Jessica Booth
January 19, 2018 1:06 pm

When it comes to awards shows, everyone pretty much knows about the Oscars, the Emmys, and the Golden Globes. But the SAG Awards?

While the SAG Awards are one of the most prestigious in the industry, a lot of us aren’t exactly sure what they actually are. But don’t worry — we have all the intel so you’ll be prepped for this year’s show on Sunday, January 21st.

Let’s start with the basics. “SAG” stands for the Screen Actors Guild, the labor union that represents about 160,000 actors, actresses, and various Hollywood and media professionals worldwide. The SAG Awards only honor performers in both film and television (as opposed to other ceremonies, which include technical awards, directors, etc). And performers are nominated by their peers, as in other members of the Screen Actors Guild.

In terms of award shows, the SAG Awards are still relatively new. The first ceremony was 24 years ago in 1995. The show was telecast for the first time in 1998.

Although the SAG Awards give out accolades similar to other shows — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture, for example — the celebration itself is unique and relatively simple compared to the other shows of its kind. Traditionally there are no hosts, no skits, and nothing else that could distract from the actual work. The awards are statuettes called “Actors” and are given out in thirteen categories that recognize individual performances as well as ensembles.

Winning a SAG award is considered a big honor for many actors and actresses, and in fact, some even say it’s the biggest honor. It’s also often a solid indicator of who will win at the Academy Awards.

This year’s show will be switching things up a bit: For the first time ever, the SAG Awards have announced that they’ll have a host, actress Kristen Bell. If you want to check it out, make sure to clear your schedule for the night of Sunday, January 21st. The show is airing live 8 p.m. ET on both TNT and TBS. You can also live stream it on YouTube, as well as on the SAG website.

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