Usually an Oscar warm-up, SAG Awards will miss a key player


“La La Land” may have tied an Oscar record with 14 nominations, set a Golden Globes record with seven wins and won the top prize at Saturday’s Producers Guild Awards, but it won’t be competing for the top Screen Actors Guild award.

Sunday night’s SAG Awards often serve as an Academy Awards warm-up. That will be true in the individual acting categories where awards-season favorites like Viola Davis, Casey Affleck and Emma Stone hope to cement their front-runner status.

But this year’s biggest front-runner, “La La Land,” isn’t nominated for the Screen Actors’ ensemble award. Nominated instead are the casts for “Moonlight,” ”Manchester by the Sea,” ”Hidden Figures” and “Captain Fantastic.”

The 23rd annual SAG Awards will air live from 8-10 p.m. EST on TNT and TBS from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Lily Tomlin will be the night’s lifetime achievement honoree, an award to be presented by Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton.

“La La Land” did earn nods for its leads, Ryan Gosling and Stone. But if Damien Chazelle’s musical is to go on to win best picture, it will be the just the second film to do so without a SAG ensemble nod in the category’s history. Only Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart” managed it in 1996.

Actors, the largest group in the motion picture academy, hold considerable sway. SAG, though, is much larger, with about 160,000 members, compared to about 1,200 actors in the academy.

On the television side, competing for best ensemble in a drama is “The Crown,” ”Downton Abbey,” ”Game of Thrones,” ”Stranger Things” and “Westworld.” Comedy series ensemble nominees are “The Big Bang Theory,” ”Black-ish,” ”Modern Family,” ”Orange Is the New Black” and “Veep.”