The Golden Globes are traditionally TV’s awards disrupters. With so many new shows nominated, it elevates them long enough to (potentially) make a difference at the Emmys. But the SAG Awards are a more telling barometer of industry enthusiasm.
Actors make up a large chunk of the TV Academy membership — much more so than the 80-odd members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — which means seeing what they’re rewarding in December can often predict what might be a player when Emmy season begins next spring.
With so many shows launching in April to take advantage of Emmy voting, series that premiere in the fall need Globes and SAG Awards love to keep buzz alive through the winter and into the spring. Shows like “The Deuce,” “GLOW,” “Ozark,” “Mindhunter,” “Godless,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “SMILF” are aiming for a little extra attention right now.
In 2017, “Westworld” snagged SAG nominations for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series and lead actress (Thandie Newton). Six months later, both were nominated again at the Emmys, and “Westworld” reaped a huge haul overall. What show will replicate that success in 2018? Here are some possibilities.
Ensemble in a Drama Series
- “The Crown” (Netflix)
- “The Deuce” (HBO)
- “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
- “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
- “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
Spoiler: “This Is Us” (NBC)
With “Downton Abbey” over and “Westworld” out of the race this year, there are at least two slots open in the ensemble race. Returning champion “Stranger Things” and 2017 nominees “Game of Thrones” and “The Crown” aren’t likely to lose any steam. Odds are equally high the Emmy-winning Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale” will fill one of the open slots, and the race for the final slot is down to a handful of streaming series, a scorned series looking to score in its sophomore season, and one HBO hopeful. “Mindhunter” and “Ozark” aim to give Netflix their third nominee out of five slots, but neither made a big dent at the Globes. They’re unproven, as is the addictive Amazon thriller, “Sneaky Pete.” Meanwhile, HBO’s “The Deuce” has strong reviews and a big, diverse, and beloved cast. We’re betting it edges out “This Is Us,” considering the NBC hit couldn’t make the SAG cut in Season 1.
Male Actor in a Drama Series
- Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
- Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
- Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
- Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
- Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”
Spoiler: Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
Most of last year’s nominees are still eligible, but there should be some fresh blood in 2018. Odds are pretty low Kevin Spacey gets another nod for “House of Cards,” for starters. Combine that with John Lithgow’s absence (he’s not in “The Crown” Season 2 for more than one scene), and suddenly there’s room in the actor race. Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), and Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) all seem safe, and we’re expecting Milo Ventimiglia to join his co-star. As for the last slot, there’s a good case to be made for a number of contenders: James Franco has had a fantastic year between “The Disaster Artist” and “The Deuce.” David Harbour has a lot of “Stranger Things” love (and delivered a helluva speech at last year’s SAG awards, when the cast won for ensemble). Matt Smith could benefit from an increased role in “The Crown” Season 2, and Freddie Highmore is great in the bona fide broadcast hit of the fall, “The Good Doctor.” But we’re betting on Jason Bateman in “Ozark,” given the SAG voters’ penchant for Netflix series and the buzzy nature of that dark drama.
Female Actor in a Drama Series
- Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
- Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
- Claire Foy, “The Crown”
- Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”
- Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Spoiler: Winona Ryder, “Stranger Things”
Robin Wright is probably a spoiler right there with Winona Ryder, but hear me out: Carrie Coon is a legitimate contender. Sure, the SAG Awards (and most other award shows) have ignored “The Leftovers,” but Coon has a few factors working in her favor. For one, she’s starring in “The Post,” a movie that SAG voters should love. She’s part of a big ensemble cast that’s almost guaranteed to be recognized, and voters will likely recognize her (even in a smaller role) because she’s been everywhere this year: “The Leftovers,” “The Post,” “Fargo,” and a seven-week stage run in New York for “Mary Jane.” The trades even reviewed her play (and IndieWire was there, too), so clearly “Carrie Coon” is a buzzy name this year. One could even argue, given her dominance of the stage, film, and television, she’s the collective artistic culture’s most relevant actress in 2017. Presence is a key factor in snagging a SAG nod, and Coon has been ever-present this year. Will she crack the top five because of it? If the SAG body is smarter than the Globes, you bet.
Ensemble in a Comedy Series
- “Black-ish” (ABC)
- “GLOW” (Netflix)
- “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
- “Veep” (HBO)
- “Will & Grace” (NBC)
Spoiler: “Modern Family” (ABC)
Unlike the Globes, “Veep” will not be denied at the SAG Awards. The HBO comedy is the epitome of a strong ensemble, without a single weak link across the sizable cast. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be some new faces on the list. Sure, the fading veterans “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family” could sneak in for one more year, but we’re betting the very popular Netflix original “GLOW” and NBC’s revival of “Will & Grace” will bump them out.
Male Actor in a Comedy Series
- Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
- Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
- Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
- Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
- William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Spoiler: Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Two of the six winningest actors in this category could be facing off. William H. Macy has won twice for “Shameless,” while Sean Hayes has three wins for “Will & Grace.” Both seem like strong contenders for a nomination, while returning nominees Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) and Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) remain deep in the hunt. Who gets the last slot? Perhaps if “Curb Your Enthusiasm” had made more of an impact on viewers, Larry David would be the likely pick. Instead, Aziz Ansari seems to have better odds for “Master of None.”
Female Actor in a Comedy Series
- Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
- Alison Brie, “GLOW”
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
- Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
- Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Spoiler: Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
This category has the potential for a big shake-up — or it could keep the exact status quo. All five of last year’s nominees are eligible, and it’s hard to bet against Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin after they earned their first simultaneous nods for “Grace and Frankie” last year. But there’s also Pamela Adlon, who followed up her Emmy nod for “Better Things” with a Golden Globe nomination, too. Could she go three-for-three? If not, other recent surging comedians Issa Rae (“Insecure”) and Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”) could benefit. But we’re betting veterans Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) and Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) will be joined by someone from a freshman series: Alison Brie in “GLOW.”
Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
- Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
- Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
- Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
- Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”
- Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
Spoiler: Alfred Molina, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Please, please, please let Jude Law snag another nod for “The Young Pope.” After his somewhat surprising Golden Globe nomination, perhaps now is the time to truly appreciate his hilarious yet powerful performance as Lenny the Pope. But he’s in a tough category. Not only is there no Supporting Actor in a Limited Series category at the SAGs (meaning he’s got to compete against Alexander Skarsgard and Jeff Daniels), but there are big names from big shows, too. The name “Robert De Niro” speaks for itself, while Ewan McGregor (“Fargo”) and Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”) could ride fevered fan bases to a nod. Throw in the ever-popular Geoffrey Rush, who’s won four SAG awards (two as part of an ensemble and two solo), and suddenly Jude Law might be on the outside looking in. Don’t let it happen, actors.
Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
- Carrie Coon, “Fargo”
- Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
- Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
- Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
- Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
Spoiler: Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
This may be Nicole Kidman’s to lose, but that doesn’t mean the competition around her won’t be intense. Reese Witherspoon certainly has her supporters, while Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley could certainly find their way into the final five as well. Meanwhile, “Feud: Bette & Joan” has at least two big contenders of its own, leaving just one slot for a potential third show. Elisabeth Moss could land her (likely) second nod of 2018 for “Top of the Lake: China Girl” (and “The Handmaid’s Tale”), but see the Female Actor in a Drama Series write-up for why we’re picking Carrie Coon (in a carbon copy of the Emmy nominations from earlier this year).