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January 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In a surprise, the Screen Actors Guild bestowed its top TV honor, for best ensemble performance in a dramatic series, on the cast of the British-made period drama Downton Abbey, passing over last year’s winners, the cast of Boardwalk Empire, as well as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and, the favorite, Homeland, which had won the drama award at this year’s Emmys. The result appeared to come as a shock not only to most of the SAG members attending Sunday night’s affair (was the Downton cast even members of SAG?) but also to the actors in the drama, carried in the U.S. by PBS, as well. Only a handful of the show’s stars were present for the awards telecast. Later, in a backstage interview, Phyllis Logan, who plays housekeeper Mrs. Hughes and accepted the SAG award, remarked, “We thought they were going to give the award to a smaller cast so they could save money on statues.” The award for comedy ensemble went to the cast of Modern Family. Only one television show received more than one award: 30 Rock, which won for best comedy actress, Tina Fey, and best comedy actor, Alex Baldwin. The best actor award went to Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad for a regular dramatic TV series; the actress award for a dramatic series went to Claire Danes of Homeland. Kevin Costner picked up the award for best actor in a TV movie or miniseries for his role in Hatfields & McCoys, while Nicole Kidman picked up the actress award in that category for Hemingway and Gellhorn.