For four seasons, “The Good Place” was praised to the high heavens for its ensemble cast of Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, D’Arcy Carden, Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto. Despite critical acclaim and Emmy nominations for Danson, Harper and Carden, though, the series has not registered at all with the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The upcoming SAG Awards will be the final opportunity for voters to acknowledge “The Good Place” cast, and if they choose to ignore the show yet again, this might just be the Bad Place after all.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much precedent for a comedy series earning its maiden SAG Award nomination for its final season. As we typically see with the Emmys, shows often start out strong with awards love in their first few seasons before petering out in subsequent years. Yet there are so many openings in the comedy ensemble lineup this year, with four of last year’s five nominees out of contention, that NBC’s innovative comedy might be able to overcome the trend. “The Good Place” is currently in fifth place in Gold Derby odds for an ensemble nomination, behind four shows it just competed against at the Emmys for Best Comedy Series: “Schitt’s Creek,” “Dead to Me,” “Insecure” and “What We Do in the Shadows.”
Similarly, in the individual acting categories, Danson is in fifth for comedy actor. He is below Emmy winners Eugene Levy and Dan Levy for “Schitt’s Creek,” Emmy nominee Ramy Youssef for “Ramy,” and Jason Sudeikis for his acclaimed new Apple TV+ show “Ted Lasso.” For a legend of Danson’s stature — who only has two SAG bids as part of the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” cast and for the TV movie “Knights of the South Bronx” (“Cheers” ended two years before the SAG Awards started) — he should stand a better chance than his fellow cast members of landing a nomination.
Meanwhile, Carden is in eighth place in comedy actress. If she, a supporting player, manages a nomination over numerous lead performers, it would be proof of SAG voters wanting to give a proper goodbye hug to one of the most acclaimed network comedies of the past decade.
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