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Producers Guild honors 'The Hurt Locker'

The Iraq war drama's award has become a bellwether for Oscars success. 'Up' wins in animation and 'The Cove' for documentary; '30 Rock' and 'Mad Men' are among TV winners.

January 25, 2010|By Susan King

After being shut out at the Golden Globes last week and the Screen Actors Guild awards on Saturday night, "The Hurt Locker" won the Producers Guild of America's Darryl F. Zanuck producer of the year award on Sunday.

The award went to producers Kathryn Bigelow (who also directed), Mark Boal (who wrote the screenplay), Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro.

The heart-pounding drama about a bomb-defusing unit in the Iraq war had won several recent critics' honors but lost footing after the Globes chose "Avatar" as best dramatic film and the SAG film ensemble award went to "Inglourious Basterds."

Taking home the top PGA prize has put the low-budget indie back on the fast track for Oscar gold.

The PGA award has become a strong bellwether for the Academy Award for best film. During the last 20 years, 13 previous PGA winners have gone on to win the best film Oscar. The last time the PGA and the academy disagreed was four years ago, when the producers gave their top honor to "Little Miss Sunshine" and the Oscar went to "The Departed."

This year, the PGA followed the academy's decision to expand the best picture roster from five nominees to 10. The other contenders: "Avatar," "District 9," "An Education," "Inglourious Basterds," "Invictus," "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," "Star Trek," "Up" and "Up in the Air."

Producer of the year in animated theatrical motion pictures went to Jonas Rivera for "Up"; Fisher Stevens and Paula DuPré Pesmen won producer of the year in the documentary category for "The Cove."

On the television side, Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey, Marci Klein, David Miner, Robert Carlock, Jeff Richmond, Don Scardino and Jerry Kupfer won the Danny Thomas producer award for NBC's "30 Rock."

Matthew Weiner, Scott Hornbacher, Lisa Albert and André & Maria Jacquemetton won the Norman Felton producer award for television drama for AMC's "Mad Men."

Jeff Fager took the trophy for nonfiction television for "60 Minutes," while Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Allison Silverman, Richard Dahm, Meredith Bennett and Tom Purcell won the live entertainment and competition television category for Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."

Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Rachael Horovitz, Michael Sucsy and David Coatsworth won the David L. Wolper producer award in long-form television for HBO's "Grey Gardens."

Several tribute awards also were given during the ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium.

Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony, got the Milestone Award; "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett earned the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television; John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation, received the David O. Selznick Achievement Award; Joss Whedon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Dollhouse" fame took the Vanguard Award; and the film "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" was honored with the Stanley Kramer Award.

susan.king@latimes.com

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