In the world of television, unlike in film, the Golden Globe Awards are not part of of same awards “season” as the Emmys, which remain tied to the (now largely outdated) rhythms of the May-to-September broadcast TV calendar.
In addition to being the last chance for voters to reward series and performances from the winter and spring of 2015, the Golden Globes offer a first glimpse of some of those sure to be a factor in next year’s Emmy race—I’m looking at you, “Fargo”. (There’s also no exact overlap among categories: for example, the Golden Globes combine supporting performances from comedies, dramas, miniseries, and TV movies into one catch-all list.)
Instead, the Golden Globes allow the (always idiosyncratic) Hollywood Foreign Press Association to zig where the more staid TV Academy zagged, which is all to the good in the fast-changing landscape of television. The Golden Globe nominations will be announced Thursday, Dec. 10. Read our bold predictions below.
“The Affair” (Showtime)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
With perennial HFPA favorite “Downton Abbey,” two-time nominee “House of Cards,” and Emmy winner “Game of Thrones” more or less locks, this category comes down to two questions. Can “The Affair” repeat its out-of-nowhere success at last year’s Golden Globes (three nominations, two wins)? And what is likeliest to replace CBS’s fast-waning “The Good Wife?” There’s nothing in this season of “The Affair” to suggest that voters’ love for it will have diminished, though “Better Call Saul” (AMC) is poised to play spoiler, and the hot new broadcast potboiler on the block is an audience-friendly choice. Watch out, “Game of Thrones”: “Empire” might give you a run for your money.
“Jane the Virgin” (The CW)
“Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
While Emmy winner “Veep” looks to overtake defending champion “Transparent,” the real interest in this category is down the list, where a raft newcomers (“Kimmy Schmidt,” Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None,” Hulu’s “Casual,” and even the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) hope to break into the nominations. With the exception of Tina Fey’s latest—catnip to “30 Rock”-loving HFPA voters—I’m sticking with “OITNB” and “Jane the Virgin” to repeat. The odd shows out? HBO’s “Girls” and “Silicon Valley.”
Limited Series/TV Movie
“American Crime” (ABC)
“Show Me a Hero” (HBO)
“Wolf Hall” (PBS)
After a second season which received near-universal praise from critics (well, except from me), last year’s winner, “Fargo,” is set to repeat, and will show strength in other categories as well. Though there’s a chance that “True Detective” could sneak in, I think the HFPA will go with the more warmly received HBO offerings “Bessie” and “Show Me a Hero,” while “American Horror Story”—never terribly successful in this category, with only one nomination, for “Coven”—will fall victim to prestige choices “American Crime” and “Wolf Hall.”
Actor (Drama Series)
Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline” (Netflix)
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” (AMC)
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot” (USA)
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul” (AMC)
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” (Netflix)
Hamm won the Golden Globes for his portrayal of Don Draper on “Mad Men” after the series’ first season, so it would be fitting for the HFPA to close the circle by honoring him for its last. He’ll have to beat reigning champion Kevin Spacey and three first-timers. Among these, the “Bloodline” star is the most precarious: I’m banking on voters making amends for snubbing Chandler during his impressive run on “Friday Night Lights,” or maybe just hoping that James Spader doesn’t earn his third consecutive nod for “The Blacklist.”
Actress (Drama Series)
Claire Danes, “Homeland” (Showtime)
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
Taraji P. Henson, “Empire” (FOX)
Robin Wright, “House of Cards” (Netflix)
Ruth Wilson, “The Affair” (Showtime)
Though I suspect Danes, Wright, and Wilson will return, for solid performances in HFPA favorites “Homeland, “House of Cards,” and “The Affair,” this category is a rare battle between broadcast stars: Emmy winner Viola Davis, and “Empire” MVP Taraji P. Henson. On the outside looking in is Julianna Marguiles, nominated for all six seasons of “The Good Wife” to date (with one win). Is has to end sometime, right? (I’ll probably regret this.)
Actor (Comedy Series)
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None” (Netflix)
Louis C.K., “Louie” (FX)
Rob Lowe, “The Grinder” (FOX)
William H. Macy, “Shameless” (Showtime)
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” (Amazon)
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Tambor doesn’twin this category for a second straight year. Five-time nominee Rob Lowe seems poised to beat out fellow FOX star Will Forte, whose initially fascinating performance is no longer quite fresh, and the acclaim for Ansari’s “Master of None” bodes well for his chances against potential spoiler Patrick Stewart (Starz’s “Blunt Talk”).
Actress (Comedy Series)
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)
Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin” (The CW)
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie” (Netflix)
Don’t count on Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus to take home the Globe just yet: she’s been nominated for “Veep” three years running and lost to Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, and Rodriguez. Falco’s appeared in this category four times for “Nurse Jackie,” and will almost surely add a fifth for the series’ farewell season; for similar reasons, Poehler stands a chance for the last hurrah of “Parks and Recreation” (though she was left out last year). The real issue is whether both stars of “Grace and Frankie” land spots on the list. I’m going with Tomlin—also a contender on the film side for “Grandma”—over co-star Jane Fonda, but if the latter sneaks in, it may be Kemper who stands to lose.
Actor (Limited Series/TV Movie)
Timothy Hutton, “American Crime” (ABC)
Oscar Isaac, “Show Me a Hero” (HBO)
David Oyelowo, “Nightingale” (HBO)
Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall” (PBS)
Patrick Wilson, “Fargo” (FX)
Though “Luther” star Idris Elba—also a film contender for “Beasts of No Nation”—is a potential dark horse, this is the category I’m most confident in, nominations-wise. As for who’ll eventually win, an Isaac/Rylance/Wilson showdown is anyone’s guess, though if voters want to reward “Wolf Hall” or “Show Me a Hero,” this is where they’d do it.
Actress (Limited Series/TV Movie)
Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo” (FX)
Lady Gaga, “American Horror Story: Hotel” (FX)
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime” (ABC)
Queen Latifah, “Bessie” (HBO)
Rachel McAdams, “True Detective” (HBO)
It’s a battle of the movies stars for the final spot in this category: I predict McAdams, with a boost from “Spotlight,” to edge out Nicole Kidman (“Grace of Monaco”) and surefire “Brooklyn” nominee Saoirse Ronan (“Stockholm, Pennsylvania”) despite the disaster of the series’ sophomore run. The rest are all safe bets to receive nominations, with Dunst and Gaga at the head of the pack.
Supporting Actor (Series, Limited Series, or TV Movie)
Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul” (AMC)
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
Ted Danson, “Fargo” (FX)
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Tony Hale, “Veep” (HBO)
Combining comedies, dramas, limited series, and TV movies, the supporting categories are a nightmare to predict, so my choices here are little more than guesswork. “Fargo” has a leg up because of its overall strength—though Bokeem Woodbine would be a much more bold nominee than Danson—as does “Game of Thrones”; Banks is brilliant in “Better Call Saul,” and “Breaking Bad” was always popular with the HFPA, so the AMC spinoff should do well. Burgess and Hale are, if I’m being honest, as much wishful thinking as anything else. This category has leaned heavily dramatic in recent years, and if that trend continues look for Damian Lewis (“Wolf Hall”) or Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”) to make a play for one of the remaining slots.
Supporting Actress (Series, Limited Series, or TV Movie)
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)
Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Regina King, “American Crime” (ABC)
Mo’Nique, “Bessie” (HBO)
Jean Smart, “Fargo” (FX)
I’ve been beating the drum for Mo’Nique since “Bessie” aired this spring, and the Golden Globes and SAG are the last chances for awards voters to give credit where credit is due. Still, she’s up against even stiffer competition than she was at the Emmys (where she lost), including the current frontrunner, Jean Smart, as the flinty matriarch of a midwestern crime family. Bolstered by stunning work on “The Leftovers” (HBO) and her Emmy win for “American Crime,” I predict Regina King to push out the women of “Downton Abbey” (PBS) and Alison Janney (CBS’ “Mom”).