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SAG
Awards 2013

SAG Awards give 'Downton Abbey' cast a proper welcome

The popular British period drama wins the SAG award for ensemble. 'Modern Family,' '30 Rock,' 'Breaking Bad' and 'Homeland' also take awards.

January 28, 2013|By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times

If it came as something of a surprise to audiences that PBS period drama "Downton Abbey" won the Screen Actors Guild Award for ensemble in a drama series, it was positively a shock to the cast of the British period piece.

Only Michelle Dockery and a handful of the show's other stars were in attendance at the Shrine Exposition Center on Sunday night to accept SAG's prize, and they seemed startled to be onstage. Phyllis Logan, who plays housekeeper Mrs. Hughes on the series, registered her disbelief with a polite "Shut the French windows!"

The win for the second season of the wildly popular series was something of an upset. The show beat out last year's recipient, "Boardwalk Empire," in addition to "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men" and, most surprising of all, "Homeland," which since the Emmys had been on an uninterrupted winning streak. Logan joked backstage that "we thought they were going to give the award to a smaller cast so they could save money on statues."

SAG 2013: Winners | Show highlights | Complete list | Red carpet

In other TV categories, SAG spread the love. For the third straight year, "Modern Family" won for ensemble in a comedy series, but there was also recognition for individual performances on other shows including "30 Rock," "Homeland" and "Breaking Bad."

ABC's "Modern Family" beat out "Glee," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Nurse Jackie" as well as the departing series "30 Rock" and "The Office." But "30 Rock," which winds down its seven-season run Thursday on NBC, still went out on a high note as leads Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin were both honored in their respective categories. In her acceptance speech, Fey urged viewers to tune in to the finale.

"Just tape 'The Big Bang Theory' for once, for crying out loud," Fey said in her acceptance speech.

FULL COVERAGE: SAG Awards 2013

Baldwin called the series "the greatest experience of my life."

"Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston beat out Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"), Jeff Daniels ("The Newsroom") and defending Emmy champ Damian Lewis ("Homeland") for male actor in a drama series. It was the first SAG Award for the three-time Emmy winner.

Having won an Emmy and a Golden Globe, Claire Danes completed her awards hat trick by taking home the prize for female actor in a drama series for "Homeland." She was the clear favorite in a category that included Dockery, Maggie Smith (also of "Downton Abbey"), Jessica Lange ("American Horror Story: Asylum") and Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife").

SAG sided with the Emmys in the movie or miniseries categories. The seemingly invincible Julianne Moore picked up yet another accolade for her performance as Sarah Palin in HBO's "Game Change," as did Kevin Costner for his work in History's "Hatfields & McCoys."

meredith.blake@latimes.com

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