Five leading Oscar contenders were in the mix on Monday when the Producers Guild of America announced the nominees for its 19th annual awards. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood will contend for the PGA's top prize, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award. (The PGA is currently conducting an ''arbitration process'' to determine which specific people shall be nominated as producers on each film.) While producers comprise just one segment of Academy Awards voters, the Producers Guild Awards can be a good predictor of which films will become Oscar nominees: Last year, four of five PGA contenders went on to get Best Picture nods.
In other races, Bee Movie, Ratatouille, and The Simpsons Movie are up for the animated-feature award; Entourage, Extras, The Office, 30 Rock, and Ugly Betty are the TV-comedy nominees; and the TV-drama candidates are Dexter, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, Lost, and The Sopranos. (For a complete list of all nominees, go to ProducersGuild.org.) The winners will be announced in a ceremony on Feb. 2.