominations went to "Game of Thrones," Marvel's "Daredevil," Marvel's "Luke Cage," "The Walking Dead" and "Westworld." 

The 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony will be presented at the Shrine Exposition Center on Jan. 29 and air live on TBS and TNT.

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