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What Limited Series Will Be Nominated With Big Little Lies At the Golden Globes?

In a first look at this year’s Outstanding Miniseries or Television Film race at the 2017 Golden Globes, we consider the possible nominees that will have to compete against Big Little Lies and Feud.

As exciting as the Emmy race was between Feud and Big Little Lies, the limited series category has only become more competitive and difficult to sort through. HFPA voters always make room for premium networks like HBO, Showtime, and Starz. The three networks have enough contenders to fill out the category two times over. What makes the category even more interesting is the fact that former favorites like Fargo and American Horror Story are fading in popularity while unlikely new titles like The Sinner are vying for a major nomination. On top of all that, Netflix and HBO both have major series that don’t premiere until the holidays.

Assuming the Hollywood Foreign Press falls in love with Big Little Lies and Feud as much as they are expected to that leaves at least ten possibilities to fill the last three slots. Will voters gravitate towards one of the many mystery/crime shows in contention or instead go for the period pieces that Golden Globes voters are known for celebrating? Even more so than this year’s Emmys this might be another awards ceremony without any recognition of a single TV movie.

Top Contenders

Big Little Lies There isn’t much left to say about HBO’s sensation, especially after it completely dominated the Emmys last September. It’s bound to end 2017 with a successful night at the Golden Globes. The question does need to be raised however if this is now category fraud after news broke that a second season would begin production next spring.

Feud: Bette and Joan Beloved actresses portraying iconic legends. A lavish period piece that takes place in peak Hollywood. An A-list ensemble that boasts a collective 11 Golden Globes and 41 total nominations. Feud is the quintessential Golden Globes contender. The only question is whether or not HFPA voters will love it enough to actually award it.

Twin Peaks The original run of the show was a surprising success at the Golden Globes, but only after the Emmys fell in love with the first season. The HFPA is a very different voting body now, and they might not be as impressed with a reboot that seemed to only captivate die-hard fans of the original series. It’s easy to imagine many of the voters becoming confused or even bored by the newest season. Still Showtime is likely to do a major push for the cult classic. That might be enough for the show to earn another top nomination.

The Sinner HFPA voters have gone crazy murder/crime limited series in recent years with True Detective, Top of the Lake, The Missing, and The Night Of so it only makes sense that The Sinner would be their next obsession. The series stars Jessica Biel as a woman who wakes up on the beach with no recollection of the murder she committed.   The series premiered to surprising positive reviews and has the potential to be a surprise Golden Globe contender not only as a show but also for Jessica Biel. It only helps that the show was produced by NBCUniversal the network/studio that helps put on the ceremony.

(Photo: SundanceTV)

Top of the Lake: China Girl Reuniting Jane Campion with Elisabeth Moss and adding in Oscar/Golden Globe winner Nicole Kidman Top of the Lake: China Girl has the potential to be a major Golden Globe contender. It’s also one of the only major contenders with international appeal which tends to give shows extra heft with HFPA voters. As much of an art-house prestige as the show comes with there isn’t as much popularity behind Top of the Lake as many of the top contenders and both actresses have more obvious contenders so voters might feel fine leaving Top of The Lake out of the category.


Genius Critics didn’t pay much attention to National Geographic’s new anthology series focusing on history’s greatest think this season specifically centered around Albert Einstein. Without that support the series still went on to earn 10 Emmy nominations hinting that the show might have broad appeal. Especially now that the show is gearing up for a second season focused on Picasso the HFPA might want to give the show some extra support (or at least an individual nomination for Geoffrey Rush).

Fargo In a lot of ways the third season of Fargo was a major letdown. The story failed to captivate and the creative team assembled an amazing cast without figuring out what to do with them. Even if the third (and possibly final) season of Fargo was a disappointment  it might continue to be nominated solely out of habit.

Alias Grace Author Margaret Atwood is having quite the year. The HULU adaptation of her novel The Handmaid’s Tale became the first streaming series to win a top Emmy and is poised to win the Golden Globe this year. Now another adaptation of her work, Alias Grace, has become a sleeper hit on Netflix. The limited series is a historical fiction loosely based off a true story about a maid accused of murder during the 19th century. Audiences and critics are slowly catching on to the six-part series but if the buzz catches on it might be able to ride the The Handmaid’s Tale wave all the way to a nomination.

Yet to Premiere 
(Photo: Netflix)

Godless Without seeing a single episode of the upcoming Netflix western it already feels like the type of premiere that will make a major splash at the Golden Globes. The little that’s known about the Steven Soderbergh produced Western includes a plot focused on a band of outlaws led by Jeff Daniels who chase after another criminal only to be given pushback from a town run by women. The most surprising factor might even be the fact that Netflix seems to make sure the trailer for the series is seen in theatres more often than Mudbound or The Meyerwitz Chronicles. If it turns out to be great it might be the dark horse con tender to take down Big Little Lies.

Gunpowder HBO’s upcoming three-part limited series takes place in the 17th century following the build-up to Guy Fawkes Day making it the perfect costume drama to appeal to HFPA voters. Originally produced by BBC Gunpowder the series stars Kit Harington (who is also an executive producer) who just also happens to be a descendant of his character Robert Catesby. If the series lives up to its potential it has the opportunity or HBO to create a major awards push especially for Kit Harington who is fresh off his best season yet of Game of Thrones.

Worth Mentioning

Starz The HFPA has always made room for the Starz network especially in the Best Miniseries or TV Film category. In fact five of their programs have been nominated in the past four years on top of as well as a shocking and infamous acting win for Jacqueline Bissett. This year the premium network has three major and very different limited series in contention; The Girlfriend Experience, The White Princess, and The Missing. The first installments of The White Princess and The Missing were nominated in years past and are the network’s best chance of receiving more nominations.  The only problem is that the category is unusually crowded this year and none of Starz’s three contenders standout compared to major programs starring Oscar winners.

(Photo: FX)

American Horror Story: Cult The anthology series that shook up television has largely fallen out of the awards conversation. Roanoke failed to receive recognition from any major awards group. Although Cult started off with a bang, it quickly put off or frustrated most of its viewership. Unless there is a disconnect between online conversation and the HFPA Freak Show might be the final nail in the coffin for American Horror Story’s awards chances.

Guerrilla If Guerrilla had premiered in the fall it would most likely be a major Golden Globes player. HFPA voters clearly love British stories and British Black Panther Movement/Immigration Act of 1971 is a piece of history that hasn’t been told in a major film or show. John Ridley also has been nominated twice in the category already for creating American Crime. It only helps that a star like Idris Elba is attached. Unfortunately Guerrilla premiered to tepid reactions from critics and audiences and failed to earn a single Emmy nomination making it hard to believe it will standout now in an even more competitive category.

The Young Pope Because of its European setting and Oscar winning/nominated talent in front of and behind the camera The Young Pope seems like an obvious Golden Globe nominee. Instead the limited series premiered last January to mixed reactions and went on to be completely shutout of the main Emmy ceremony even for Jude Law. In a different year a scandalous drama about the Pope might still sneak in but this year it is likely out of the running.

Initial Predictions
  1. Big Little Lies
  2. Godless
  3. Feud: Bette and Joan
  4. Top of the Lake: China Girl
  5. Twin Peaks

(Potential Spoilers: Gunpowder, The Sinner, Alias Grace)

Readers, what five limited series/TV movies do you think will make the cut at this year’s Golden Globes? Does any other show stand a chance against Big Little Lies?