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Producers Guild shines Oscar spotlight on ''Incredibles''

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The Incredibles is a strong contender this year for the Best Animated Feature Oscar (its chief competition will be Shrek 2, but could the film also be nominated for Best Picture? Oscar watchers wouldn’t have thought so until Wednesday, when the saga of the superheroic Parr family was one of the five films nominated for the Producers Guild of America’s best picture prize. The others are The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, and Sideways.

The award is considered a harbinger of Oscar success, since many of the voting producers are also Academy members. Since the PGA doesn’t have separate prizes for animated films (or, for that matter, for directing, acting, or writing), the producers’ praise for Incredibles means the guild has passed over altogether such live-action awards contenders as Ray, Hotel Rwanda, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If Oscar does the same and includes Incredibles among its Best Picture nominees, it’ll be only the second time in Oscar history that an animated feature has been up for the Academy’s top prize. (The first one was 1991’s Beauty and the Beast.)

The PGA also recognized the year’s best TV shows on Wednesday. For best drama series, the Guild nominated CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Nip/Tuck, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, and The West Wing. Comedy series nominees were Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Scrubs, Sex and the City, and Will & Grace. The PGA will name the winners in a ceremony on Jan. 22.

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