Oscar 2011: The Artist Wins Producers Guild Award

“The Artist” won the Producers Guild of America top feature award.

The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year trophy was presented to Thomas Langmann at the conclusion of ceremonies Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton.

“The Artist” — set at the end of the silent film era and shot in black and white with no dialogue — topped “Bridesmaids,” “The Descendants,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Help,” “Hugo,” “The Ides of March,” “Midnight in Paris,” “Moneyball,” and “War Horse.”

Langmann credited “Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius for originating the pic. “We knew we were making a love letter to American cinema,” he said in his acceptance speech.

With Oscar nominations due to be announced Tuesday, the PGA win for “The Artist” puts it into the front of awards season contention.

Fifteen of the 22 PGA winners have gone on to win the Oscar for best picture and have matched for the last four years with “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “No Country for Old Men.”

The PGA winner last diverged from the Oscar Best Picture for the 2006 award when “Little Miss Sunshine” won while the AMPAS opted for “The Departed.”

The PGA win for “The Artist” came six days after it won the Golden Globe for best comedy-musical. It’s also scored noms for director Michel Hazanavicius for the Directors Guild of America top featue award and for the cast for the Screen Actors Guild ensemble award.

It’s the third year in which the PGA, which has over 4,750 members, has selected 10 films as contenders, in following the lead of the Academy to expand the field from five slots. Both orgs use a preferential voting system for their best picture award.

The Weinstein Co.’s “The Artist” is by far the smallest domestic grosser at $8 million while the next smallest was Sony’s “Ides of March” at $40 million each.

The PGA decided in July to stick to 10 nominees for its top feature award rather than following the revised voting procedures of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which revised its voting in June to a system that would result in between five and 10 best picture nominees each year.

The producers branch of AMPAS has about 8% of the voting membership with 450 members out of 5,783.

Historically, about 80% of PGA nominations also receive an Oscar nom for best picture.

“The Adventures of Tintin” won the PGA’s animated film award for Peter Jackson, Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg over “Cars 2,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Puss in Boots” and “Rango.”

“Modern Family” won the Danny Thomas episodic comedy award for the second consecutive year.

“The Amazing Race” took the award for competition TV and PBS’s “American Masters” won the non-fiction TV award.

PBS’s “Downton Abbey” took the David L. Wolper award for longform TV.

“Beats, Rhymes and Life: the Travels of a Tribe Called Quest” won the documentary feature award.

“Boardwalk Empire” won the Norman Felton award for TV drama, stopping “Mad Men” from taking the kudo for the fourth year in a row.

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures:
“The Artist” – Producer: Thomas Langmann

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama:
“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO) – Producers: Eugene Kelly, Howard Korder, Stephen Levinson, Martin Scorsese, Rudd Simmons, Tim Van Patten, Terence Winter

The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
“The Adventures of Tintin” – Producers: Peter Jackson, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg

The David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television:
“Downton Abbey” (Masterpiece) (PBS) – Producers: Julian Fellowes, Nigel Marchant, Gareth Neame

The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
“Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest” – Producers: Michael Rapaport, Edward Parks (*additional producers eligibility pending arbitration completion)

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy:
“Modern Family” (ABC) – Producers: Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Jeffrey Richman, Dan O’Shannon, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television:
“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central) – Producers: Meredith Bennett, Stephen T. Colbert, Richard Dahm, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart (*additional producers eligibility pending arbitration completion)

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television:
“The Amazing Race” (CBS) – Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television:
“American Masters” (PBS) – Producers: Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks

News Programs:
“60 Minutes” (CBS)

Sports Programs:
“30 for 30” (ESPN)

Children’s Programs:
“Sesame Street” (PBS)

Web Series:
“30 Rock Presents Jack Donaghy, Executive Superhero” (NBC.com)