In glitz-starved awards season, all eyes on SAG fete

Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:55am EST
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By Kimberly Nordyke

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards will be the industry's first red-carpet event in this strike-fractured awards season, and even the prospect of heavy rain hasn't dampened the enthusiasm.

"Considering we don't know what's going on with the Oscars and the fact that there wasn't a red carpet at the Globes, we're pulling out all the stops," "Access Hollywood" executive producer Rob Silverstein said.

The entertainment magazines and cable outlets are ready to throw more weight behind their coverage of this year's carpet and ceremony, following the Writers Guild of America strike-ravaged Golden Globes on January 13 and given the Oscar uncertainty. That means the SAG Awards -- which received a waiver from the WGA -- likely will attract more hoopla than ever in their 14th year.

Among those beefing up their presence on the red carpet or increasing the amount of time they are planning to devote to the SAG Awards are syndicated TV magazines "Access Hollywood," "Entertainment Tonight," "Inside Edition" and "Extra" and cable channels E! Entertainment and TV Guide.

Said "Inside Edition" exec producer Charles Lachman: "We're definitely covering the SAG Awards more than usual. We're always interested in the event, but obviously it will have more news value this go-round because of the strike and the possibility that it might be the only big red-carpet event of the awards season. So we're going all out on it."


Both "Access" and "Inside" are increasing their presence on the red carpet with additional camera positions. "Access" also is shooting in high-definition at the SAG ceremony for the first time and is planning "stunts" backstage and on the red carpet that it normally reserves for the bigger awards shows.

Silverstein said that three-quarters of Monday's TV show likely will be devoted to the SAG Awards, depending on other breaking news. "Access" also will be streaming interviews live from the red carpet on its Web site, marking the first time it will have done so at any awards show.   Continued...

<p>The Shrine Auditorium Exhibition Hall is pictured as workers prepare for the 14th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles January 24, 2008. The SAG Awards will be presented on January 27, 2008 in Los Angeles REUTERS/Sam Mircovich</p>