SAG Awards 2021: How to watch and what to know about Sunday’s unprecedented ceremony

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Alan S. Kim, left, Steven Yeun, Noel Cho and Yeri Han in A24's "Minari." - David Bornfriend/TNS

This year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards are following a very different script.

The 2021 edition of the ceremony honoring acting achievements in film and television is pretaped and just an hour long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the entertainment industry.

Still, the recipients of the prestigious trophies will be announced Sunday night during an event that often proves to be a strong predictor for what to expect at the Oscars.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 27th SAG Awards.

How to watch

TNT and TBS will both air the SAG Awards, which begin Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

However, typical fanfare such as a red carpet show will not be taking place on either network ahead of the shortened show, which will only be half the length of a standard SAG Awards ceremony.

The event was originally scheduled for Jan. 24, but settled on Sunday’s date after multiple postponements.

What will the ceremony look like

The show, which does not have a host, will be broken down into awards presentations, speeches, an “In Memoriam” tribute and a few comedy segments, producers told Variety.

Actors will find out beforehand whether they won their respective categories during pre-ceremony Zoom calls with their fellow nominees. That will allow winners to give acceptance speeches to air during Sunday’s telecast.

“It is a jam-packed hour, and we’re still trying to rob from one part to give to another part,” executive producer Todd Milliner told Variety. “When you start parsing out that hour, we didn’t really have time for a stage.”

It’s a much different format than this year’s Golden Globes, which featured a live ceremony with nominees on video streams, or the Grammys, which were held in-person but with only nominees and performers in the audience.

Who is nominated?

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which centers on a contentious recording session featuring the titular blues singer, and “Minari,” about a Korean American family with big dreams, led all movies with three nominations, which are voted on by members of the actors union.

Both movies are nominated for the ceremony’s top film honor: outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture. That field also includes Spike Lee’s war drama “Da 5 Bloods,” the historical drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” about Vietnam War protesters, and Amazon’s “One Night in Miami,” which envisions a meeting between Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Jim Brown.

Chadwick Boseman, who died in August after a battle with colon cancer, made SAG history as the first actor nominated in four film categories in the same year.

Boseman is up for best actor for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and best supporting actor for “Da 5 Bloods.” He is also part of the outstanding performance by a cast nominations for both films.

His co-star in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Viola Davis, is nominated for best actress for her performance as the title character.

That loaded best actress race also includes Amy Adams for her performance as a mother battling addiction in “Hillbilly Elegy”; Frances McDormand, who starred as a widow traveling the western U.S. in “Nomadland”; Carey Mulligan for her portrayal of a woman teaching predatory men a lesson in “Promising Young Woman”; and Vanessa Kirby for “Pieces of a Woman,” a drama about a tragic home birth.

Additional nominations for “Minari” include Steven Yeun for best actor and Youn Yuh-jung for best supporting actress.

On the TV side, “Schitt’s Creek” continued its awards season success after dominating last year’s Emmys. The comedy about a wealthy family losing its money received five SAG nominations, tying it with the royal drama “The Crown” for most among any series.

Each of the four leads of “Schitt’s Creek” — Dan Levy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy — are nominated for best actor or best actress in a comedy series, respectively, while the show is up for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

“The Crown,” meanwhile, is nominated for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series, with Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana, Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Elizabeth, and Gillian Anderson, who plays Margaret Thatcher, each up for best actress in a drama.

Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles, is nominated in the genre’s best actor category.