Sunday April 14th, 2024 9:19AM

'The Bear,' 'Spider-Verse' among the early winners at Producers Guild awards

By The Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — “ The Bear ” and “ Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse ” were among the early winners while producers Charles D. King and Gail Berman took career achievement awards Sunday night at the 35th Producers Guild of America Awards.

Hulu's culinary comedy “The Bear” won the award for best producer of comic episodic television after dominating its categories at Saturday's Screen Actors Guild Awards, and doing the same at January's Emmy Awards.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” won the PGA's award for animated motion pictures. The film is nominated for the animated feature Academy Award to be handed out in two weeks. Its predecessor, ”Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," won the PGA award in 2019 before going on to win the Oscar.

The PGA Awards, held for the first time this year at the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the same grounds as the Academy Awards, have proven to be one of the best predictors of what will win the top Oscar, giving its biggest award to the eventual best picture winner in four of the past five years, including last year with “Everything, Everywhere All at Once.”

Awards season steamroller “ Oppenheimer ” is among the nominees for the PGA's top award to be handed out later Sunday night. Martin Scorsese also is expected to receive the David O. Selznick Achievement Award later in the show.

Earlier, King became the first Black winner of the PGA's Milestone Award for historic career contributions to the motion picture industry. Previous winners of the award handed out since 1951 include Walt Disney, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

King was lauded for leaving his job as a Hollywood agent in 2015 to found MACRO, a media company dedicated to amplifying the voices of black artists and other people of color.

The company has produced films including 2016's “Fences” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, who won an Oscar for the role, and 2021's “Judas and the Black Messiah,” for which King was personally nominated for an Oscar as a producer.

King thanked “our ancestors who kicked down doors, made sacrifices and blazed a trail for me to be able to do what I’m blessed to do.”

Berman, the only woman to have held the top job at both a major film company and television network, won the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. Berman was the driving force behind the creation and airing of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” whose star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, presented her the award.

“Not a single person on this earth was interested in buying that television show,” Berman said. “But I just couldn’t ignore my gut telling me there was something unique there.”

Berman also is a producer on Netflix's “Wednesday” and the 2022 biopic “Elvis.”

“BEEF” from Netflix won the PGA award for limited series, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” won its variety award and “American Symphony” won the documentary award.

The PGA announced an initiative during the show that seeks to provide healthcare coverage for its member producers who are not covered other ways. Members of the actors and writers guilds have long used the unions for health insurance.

“Producers deserve to be covered,” PGA Co-President Stephanie Allain said.

The effort involves asking production companies, including major studios and streamers, to include contributions to producers’ health coverage on its production budgets.

Film companies Blumhouse, Legendary, Berlanti Productions and King's MACRO already have signed on.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, AP Online Movies News
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