The producers take it seriously

Could “The Dark Knight,” the biggest box-office champ of the decade, become the first superhero movie to win the best picture Oscar?

Christopher Nolan’s lauded “Batman Begins” sequel got a boost Monday when it was nominated for the Producers Guild of America’s top award. Prior to the PGA nomination, “The Dark Knight” had largely been ignored in the best picture category.

“The Dark Knight” will compete for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures along with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk” and “Slumdog Millionaire” -- all four early favorites for best picture nominations. Notably missing from the PGA list were Golden Globe best picture nominees “The Reader” and “Revolutionary Road.”

The guild’s honor has become one of the more reliable bellwethers for the best picture Academy Award since its inception in 1990. Last year’s PGA winner, “No Country for Old Men,” went on to win the Oscar for best film.


Documentary feature nominees were “Man on Wire,” “Standard Operating Procedure” and “Trouble the Water.”

“Bolt,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Wall-E” earned nominations for producer of the year in animated motion pictures.

“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Entourage,” “The Office,” “30 Rock” and “Weeds” were nominated for the Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television Comedy.

Dramatic TV series nominees are “Boston Legal,” “Damages,” “Dexter,” “Lost” and “Mad Men.”

“24: Redemption,” “Bernard and Doris,” “John Adams,” “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Recount” were nominated for the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television.

“Deadliest Catch,” “Frontline,” “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” “60 Minutes” and “This American Life” were nominated for producer of the year in nonfiction television.

Nominees in the live entertainment/competition category were “The Amazing Race,” “The Colbert Report,” “Project Runway,” “Top Chef” and “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

The PGA Awards will be presented Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Palladium.