Awards Tracker: One Last Attempt to Predict the Golden Globes

Golden Globes

Jalal makes his predictions for Monday’s Golden Globes announcement in the television categories

Drama Series

  1. The Crown
  2. Westworld
  3. Mr. Robot
  4. Stranger Things
  5. The Americans

No other show seems more destined to be a Golden Globe favorite than Peter Morgan’s epic decade-spanning saga about Queen Elizabeth II The Crown. Westworld is HBO’s biggest new hit in years, and it might just dominate every awards list from now until the Emmys. Mr. Robot, last year’s winner, might be the only drama to return to the list, but fans have been split on the sophomore season. Stranger Things might seem more like a summer phenomenon than a major awards contender (and its acting chances are probably very overblown) but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has always made room in the drama race for genre hits from True Blood and The Walking Dead to the first season of American Horror Story. The Americans has never come close to being a Golden Globes contender in any category, but sometimes the HFPA tries to play catchup with shows that become major Emmy players and if the show ever breaks through with the Foreign Press it will be now.

Without a doubt, the best part of the Golden Globes and their TV awards is that they never let their nominees become stale. They constantly kick out old shows to make room for the new. Outlander, Narcos, and Empire all seem like they would be right up the alley of the Golden Globes, but after a year of the shows not gaining traction anywhere else voters will probably feel fine dismissing them. Game of Thrones pops up randomly in the drama race but the Foreign Press has never really loved the show. Now that they have Westworld to obsess over, they might just put it aside once again. This Is Us is the biggest network hit of the year, and because of that it almost made it into my predictions (and it could easily replace The Americans) but heartwarming family dramedies don’t necessarily do well at the Golden Globes.

Golden Globes
(Photo: USA Network)

Actor in a Drama Series

  1. Rami Malek, Robot
  2. Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
  3. Wagner Moura, Narcos
  4. Aaron Paul, The Path
  5. Anthony Hopkins, Westworld

Golden Globes voters passed over Rami Malek last year to give Jon Hamm a final sendoff even though Mr. Robot was their favorite drama of the year. After going on to win the Emmy and an even stronger second season in terms of material, he’s probably the frontrunner to win the race this year. Liev Schreiber has somehow become the most consistent nomination in the drama races and without any strong Showtime alternative he’ll probably keep being nominated. Hulu tried to create a lot of buzz around The Path earlier this year but once the show actually premiered it basically all disappeared. Globes voters love to recognize breakout hits however, and Hulu’s first foray into serious drama might be enough to earn Aaron Paul a surprise nomination. Narcos never took off like many of Netflix’s other hits but the show clearly appeals to the foreign press so Wagner Moura has a good chance of coming back for a second year. Anthony Hopkins might not have the screen time to warrant a best actor nomination, but if voters really fall for Westworld he could easily go along for the ride (he is a Cecil B. DeMille recipient after all).

Matt Smith is another actor with little material that might end up with a nomination simply because they love the show. Kiefer Sutherland used to be a Golden Globes favorite during 24, and he could be welcomed back with open arms but Designated Survivor seems to be dropping in viewers and relevance. Other than that the only other possibilities seem to be past nominees like Bob Odenkirk and Kevin Spacey or maybe even someone like Sam Heughan who voters skipped over last year when they recognized the rest of Outlander.

Actress in a Drama Series

  1. Claire Foy, The Crown
  2. Thandie Newton, Westworld
  3. Alice Braga, Queen of the South  
  4. Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld  
  5. Caitriona Balfe, Outlander

As I said before, The Crown feels poised to be one of if not the favorite show of the Foreign Press this year, and it would be shocking if they left out the star herself, Claire Foy. She has been around on television for eight years now acting in mostly BBC period pieces, and voters love to recognize breakout stars like Foy. HBO made the decision to submit both actresses in lead, and although that strategy won’t be as successful at the Emmys, HFPA voters will make room for a cast when they really like the show (The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives). Queen of the South may not seem like an obvious awards contender, but Alice Braga is an international star that first earned success with a supporting role in the foreign-language hit City of Gods. Her show also airs on USA which has had some surprising successes at the Golden Globes over the years. It’s hard to say whether Outlander is really liked by Golden Globes voters, or if they just saw the cult success of the small show on Starz and decided to invite it to the party. Voters might not want to give up on the show entirely, and Balfe would be an obvious choice.

Empire isn’t the network hit it used to be in ratings or content, but voters might feel compelled to invite Taraji P. Henson back to the party after the most exciting speech of the night last year. Voters have an unexplainable obsession with The Good Wife, and they’ve nominated Juliana Margulies every year except last year so they might bring her back for a final farewell (similar to Jon Hamm). Tatiana Maslany finally won her first Emmy, and the HFPA might decide to bring her back because of that even though she hasn’t been nominated since 2013. Other Emmy favorites might return, but voters have never liked Viola Davis enough to actually give her an award and Robin Wright seems to be slowly losing steam.

Golden Globes
(Photo: Netflix)

Comedy Series

  1. Divorce
  2. Fleabag
  3. The Get Down
  4. Transparent
  5. Silicon Valley

Amazon won this award for the past two years in a row. and HFPA voters will probably want to keep up their trend of rewarding the future of television (at least in the nomination phase) by bringing back awards favorite Transparent and newcomer/British import Fleabag. A critical favorite earlier in the year, Fleabag then became a surprise awards contender when it earned a couple Critics’ Choice nominations. The show is a perfect fit for Globes voters and the show’s success will probably depend on whether Amazon puts any weight behind a campaign. The Get Down may not have been the success people were hoping/expecting it to be but voters are suckers for flashy musicals no matter the quality so it could easily earn a sole series nomination.

The HFPA loves no network more than HBO and Divorce has everything voters adore that will likely turn the show into a Golden Globes winner; Sarah Jessica Parker, a dramedy centered around a middle aged woman, Sarah Jessica Parker. The fifth and final slot will probably go to another HBO comedy the only question is which one? Most people are predicting Veep but the Globes haven’t been the biggest fans of the show, in fact they only brought it into the comedy series race for the first time last year (when there was an extra nominee). My guess (as unconfident as I may be) is Silicon Valley which voters welcomed during the first two seasons.

Atlanta is the best reviewed comedy of 2016 on Metacritic (not counting Transparent) but I’m not convinced that the humor of the show translates well to international audiences especially when voters haven’t been the biggest fans of other more personal comedic shows like Masters of None or even Louie (not that the actual tone of the show resembles them at all). Insecure is another show that should be doing well but if critics and the WGA completely snubbed the show I doubt the foreign press will be the first. Orange Is The New Black keeps returning to the comedy race but as the show becomes less and less of a cultural phenomenon voters might feel less inclined to keep bringing it back.

If Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had become a bigger success Globes voters might have wanted to bring the musical into the conversation but after ratings slipped even further and the CW relegated it to the Friday dead zone the show probably doesn’t have a chance. As good as Black-ish is Golden Globes voters have made a clear decision to keep the focus on streaming shows and premium networks and it’s hard to see them all of a sudden embracing the family sitcom even if it is one of the biggest hits on network TV.

Actor in a Comedy or Musical

  1. Thomas Haden Church, Divorce
  2. Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
  3. Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
  4. Donald Glover, Atlanta
  5. Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk

The comedy actor race has become a barren wasteland in recent years so much so that the most celebrated performance in contention is probably one of the more dramatic ones on television. At least HBO gave us something new to talk about with Thomas Haden Church in Divorce, his best performance since Sideways. Divorce may have its flaws but Church is genuinely funny and because of that he probably is the frontrunner to win. Globes voters have a habit of scrapping past winners that never took off in the real world but Gael Garcia Bernal is charming enough to probably sneak back into a deserted category. Patrick Stewart was nominated last year for Blunt Talk and without any legitimate competition he might make it back in even if the average person hasn’t even heard of his show. Donald Glover’s Atlanta may or may not be a Golden Globes contender but everyone is talking about him and voters probably won’t be able to resist nominating the only up-and-coming male star in contention.

Other than that there aren’t a lot of other performances to choose from. Ted Danson used to be a Golden Globes favorite and is one nomination away from tying for the record for most nominated comedic actor with Alan Alda. Voters could bring back a past winner and movie star like Don Cheadle back for his last season. There is talk around Nick Nolte for his work on Graves but I wonder if the show and its network (Epix) is to obscure even for the HFPA. Voters could even decide to bring Thomas Middleditch into the conversation after he finally broke through at the Emmys.

Actress in a Comedy or Musical

  1. Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
  2. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
  3. Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  4. Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  5. Issa Rae, Insecure

During the days of Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker was basically the queen of the Golden Globes; she’s won award away from tying Carol Burnett and one nomination away from joining the ranks of Bea Arthur and Mary Tyler Moore. In fact the moment HBO announced they were teaming back up with SJP she basically became the frontrunner for the Golden Globe. Phoebe Waller-Bridge seems like the perfect breakout star that HFPA voters love to reward, especially since her show premiered on Amazon, and if anyone is going to give SJP a run for her money this year it will be her.

Rachel Bloom won last year and although Crazy Ex-Girlfriend struggled to gain significance beyond its loyal group of fans she might be able to enter the race again simply because Globes voters are suckers for musicals. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt may have had an aimless second season but Ellie Kemper benefits from the appeal of a more traditional performance on a more cutting edge streaming network. I’m skeptical on whether or not Issa Rae can break through for her debut performance on Insecure because her show might be too small for voters to pay any attention, but if any network can convince people to pay attention it is HBO.

The rest of last year’s nominees (Lily Tomlin, Jamie Lee Curtis, and even Julia Louis-Dreyfus) feel more like placeholders rather than legitimate Golden Globes favorites. Gina Rodriguez received the “a star is born” throughout Hollywood after her breakout Golden Globes win two years ago but the show is quickly fading. Ten years ago Minnie Driver would be the strongest awards contender for her work on Speechless but in 2016 she mioght get lost among all of the other ABC sitcom moms. As mentioned before Globes voters seem to be the only awards group who aren’t going crazy over Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her nominations feel more like they come from obligation than excitement. America Ferrera would be an obvious Golden Globes choice if anyone besides myself was actually paying any attention to Superstore. Tig Notaro received a lot of critical acclaim this year but One Mississippi probably isn’t the type of show voters are paying attention to.

Golden Globes
(Photo: HBO)

Best Limited Series or TV Movie  

  1. The Night Manager
  2. The People v. O.J. Simpson
  3. The Night Of
  4. The Dresser
  5. Crisis in Six Scenes

I’ve brought up tailor made shows for Golden Globes voters a lot and the John le Carré adaptation The Night Manager is a perfect example of just that. Watched by reportedly 1/6th of the United Kingdom and bringing AMC some of their best ratings in the history of the network the limited series was a global phenomenon that voters will not ignore. The other big limited series of the year, The People v. O.J. Simpson, will likely end up with the most nominations of the night (out of any program) because of its giant ensemble cast.

HBO has dominated this category by producing 17 of the 40 winning programs and although voters seem to be getting bored by their usual biopics (they were left out of the race last year) they will probably embrace The Night Of, an HBO remake of a British crime series. For the past three years voters have embraced miniseries from Starz and this year voters don’t have a lot to choose from besides The Dresser, a BBC import starring some very well-respected names. My fifth prediction, Crisis in Six Scenes,  is a risk to say the least but the critically panned show has a lot of Globes friendly elements; created and starring Woody Allen (another Cecil B. DeMille winner) and produced by Amazon Studios.

Voters could easily go in a completely different direction with so many other miniseries and TV movies to choose from. American Crime was the first great show of 2016 but the second season was so long ago that HFPA voters might not care anymore. Voters love HBO so they might ignore The Night Of for Confirmation or All The Way although it’s hard to imagine the foreign press singling out a couple of generic American political films.  Voters only honor American Horror Story every other year so it will probably be absent. Netflix is trying to force The Gilmore Girls on everyone. Hulu is trying to enter the limited series race with 11.22.63. The Weinstein Company even has a glorified Lifetime movie starring some of the most nominated actresses in the history of the Golden Globes.

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

  1. Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
  2. Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson
  3. Cuba Gooding Jr, The People v. O.J. Simpson
  4. Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
  5. Ian McKellen, The Dresser

Courtney B. Vance undoubtedly gives one of the best performances of the year but more than any other group the HFPA will likely also love his costar, Cuba Gooding Jr. who is an Oscar winner playing the most infamous athlete of all-time. With Taylor Swift tabloids and James Bond rumors Tom Hiddleston is quickly becoming an international star and because of that he is likely the frontrunner to win the entire race. Riz Ahmed isn’t a household name but voters do like contributing to an up-and-coming star (last year’s winner Oscar Isaac) and Ahmed on top of having a role in the new Star Wars is also a rapper. The last nomination is up for grabs and usually when HFPA have multiple options they go for the safe, respected BBC choice, in this case Ian McKellen.

Benedict Cumberbatch hasn’t been nominated since the first season and it’s hard to argue why he will break into the race over a bunch of more appealing contenders although he is on a career high right now with Doctor Strange. James Franco is the type of star that could get a nomination off of name recognition and a good campaign from Hulu. HBO has other contenders with Bryan Cranston and John Turturro and the network has earned at least two actor nominations for their miniseries/TV movies every year this millennium except 2011.

Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie 

  1. Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson
  2. Kerry Washington, Confirmation
  3. Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
  4. Lily James, War and Peace
  5. Jessica Lange, Wild Oats

2016 is Sarah Paulson’s year and no one is getting in the way of her earning another nomination. Kerry Washington is going to be invited to the party. Riley Keough is an up-and-coming actress, the star of a Starz miniseries, and is the granddaughter of Elvis. She’s the exact type of actress that no one is including in the conversation until the Globes awards her with a surprise nomination. The rest of the nominees get a little tricky. War & Peace was a miniseries that came and went earlier in the year without much attention but it is a sweeping literary epic produced not only by BBC but Weinstein as well. On top of that Lily James was in Downton Abbey for multiple seasons so she is on the radar of many HFPA voters. The Weinstein company has awards campaigning down to a science and Jessica Lange is an easy sell with 5 Golden Globes and 15 nominations (including 7 in this category alone).

Shirley MacLaine, the other star of Wild Oats, is the second most nominated actress at the Golden Globes (behind Meryl Streep) and her name might be enough for voters to invite her to the party. American Crime can’t be dismissed (and Lili Taylor gives my favorite performance of the year) but I’m not convinced the show is on the radar of most voters especially for two leading performances. Depending on the mood of the voters they could welcome back Lauren Graham from the Gilmore Girls revival. Voters are also suckers for musicals and they could nominate someone like Julianne Hough or Laverne Cox but if they do go in that direction it will likely be for someone more prestigious like Audra McDonald.

Golden Globes
(Photo: FX)

Supporting Actor

  1. Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
  2. John Lithgow, The Crown
  3. John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson
  4. Louie Anderson, Baskets
  5. Ed Harris, Westworld

Hugh Laurie was so well-liked by HFPA voters throughout the days of House that he seems like an easy sell to voters for a miniseries like The Night Manager and the same goes for an actor like John Lithgow in The Crown who has already won a supporting Golden Globe for his work on Dexter. All of the attention for the supporting cast of The People v. O.J. Simpson is rightfully on Sterling K. Brown who is having a stellar 2016 but voters might surprise everyone by gravitating towards a campier performance from a movie and tabloid star like John Travolta. I’ve gone back and forth between predicting both Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright or replacing one of them with Louie Anderson. Baskets might be too small of a show for voters to recognize but they have increasingly used the Emmy races as a starting off point.

These predictions feel pointless could they could all easily be wrong and replaced with the likes of Kit Harington, Sterling K. Brown, or even Chris Cooper. Voters might just rely on last year’s nominees and bring back Christian Slater, Ben Mendelsohn, Tobias Menzies, Jon Voight, or even Alan Cumming.

Supporting Actress 

  1. Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
  2. Judith Light, Transparent
  3. Maura Tierney, The Affair
  4. Dame Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
  5. Grace Gummer, Mr. Robot

I’ve already made the argument for my first four predictions in a previous awards tracker and like the contenders in the supporting actor race they could be easily replaced by a long list of other contenders including Emily Watson, Miley Cyrus, Constance Zimmer, Millie Bobby Brown, Regina King, Kathy Bates, or Lady Gaga. The only prediction I haven’t touched on yet is Grace Gummer who joined the cast of Mr. Robot this year and might appeal to HFPA voters once they realize she is the daughter of their favorite actor of all-time (and this year’s Cecil B. DeMille recipient).

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