Yellowstone, long overlooked by major awards, is having a breakthrough on the heels of its highly rated fourth season. Two weeks after Taylor Sheridan’s hit landed its first marquee nomination, for Ensemble in a Drama Series SAG Award, Yellowstone received a second, a PGA Award nomination for Best Episodic Drama.
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Korean drama Squid Game is having a similar dream run following its march into the Netflix records books as the streamer’s most watched series ever and its foray into pop culture as a global phenom. It has been breaking ground as the first non-English language TV series to land major US awards recognition. Following its strong showing at the SAG Awards nominations with four noms, including drama ensemble (and a Golden Globes win), Squid Game this morning became the first non-English language show to earn a PGA Award nomination, facing Yellowstone for Best Episodic Drama.
Possibly because of their nature recognizing producing excellence, the PGA Awards are known for recognizing commercial success — Bridgerton, which held the title of Netflix’s most watched series before being eclipsed by Squid Game, was nominated in the drama category last year, and another crowd pleaser on the streamer, Cobra Kai, is nominated in the comedy category this year, alongside fellow popular entries such as Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso and Hulu’s Only Murders In the Building.
The guild’s winners picks are more in line with prestige fare typically recognized by the Emmys, with The Handmaid’s Tale, The Americans, Succession and The Crown named Best Episodic Drama the last four years. But the year before, it was a runaway, broad hit, Netflix’s Stranger Things, that took the award.
The Handmaid’s Tale and Succession are again nominated for drama series this year, along with Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, while the comedy field also includes previous winner, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and HBO Max breakout Hacks.
Once again there were no broadcast series represented on either the drama or the comedy side.
Season 4 of Yellowstone set records multiple times with viewership levels not seen since the heyday of The Walking Dead, most recently with the finale, which drew 9.3 million total viewers in Live+Same Day (cume of 11 million on premiere night). That became the most-watched telecast on cable in more than four years, since The Walking Dead Season 8 premiere drew 11.4 million on AMC in October 2017.
Meanwhile, Squid Game pulled in a staggering 1.65 billion hours of viewing in 28 days.
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