'King's Speech' reigns with Producers Guild award
* Drama about stammering monarch gets Oscar boost
* 'Social Network' loses after big Globes win
* Documentary award goes to 'Waiting for Superman'
By Mary Milliken
BEVERLY HILLS, California., Jan 23 (Reuters) - "The King's Speech" won best-produced film from the Producers Guild of America on Saturday, a regal boost to its Oscar aspirations in an awards season so far swept by "The Social Network."
The producers of "King's Speech" -- Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin -- said they thought they were "the last guys in the running" among the 10 nominees for the top Producers award, which comes just before Tuesday's Oscar nominations.
The drama depicts the struggles of the stammering British King George VI, played by Colin Firth, and his unlikely savior of a speech therapist.
Firth won best actor at the Golden Globes a week ago, but his film did not fare as well there. The Facebook founding saga "Social Network" took home four Globes, including best dramatic film and best director, and has won several of the critics and industry awards this season. [ID:nN16210252]
While "The King's Speech" has also made several best movie lists among critics, the Weinstein Company-backed film has not been considered a front-runner. It was not even nominated by the Writers Guild of America for its awards this season.
Other films in contention for the best-produced movie of the year were "Black Swan," "The Fighter" and "Toy Story 3," which won best-produced animated film.
PRODUCERS HELP PREDICT OSCARS
Hollywood is counting the days until the Feb. 27 Oscars, the industry's biggest movie awards held in Los Angeles and given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Producers Guild and other industry honors can offer insight into Oscar chances because many members of the PGA and WGA also belong to the Academy, whose members cast votes for the Oscars.
In the last three years, the Producers Guild and the Academy have agreed on best picture winners.
The Producers Guild gave its best-produced documentary award to "Waiting for Superman," a film that details the failures of the U.S. educational system.
Best-produced television comedy series went to ABC's "Modern Family," while best TV drama was won by AMC's "Mad Men." The best-produced long-form television award went to HBO's World War Two drama "The Pacific," which counts actor Tom Hanks among its producers.
Actor Sean Penn was honored by the Producers Guild with the Stanley Kramer Award for his work in social issues, including his recent relief efforts in earthquake-struck Haiti.
"Social Network" producer Scott Rudin, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, may have lost out on the best-produced film award this year, but he did take home the coveted David O. Selznick Achievement Award. (Editing by Vicki Allen)
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