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Golden Globes 2017 TV Analysis: Nominations Mix Familiar (‘People v. O.J.’) and New (‘This Is Us’) But Mostly Avoid Surprises

Despite talk of Globe voters as "kingmakers," this year's two biggest TV nominees were already recognized at the Emmy Awards.

NBC

Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, “This Is Us”

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The Golden Globe Awards finds itself in an unusual position this year: playing catch-up.

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which wrapped its run all the way back in April, leads this year’s Golden Globe TV field with five nominations. Following “People v. O.J.” is another limited series, “The Night Manager,” with four. The AMC program aired its finale in March.

READ MORE: Golden Globes 2017 Full TV Nominations List: ‘People v. O.J.’ Leads Pack

That means both programs already had their day in the sun at the Emmys – and did quite well there, actually. “People v. O.J.” landed nine Emmys, including wins for limited series and stars Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, and Sterling K. Brown, all of whom just scored Globe nods as well. (“The Night Manager” competed and lost against “People v. O.J.” in most of those categories, but did win for outstanding directing for a limited series or TV movie.)

Emmy voters even managed to swoop in this year and recognize two veteran series that Globe voters could have nominated first. The Emmys finally nominated long-snubbed “The Americans” stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell earlier this year, and also recognized “Black-ish” as a comedy contender (and nominated stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross) first.

Given its scheduling in January — midway through the TV season — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association finds itself in the unique position of getting to reward hot new TV shows first, before the Emmys.

In recent years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has prided itself as being a bit of a “kingmaker,” something Variety recently noted.

Last year, for example, the Globes got first stab at USA’s “Mr. Robot,” naming that show as TV’s best drama, months before Emmy voters could even nominate that critically acclaimed show.

This year, Globes voters will indeed get first crack at honoring NBC’s new hit “This Is Us,” Netflix’s buzzy “Stranger Things” and FX’s critical darling “Atlanta.” And after giving awards to fresh faces Gina Rodriguez and Rachel Bloom in the comedy actress category, the HFPA could do it again with “Insecure” star Issa Rae.

Other than “Game of Thrones,” the entire Globe drama category is made up of new shows: “The Crown,” “Stranger Things,” “This Is Us” and “Westworld.”

But even the new shows nominated, before the Emmys could do the same, were expected. “The Night Of,” “Westworld,” “This Is Us,” “The Crown,” “Atlanta,” and even “Insecure” are all frontrunners for major TV awards over the next year (including the SAG Awards, the Television Critics Association Awards and then the Emmys). Among the few true surprises: Epix landed its first nomination with “Graves” star Nick Nolte, and Winona Ryder picked up her first Globe nomination in 23 years (having won in 1994 for best supporting actress in a film, “The Age of Innocence”).

READ MORE: Golden Globes TV Snubs & Surprises: ‘Mr. Robot’ Is Out, ‘Stranger Things’ Is In

As networks and streaming services save some of their best and biggest properties for winter and spring, and Emmy voters start making more ambitious choices, the Golden Globes will sometimes have to wait to reward the best.

Still, credit HFPA voters for not ignoring “People v. O.J.” or “Night Manager” even though those programs aired ages ago. They’re still two of the most lauded series of the year, regardless of whether Emmy voters got to them first.

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air live across the country on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET from the Beverly Hilton Hotel with host Jimmy Fallon.

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