SAG Awards Will No Longer Air on TNT and TBS After 25 Years

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Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNets — the arm formerly known as Turner — is parting ways with the SAG Awards after 25 years.

TNT has run the SAG Awards since 1998, including this year, when the Screen Actors Guild returned to a live, in-person event and moved to Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar (after being based at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall since 1997). NBC aired the first three years of the SAG Awards, which launched in 1995. TNT took over in 1998, and then TBS made it a simulcast in 2007.

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“SAG Awards is engaged in discussions with Warner Bros. Discovery as well as other networks and streamers regarding the broadcast rights to the show,” SAG-AFTRA has posted in a statement. “While the TNT network has advised us that they do not expect to conclude a new licensing agreement with the SAG Awards prior to the expiration of the exclusive negotiating window, we are exploring multiple other options.

“Engaging in negotiations for the broadcast of the show is not unusual and has occurred several times over the history of the SAG Awards. This is no different. These discussions will continue as they normally are done and will not be conducted in the public eye. As such, we have no further comment at this time,” the guild added.

The news comes as the new Warner Bros. Discovery conglom continues to determine the direction of its properties, including linear networks like TNT and TBS. Last week, Variety exclusively reported that the TNets are pausing their scripted development, as Warner Bros. Discovery, under CEO David Zaslav, aims to find $3 billion in cost savings across the new company in the post-merger era.

As reported last week, Warner Bros. Discovery leadership is currently evaluating the strategy for all of the so-called “TNets” — including truTV, which are all run by Brett Weitz — and will have a better idea of the role each will play within the new regime moving forward.

This year’s two-hour SAG Awards, which aired February 27, averaged 1.8 million total viewers on TBS and TNT. That was up from the pre-taped, COVID-impacted one-hour special in 2021, which attracted less than a million viewers on the simulcast.

The SAG Awards stand apart from other kudosfests for several reasons, including that they only honor actors and performances. There is also has a stunt ensemble category and ensemble awards for film and television. It boasts the largest voting body of awards season, with around 124,000 SAG members casting ballots. The SAG-AFTRA Life Achievement Award, which pre-dates the SAG Awards by several decades, was this year given to Helen Mirren.

The SAG Awards have traditionally gone without a host, until 2018, when Kristen Bell took the gig. Megan Mullally hosted in 2019, and then the 2020 show again went without a host — and hasn’t had one since then.

Coincidentally, this year also marked the end of the run for SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell, who helped launch the awards show 28 years ago and has been with the show ever since. She confirmed to Variety earlier this year that the 2022 ceremony would be her last. Jon Brockett, who executived produce this year’s SAG Awards with Connell, is her successor.

The Wall Street Journal first broke the news of the SAG Awards departure from TNT/TBS.

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