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Golden Globes 2020 TV Snubs and Surprises: ‘When They See Us’ and ‘Watchmen’ Shut Out

"The Morning Show," "The Politician," and a few Hulu series also received key nominations Monday morning.

"Watchmen," "When They See Us," "Euphoria"

“Watchmen,” “When They See Us,” “Euphoria”

HBO / Netflix

While the 2020 Golden Globe nominations offered just as many snubs and surprises as usual, they also toed the company line in ways good and bad.

For one, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association still enjoys playing kingmaker — “Unbelievable” is one of the morning’s biggest winners (as is Netflix). The streaming giant’s limited series earned four nominations, which ties it for the most of any TV show this year (along with “The Crown” and “Chernobyl”). Kingmaker duties went beyond series and over to networks, too. Apple TV+ saw a much-needed prestige boost in its three nominations for “The Morning Show,” while Hulu earned some unexpected love for “Catch-22” and “Ramy” — two series that didn’t see their awards hopes pan out earlier in the year.

But the 2020 Golden Globe snubs also saw some unfortunate patterns continue. On the TV side, acclaimed series focusing on African-American stories were ignored, from “When They See Us” to “Watchmen” and more. On the film side, this marks another year without a woman nominated for Best Director. For more on this year’s exciting and questionable choices, check out the list below.


“When They See Us”

After winning two Emmys in 16 nominations, Ava DuVernay’s limited series seemed set to dominate the Golden Globes — great reviews, early recognition, but not too much early recognition (as mentioned, the Globes like to play kingmaker). But when the nominations rolled out, not even breakout, fan favorite, and Emmy winner Jharrell Jerome could land a nod. There’s an argument that the HFPA swapped one important Netflix true story for another — “Unbelievable” got four nods, while “When They See Us” was blanked — but there’s no excuse for Jerome being left out of the Best Actor race.


The comic book curse continues. Even with heaps of praise, an awards friendly star in Regina King, and a very red carpet friendly cast in general, HBO’s “Watchmen” couldn’t crack the Golden Globes.

“Game of Thrones”

Never a favorite of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, “Game of Thrones” had nevertheless nabbed four straight nominations for Best TV Drama — but not this year. Only Kit Harington will represent the outgoing fantasy epic at the 2020 Golden Globes. Blame the disappointing ending if you want, but “Game of Thrones” wasn’t well-liked here before it blew the final season.


Maybe the series was a dark horse in the Best Drama category, but Zendaya has long been considered a frontrunner for her universally commended turn. Instead, both actors from “The Morning Show” got in — a statement that applies when you look at multiple people of color contenders that were left out, from Zendaya to Regina King to Mj Rodriguez.


Did someone say “Pose”? Last year’s Ryan Murphy breakout couldn’t sustain the momentum, as Billy Porter landed his second consecutive nod but the series was shut out of the Best Drama race.

“The Handmaid’s Tale”

Yes, Hulu’s prestige drama was eligible, and no, it didn’t get any Golden Globe nominations. After three nominations in Season 1 and two in Season 2, Bruce Miller’s adaptation fell off the map in Season 3 — and when Elisabeth Moss can’t get a nomination, you know something’s gone wrong.

HBO Succession Jeremy Strong

Jeremy Strong in “Succession”

Graeme Hunter/HBO

Jeremy Strong, “Succession”

Yes, Brian Cox earned his Best Actor nomination and Kieran Culkin for Supporting, but everyone’s favorite sad rapper was surprisingly left out of the race in a year where many thought “Succession” would take control.

Sarah Snook, “Succession”

This was her year, her season, and one more reminder that Sarah Snook is doing incredible things on television. Sadly, Snook probably just wasn’t a flashy enough name to attract Globes attention — their fame standards are much higher than, well, any other criteria.


Another Emmy favorite not as beloved at the Golden Globes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ HBO comedy couldn’t muster any last season magic, failing to snag Best Comedy Series or Best Actress nods.

“Schitt’s Creek”

After breaking into the television industry’s elite awards show, “Schitt’s Creek” couldn’t woo the HFPA voters, as well. Oh well. The Emmys know what’s up.

Ted Danson, “The Good Place”

Michael Schur’s NBC comedy landed its first two Golden Globes nominations last year, setting the table for more in its final season. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, as the heavenly comedy was blanked. Ted Danson, our national treasure, deserved better.

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”

Vince Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad” follow-up saw stiff competition from plenty of limited series — the Golden Globes don’t have a separate Best TV Movie category — but many expected the well-regarded sequel to come out strong. At the very least, they could’ve made up for never giving Aaron Paul a trophy (and only one nomination) during the original series’ run.

Emma Thompson, “Years and Years”

If you were going to make me choose between predicting a nomination for “Years and Years” or “Late Night,” I would’ve bet on Thompson’s over-the-top turn in the strange HBO limited series. Amazon definitely needed the recognition more, given its film’s box office struggles, but “Years and Years” just felt like the kind of show that would resonate with a forward-thinking HFPA.

Kathryn Hahn, “Mrs. Fletcher”

What a shame. Hahn’s excellent performance in Tom Perrotta’s HBO series ended the night before the nominations were announced. A nomination wouldn’t have only been deserved on merit, but a timely wrap gift for the star.

Sterling K. Brown

Not only did “This Is Us” get shut out by the Globes again — all the more glaring when Susan Kelechi Watson is reading the nominations — but its shining star failed to land a film nod for “Waves,” as well. It’s as if after winning in 2018, the HFPA forgot about him — but how?!

Broadcast Television

NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW, and even PBS were all shut out of the 2020 Golden Globe nominations. Not a single show or actor from those networks made the cut, as streaming’s dominance continues to surge.

Unbelievable Netflix Merritt Wever Toni Collette

Merritt Wever and Toni Collette in “Unbelievable”

Beth Dubber/Netflix



After getting all but blanked at the Primetime Emmys, Hulu’s star-studded adaptation snagged two nominations from the Golden Globes: Best Limited Series and Best Actor in a Limited Series, Christopher Abbott. Director and Executive Producer George Clooney was a big advocate for Abbott, which couldn’t have hurt with voting.


Not only did the critically hailed Netflix limited series snag a nomination in the main race, but all three of its main actors were nominated as well — Kaitlyn Dever and Merritt Wever in Lead Actress and Toni Collette in Supporting Actor. It’s hard to say which feat is more surprising, given the fierce competition, but landing four nominations as a limited series is outstanding.

“The Politician”

Though Ryan Murphy’s hourlong Netflix comedy was long-expected to be a Globes favorite given its creator and cast, executives at the streaming giant had to be breathing a big sigh of relief when it snagged a spot in the tough Best Comedy race as well as a nod for star Ben Platt.

“The Morning Show”

Similarly expected but notable: Apple TV+ started turning around the narrative for “The Morning Show” with three nominations, keeping the show alive in the awards race and giving the new streaming platform its first major awards recognition.

Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

Another Hulu series ignored by the Emmys, “Ramy” got a strong enough response from the HFPA to hear its creator and star’s name announced Monday morning.

Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”

The hot priest finally got his due. Denied at the Emmys, Andrew Scott built on the back of a “Fleabag” surge (and a few solid performances elsewhere) to win over the HFPA — we’ll look forward to seeing him and his fox walk the red carpet.

The 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, January 5 in Los Angeles, CA. Ricky Gervais will host for the fourth time. The awards telecast is produced by Dick Clark Productions — with executive producers Mike Mahan (DCP’s CEO) and Adelman — in association with the HFPA, led by newly elected president Lorenzo Soria. Keep checking IndieWire for all your 2020 awards coverage.

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