The producers of "Lincoln," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Les Miserables" and "Argo" are among the nominees for the Producers Guild of America's top feature-film award, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures, the PGA announced on Wednesday.
Nominees also included the producers of the two other films considered to be the likeliest Oscar nominees, "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Life of Pi."
Other nominees include the indie films "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Moonrise Kingdom," Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" and the James Bond film "Skyfall."
Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" did not make the cut, reinforcing the sense that the film is a critics' favorite without much traction among Hollywood guilds.
The inclusion of the small, low-budget indies "Beasts" and "Moonrise" came as something of a surprise, particularly in the case of the non-union "Beasts." The PGA often bypasses arty indies in favor of bigger-budget commercial fare.
The choice of "Skyfall" over the final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, "The Dark Knight Rises," also came as a surprise, and doesn't help the latter film's chances of sneaking into one of the final Oscar slots.
Nominees in the animated-feature category included three Disney/Pixar films -- "Brave," "Frankenweenie" and "Wreck-It Ralph" -- along with DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians" and Focus/Laika's "ParaNorman."
In the long-form television category, which encompasses both miniseries and made-for-television movies, the nominees were "American Horror Story," "The Dust Bowl," "Game Change," "Hatfields & McCoys" and "Sherlock."
Other television and documentary-film categories were announced in November.
One interesting sidelight to the nominations: While the PGA typically caps producer credits on its nominated films at three, both "Les Miz" and "Moonrise Kingdom" had four credited producers in the nominations release. In both cases, two producers were tied together with an ampersand -- Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner in the case of the former, Scott Rudin and Wes Anderson in the latter -- to create three producing entities.
The Academy also restricts producing credits on Best Picture nominees to three. But it defers to the PGA on exceptions to the rule, which means that all four credited producers will likely become Oscar nominees if those films make the cut with Academy voters.
In its feature-film category, the Producers Guild Awards tend to be one of the most reliable predictors of the Oscars.
In the last decade, the PGA winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture seven times, including the last five in a row. Over its 22-year existence, the award has coincided with the top Oscar 15 times.
When the Academy went from five to 10 Best Picture nominees in 2009, the PGA followed suit, and over the next two years 17 of its 20 nominees went on to be nominated by the Academy.
Last year, when AMPAS changed to a system that would produce anywhere between five and 10 nominees, the PGA stuck with a straight lineup of 10. Only seven of its 10 choices went on to receive Oscar nods; PGA nominees "The Ides of March," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "Bridesmaids" were bypassed by the Academy, which put together a nine-film slate that also included non-PGA nominees "The Tree of Life" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
When it comes to final voting, the PGA is the one awards body that uses the same preferential system to count final ballots as the Academy. Its awards for "The Hurt Locker," "The King's Speech" and "The Artist" were crucial indicators that those films would triumph with the Academy as well.
Assuming that the Oscar slate is similar to the Producers Guild's nominees, the use of the preferential count should make this year's winner a clear Oscar favorite as well.
The Producers Guild Awards will take place on Jan. 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Michael DeLuca will produce the non-televised show.
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: "Argo" (Warner Bros.) Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight Pictures) Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn "Django Unchained" (The Weinstein Company) Producers: Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone, Stacey Sher "Les Misérables" (Universal Pictures) Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh "Life of Pi" (Fox 2000 Pictures) Producers: Ang Lee, Gil Netter, David Womark "Lincoln" (Touchstone Pictures) Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg "Moonrise Kingdom" (Focus Features) Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales "Silver Linings Playbook" (The Weinstein Company) Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon "Skyfall" ( Columbia Pictures) Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson "Zero Dark Thirty" ( Columbia Pictures) Producers: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Megan Ellison The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures: "Brave" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) Producer: Katherine Sarafian "Frankenweenie" (Walt Disney Pictures) Producers: Allison Abbate, Tim Burton "ParaNorman" (Focus Features) Producers: Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner "Rise of the Guardians" (Paramount Pictures) Producers: Nancy Bernstein, Christina Steinberg "Wreck-It Ralph" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) Producer: Clark Spencer The television nominees are: The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television: "American Horror Story" (FX) Producers: Brad Buecker, Dante Di Loreto, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, Chip Vucelich, Alexis Martin Woodall "The Dust Bowl" (PBS) Producers: Producer Eligibility Pending "Game Change" (HBO) Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, Amy Sayres, Steven Shareshian, Danny Strong "Hatfields & McCoys" (History) Producers: Barry Berg, Kevin Costner, Darrell Fetty, Leslie Greif, Herb Nanas "Sherlock" (PBS) Producers: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue The Long-Form Television category encompasses both movies of the week and mini-series. In November 2012, the Producers Guild of America announced the Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture, Television Series and Non-Fiction Television Nominations; the following list includes complete producer credits. The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures: "A People Uncounted" (Urbinder Films) Producers: Marc Swenker, Aaron Yeger "The Gatekeepers" (Sony Pictures Classics) Producers: Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky, Dror Moreh "The Island President" (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Producers: Richard Berg, Bonni Cohen "The Other Dream Team" (The Film Arcade ) Producers: Marius Markevicius, Jon Weinbach "Searching For Sugar Man" (Sony Pictures Classics) Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama: "Breaking Bad" (AMC) Producers: Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett "Downton Abbey" (PBS) Producers: Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge "Game of Thrones" (HBO) Producers: David Benioff, Bernadette Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss, D.B. Weiss "Homeland" (Showtime) Producers: Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Michael Cuesta, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Michael Klick, Meredith Stiehm "Mad Men" (AMC) Producers: Jon Hamm, Scott Hornbacher, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Victor Levin, Blake McCormick, Matthew Weiner The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy: "30 Rock" (NBC) Producers: Irene Burns, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Vali Chandrasekaran, Luke Del Tredici, Tina Fey, Matt Hubbard, Marci Klein, Jerry Kupfer, Lorne Michaels, David Miner, Dylan Morgan, Jeff Richmond, John Riggi, Josh Siegal, Ron Weiner "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS) Producers: Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro, Faye Oshima Belyeu, Bill Prady "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO) Producers: Alec Berg, Larry Charles, Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Tim Gibbons, David Mandel, Erin O'Malley, Jeff Schaffer, Laura Streicher "Louie" (FX) Producers: Dave Becky, M. Blair Breard, Louis C.K. "Modern Family" (ABC) Producers: Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O'Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television: "American Masters" (PBS) Producers: Prudence Glass, Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" (Travel Channel) Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins , Lydia Tenaglia, Sandy Zweig "Deadliest Catch" (Discovery Channel) Producers: Thom Beers, Jeff Conroy, Sean Dash, John Gray, Sheila McCormack, Bill Pruitt, Decker Watson "Inside the Actors Studio" (Bravo) Producers: James Lipton, Shawn Tesser, Jeff Wurtz "Shark Tank" (ABC) Producers: Rhett Bachner, Becky Blitz, Mark Burnett, Bill Gaudsmith, Yun Lingner, Brien Meagher, Clay Newbill, Jim Roush, Laura Skowlund, Paul Sutera, Patrick Wood The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television: "The Colbert Report" (Comedy Central) Producers: Meredith Bennett, Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin, Emily Lazar, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (ABC) Producers: David Craig, Ken Crosby, Doug DeLuca, Erin Irwin, Jimmy Kimmel, Jill Leiderman, Jason Schrift, Jennifer Sharron "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (NBC) Producers: Hillary Hunn, Lorne Michaels, Gavin Purcell, Michael Shoemaker "Real Time with Bill Maher" (HBO) Producers: Scott Carter, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin "Saturday Night Live" (NBC) Producers: Ken Aymong, Steve Higgins, Erik Kenward, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television: "The Amazing Race" (CBS) Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC) Producers: Ashley Edens Shaffer, Conrad Green, Joe Sungkur "Project Runway" (Lifetime) Producers: Jane Cha Cutler, Desiree Gruber, Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Jonathan Murray, Sara Rea, Colleen Sands "Top Chef" (Bravo) Producers: Daniel Cutforth, Casey Kriley, Jane Lipsitz, Dan Murphy, Nan Strait "The Voice" (NBC) Producers: Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John De Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey Morrissey, Jim Roush, Nicolle Yaron, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker The following programs were not vetted for producer eligibility this year, but winners in these categories will be announced at the official ceremony on January 26: The Award for Outstanding Sports Program: "24/7" (HBO) "Catching Hell" (ESPN) "The Fight Game with Jim Lampley" (HBO) "On Freddie Roach" (HBO) "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" (HBO) The Award for Outstanding Children's Program: "Good Luck Charlie" (Disney Channel) "iCarly" (Nickelodeon) "Phineas and Ferb" (Disney Channel) "Sesame Street" (PBS) "The Weight of the Nation for Kids: The Great Cafeteria Takeover" (HBO) The Award for Outstanding Digital Series: "30 Rock: The Webisodes" (www.nbc.com) "Bravo's Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen" (www.bravotv.com) "Dexter Early Cuts: All in the Family" (www.sho.com) "The Guild" (www.watchtheguild.com) "H+ The Digital Series" (www.youtube.com/user/HplusDigitalSeries) "Red vs. Blue" (www.roosterteeth.com)