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Golden Globes 2020 Predictions: Best Actor and Actress in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy

Emmy favorites like Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Bill Hader will go head-to-head with some fresh competition at this year's Golden Globes.

Kirsten Dunst in "On Becoming a God in Central Florida" and Ben Platt in "The Politician"

Kirsten Dunst in “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Ben Platt in “The Politician”

Showtime / Netflix

Last Year’s Winners: Michael Douglas in “The Kominsky Method” and Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Still Eligible: Yes and yes, respectively.
Hot Streak: Rachel Brosnahan has won two years in a row, joining only a handful of other actors who’ve achieved the same milestone. But only one actress has ever won three years straight: Sarah Jessica Parker for “Sex and the City.”
Notable Ineligible Series: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”; Jim Carrey, “Kidding”; Issa Rae, “Insecure”

At the bottom of this page are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Best Actor and Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical at the 2020 Golden Globes. This article will be updated throughout the season, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz from the 2020 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well. The 2020 Golden Globe Award nominees will be announced Monday, December 9 at 8 a.m. ET. The 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, January 5 in Los Angeles, CA and be televised live on NBC.

The State of the Race

How much impact will “The Politician” have on this year’s Golden Globes? Before the Best Comedy Series nominees are announced, viewers should know how much the HFPA liked the hourlong Netflix comedy by whether or not stars Ben Platt and Gwyneth Paltrow make the cut in the acting categories. Ryan Murphy’s first series under his new mega-deal with the streaming giant is a high-priority for everyone involved, and the generous screen time given to Platt’s standout talents — namely, singing — make him a big awards draw. Paltrow didn’t get as many showy scenes, but she could coast by on her celebrity alone, should the Globes favor the series.

There are few other duel threats in the comedy acting categories, as most top contenders have the lead role all to themselves. Phoebe Waller-Bridge looks to keep “Fleabag” momentum at a high following her impressive haul at the Emmys; Bill Hader hopes to keep his own hot streak running in “Barry” (two Emmys in a row and a Golden Globe nod last year); Rachel Brosnahan is a two-time defending champion, which means she’s either a lock or doomed to get the boot if the HFPA moves on from “Mrs. Maisel.” Michael Douglas is in a similar boat as the defending champion for “The Kominsky Method,” a Netflix comedy with less buzz for its second season but offering the same Globe-favorite talent.

Then there are the newcomers: Kirsten Dunst hopes to build a bit of acclaim for her Showtime series, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” and her excellent turn as the angry victim of a pyramid scheme should put her top-of-mind. Don Cheadle hopes to do the same for “Black Monday,” his new Showtime series that already landed him an Emmy nod this year. Natasha Lyonne is also on track to match her Emmy nod with a Golden Globe nomination for “Russia Doll,” while Paul Rudd is gunning for his first recognition for “Living With Yourself.” (The affable everyman has yet to be nominated for a Golden Globe at all, which seems preposterous.)

Believe it or not, that’s just the beginning of potential nominees. Ted Danson is a serious threat if the Globes take a shine to “The Good Place” again; after the Emmys, Eugene Levy is building buzz for “Schitt’s Creek”; Danny McBride has never been nominated, but that could change with “The Righteous Gemstones.” And then there are the yet-to-be-mentioned actresses who would make up an incredible 2020 acting class all by themselves: It’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ last chance for “Veep” and Hailee Steinfeld’s first shot at “Dickinson”; Helen Hunt is back in the running with a revival of former Globes favorite “Mad About You”; Aidy Bryant deserves more praise for “Shrill,” as do Logan Browning for “Dear White People,” Sharon Horgan for “Catastrophe,” and Pamela Adlon for “Better Things.”

Who will the HFPA favor? The races are gonna be tight, especially if they take a shine to one or two shows in particular.

Power Rankings (Best Actor)

  1. Ben Platt, “The Politician”
  2. Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
  3. Bill Hader, “Barry”
  4. Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
  5. Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”

Spoilers: Paul Rudd, “Living With Yourself”; Ricky Gervais, “After Life”; Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”; Danny McBride, “The Righteous Gemstones”

In a Perfect World: Rob Delaney, “Catastrophe”; Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

Power Rankings (Best Actress)

  1. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
  2. Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
  3. Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
  4. Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
  5. Gwyneth Paltrow, “The Politician”

Spoilers: Hailee Steinfeld, “Dickinson”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”; Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”; Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”; Helen Hunt, “Mad About You”; Aidy Bryant, “Shrill”

In a Perfect World: Logan Browning, “Dear White People”; Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”; Alison Brie, “GLOW”; Sharon Horgan, “Catastrophe”; Anna Konkle, “PEN15”; Maya Erskine, “PEN15”

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