Streaming Services Score Big in AARP‘s ‘Movies for Grownups’ Nominations

Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in 'Being the Ricardos' on Amazon Prime Video
Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in 'Being the Ricardos' on Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Glenn Wilson/Amazon Content Services)

AARP Magazine’s annual Movies for Grownups Awards — which have been expanded to include streaming video — will be given out March 18, and streamed content dominated the nominations.

For example, AARP clearly loves Lucy. Being the Ricardos, which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, was nominated in multiple categories: Nicole Kidman (Lucille Ball) for best actress; Javier Bardem (Desi Arnaz) for best actor; J.K. Simmons (William Frawley) for best supporting actor; for “best movie for grownups;” and for “best time capsule,” as in best evocation of a particular time period.

Five of the six nominees for best TV series were on over-the-top services: Hacks (HBO Max), Ted Lasso (Apple TV Plus), The Chair (Netflix), The Crown (Netflix) and Succession (HBO).

Nominees for best actress in a ”television/streaming” series were all on the streaming side of that forward slash: Jean Smart (Hacks), Gillian Anderson (The Crown), Sandra Oh (The Chair), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie, Netflix) and Andie MacDowell (MAID, Netflix). Best actor nominees were all streamed shows, except for one: Michael Keaton (Dopesick, Hulu), Kevin Costner (Yellowstone, Paramount Network), Ewan McGregor (Halston, Netflix), Billy Porter (Pose, FX) and Martin Short (Only Murders in the Building, Hulu).

Nominees for best TV movie/limited series were Mare of Easttown (HBO), Halston (Netflix), The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video), MAID (Netflix) and Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu).

None of the television/streaming nominees were from broadcast network TV or syndicated fare.

“During the pandemic, movies have been a source of entertainment, comfort, connection and reflection for grownup audiences,” AARP the Magazine film and TV critic Tim Appelo said. “TV and streaming have played those roles too, so we're excited to continue with our expanded categories. Every year, we spotlight films and shows that feature crucial issues, thoughtful storylines and the most talented grownup filmmakers that speak directly to a powerful 50-plus audience."

The awards will be given out in a virtual special March 18, hosted by Alan Cumming and carried on PBS as part of Great Performances. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.