Awards Tracker: Who’s Ahead in Those Pesky Supporting Races?

Jalal looks at the supporting contenders for the upcoming Golden Globe announcement

Arguably, the supporting races at the Golden Globes are the hardest categories to predict of any television award. In 2013, these awards were widely predicted to be dominated by the supporting cast of American Horror Story: Coven, Game of Thrones, and Anna Gunn. The Hollywood Foreign Press confounded expectations and snubbed these players in favor of Janet McTeer and Jacqueline Bissett (the eventual winner), two women from little seen Starz miniseries. These two supporting races are nearly impossible to predict if only because the Foreign Press doesn’t separate the performances by genre. This meant Eric Stonestreet went head to head with Peter Dinklage, and Sofia Vergara battled it out with Jessica Lange.

As bizarre as that all comes across, it makes the job of predicting the nominees seem near impossible. With so many performances to sift through, it helps to know what (usually superficial) qualities Globe voters look for. In the past the Foreign Press has gravitated towards past Oscar winners, movie stars, Emmy favorites, pop stars, HBO programming, young ingénues, and British imports. However, with every nominee that fits into a neat little box, there is the unexplainable series of nominations for Alan Cumming years after everyone moved on from The Good Wife.

Below are the ten most likely contenders in each category. The asterisk represents my current predictions.

supporting races
(Photo: Netflix)

Supporting Actor

Louie Anderson  – Baskets may be too small of a show to be recognized by the HFPA, but Anderson is coming off of his first Emmy win which may help him stand out in such a crowded (and dramatic) field.

Sterling K. Brown – Just off of a career-defining performance and Emmy win in The People v. O.J. Simpson as well as a new hit on NBC (This Is Us), Brown may very well be the frontrunner at the Globes. Particularly since he isn’t competing against himself after NBC submitted him in lead for This Is Us. There is a chance however that the Foreign Press ignores him for bigger names, especially among his own costars.

Chris Cooper11.22.63 might not seem like an obvious awards vehicle but the foreign press loves to spread the wealth and there aren’t too many other races in which to recognize Hulu.

Kit Harington – In 2016 no one could stop talking about Jon Snow. After the obsession of Snow’s fate and the Battle of the Bastards, Harington earned his first Emmy nom. The Globes could easily recognize the rising star, but they remain to be the only awards group that hasn’t fallen head over heels in love with Game of Thrones.

*Ed Harris – Nominated for six awards (and winning twice), Ed Harris is no stranger to the Golden Globes. Now that he stars in the biggest hit of the fall season as well as HBO’s future, he may seem like an obvious Globes contender.

*Hugh Laurie – As the biggest international television hit of 2016, The Night Manager is bound to be a major Golden Globes contender, and Laurie is likely to go along for the ride.

*John LithgowThe Crown might just be the most Globes-friendly television show in the history of the award. John Lithgow might be the frontrunner to win if voters devour the show like most think they will.

Christian Slater – Last year’s winner might have had a less influential arc throughout Mr. Robots sophomore season, but if the HFPA continues their obsession with the show he might continue to pick to be nominated.

*John Travolta – Never underestimate how much the Foreign Press loves movie stars, in fact they are so enamored by John Travolta that they nominated him for Hairspray. Even if his performance as Robert Shapiro isn’t the strongest he is arguably the biggest name of the show and the Foreign Press has nominated similar prosthetics-heavy performances in the past (Rob Lowe in Behind The Candelabra).

*Jon Voight – Jon Voight’s win two years ago was the beginning of an odd awards obsession with Ray Donovan and three years later the 11-time Golden Globe nominee could easily sneak back into the race.

Jeffrey Wright – He may not be as big of a name as his costar Ed Harris, but he is a Golden Globe winner for quite possibly the biggest and best miniseries to be produced by HBO. He could be nominated alongside Harris although the Foreign Press has stepped away from crowding a category with costars.

supporting races
(Photo: Amazon)

Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates – With her best material since Coven, Bates seems like an obvious contender, but Globes voters have largely ignored her for her work on the hit anthology series except for Freak Show – her weakest year.

Millie Bobby Brown – As Stranger Things becomes more and more popular, the Golden Globes might feel obligated to reward the show somewhere. What better way than to nominate the up-and-coming British actress?

*Olivia Colman – Colman has been on the verge of her first big award for quite some time now, and she seems like an obvious contender after The Night Manager became such a massive hit.

*Miley Cyrus – Popstar+Amazon+Woody Allen might seem like an obvious Golden Globes equation

Lady Gaga – Voters couldn’t resist giving Gaga her first Golden Globe last year for her television debut on American Horror Story even if it meant snubbing critically acclaimed performances from Kirsten Dunst and Queen Latifah. They might just bring her back although her screen time is significantly less in the sixth installment.

*Judith Light  – Of all the obvious contenders in the supporting actress race, Light might be able to stand out because her performance in the third season is actually her strongest yet.

Maggie Smith/Joanne Froggatt –  Downton Abbey has been an awards favorite since the British import first aired on PBS, and at least one of the two supporting actresses have filled a slot for four of the first five seasons. If Globes voters want to send the show off with one last hurrah, Smith or Froggatt could easily sneak in for a third time.

*Maura Tierney – As last year’s winner, Tierney finally won the first major award of her career which was a little surprising seeing as voters mostly avoided The Affair in its second season. With the Emmys following suit and the third season just premiering, Globes voters might bring Tierney back simply because she is the most buzzed about name on Showtime currently.

*Emily Watson – Although I admittedly haven’t taken the time to actually watch The Dresser, I know Watson shouldn’t be counted out if only because she is a well-regarded British actress on a BBC television film and HFPA voters have had a soft spot for Starz as of recently.

Constance Zimmer – Globes voters might try to play catch up with Zimmer after she earned her first Emmy nomination earlier this year, but after the show’s sophomore slump she might be skipped over entirely.


Readers, what are your predictions for the supporting races? Do any of last year’s other nominees stand a chance including Uzo Aduba, Regina King, Tobias Menzie, Ben Mendelsohn, and Alan Cumming?

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