When it comes to voting for television series and stars at the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is often applauded for thinking outside the usual box and recognizing a broad cross-section of small screen talent, and being the first to reward new shows with awards acclaim.
It’s hard to imagine last year’s drama winner “The Crown” not getting a repeat nom — just as Emmy winner “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a lock for a dramatic nom of its own. Comedy king “Atlanta” and its star Donald Glover are not eligible this time around since the second season still has yet to debut, though the ratings juggernaut return of “Will & Grace” will undoubtedly slide into its place.
Here, Variety predicts which names may be read aloud come official nominations on the morning of Dec. 11.
“The Crown” — Netflix
Recounting the story of a young Queen Elizabeth, this is one contender that truly puts the foreign in HFPA. Besides its setting on the other side of the pond, the story has international appeal due to its grand scope, both in production design and storytelling. As last year’s winner, it’s almost guaranteed to be recognized again.
“The Deuce” — HBO
The subject matter may be gritty, but the HBO period drama, which meticulously chronicles the rise of the porn industry in ’70s New York City, hails from acclaimed showrunner David Simon (“The Wire”). It also boasts a deep cast of HFPA favorites — from James Franco, who plays twins, to Maggie Gyllenhaal, who delivers a bravura performance.
“Game of Thrones” — HBO
The spectacular fantasy series scored four previous noms from the HFPA, including one just last year, so another seems a given, despite the anti-genre bias typical of the Globes. The latest season didn’t disappoint, with deafening buzz from the consummation of Jon and Daenerys’ relationship, as well as the loss of one of Daenerys’ dragons.
“The Good Doctor” — ABC
It’s hard to imagine the HFPA passing up the opportunity to be the first to celebrate the No.1 new drama of the TV season. The David Shore-led series for the Alphabet centers on Freddie Highmore as a medical professional with autism and savant syndrome, putting a new emotional twist on a traditional (medical) format.
“The Good Fight” — CBS All Access
Robert and Michelle King’s “The Good Wife” was a favorite of the HFPA, nominated three times during its seven-year run. With the spinoff’s stellar ensemble cast, strong storytelling structure and new platform, the freshman legal drama just may break through.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” — Hulu
The dystopian drama based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name was immediately hailed when it premiered, due to its timely parallels to our troubled political climate. The accolades have only increased since, as it went on to win the Emmy Award for best drama — the first trophy for a streaming service in the category.
“Stranger Things” — Netflix
The HFPA honored the nostalgic sci-fi drama with a nom for its first season last year, and with strong reviews for the recently debuted second season, its voters might be remiss not to tout it again. The sophomore installment didn’t disappoint, offering more humor, character development, and supernatural scares.
“This Is Us” — NBC
After a first season that garnered a Globe nom and put broadcast back on the map in the awards race, the Peacock’s family drama came back for seconds, scoring again with viewers with more emotional stories — adoption, addiction, surprise pregnancy, secret family members — and more hints about Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death during its sophomore run, now underway.
Jason Bateman — “Ozark”
The actor-turned-producer proved he’s got dramatic flair as well as comedy chops, as he dove deep for the role of a mild-mannered family man going to extreme lengths to launder half a billion dollars to keep his family safe from a drug cartel in this Netflix series.
Sterling K. Brown — “This Is Us”
Last year he scored a nom for his portrayal of the real life Christopher Darden, but this year his Emmy-winning turn as Randall Pearson, a man with a seemingly perfect life but secret, deep-seated vulnerability, will help him go for gold.
Joseph Fiennes — “The Handmaid’s Tale”
The Emmy Awards may have snubbed him, but the international-leaning HFPA may well want to recognize for Fiennes for his portrayal of the conflicted Fred Waterford, the man to whom Elisabeth Moss’ titular handmaid is assigned to bear a child.
James Franco — “The Deuce”
Franco pulled double duty as twin brothers in HBO’s ’70s-set period drama, and that kind of acting heavy-lifting is often cause to celebrate. Franco flipped effortlessly between decent and degenerate to bring to life two very different men struggling to succeed.
Freddie Highmore — “The Good Doctor”
Highmore was never nominated for his performance as Norman Bates on A&E’s “Bates Motel,” but that may well be rectified with his nuanced star turn as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a character who has autism and savant syndrome.
Rami Malek — “Mr. Robot”
The former Emmy winner didn’t get a nom this year from the Academy, but the HFPA has always celebrated his intense work as the unstable hacker Elliot. And in the third season, Malek dives deeper into Elliot’s ever-more fractured psyche.
Tim Roth — “Tin Star”
If last year’s nominations are any sign, the HFPA is having a love affair with Amazon. This year may be Roth’s turn, with his work as an expat police officer who goes to extreme lengths to protect his family when his past comes back to haunt him.
Liev Schreiber — “Ray Donovan”
Schreiber has been an HFPA favorite for a few years now, so it’s hard to imagine the voting members wouldn’t keep him on the ballot for a season that saw such deep, emotional and traumatic work as Ray fighting for his wife’s life as she struggled with cancer.
Milo Ventimiglia — “This Is Us”
The HFPA usually prefers to set the trend, rather than follow it, but given that voters passed up the chance to nom Ventimiglia last season, they may not be able to resist following the Emmys lead and recognizing his work as the ever-more-troubled heart of the NBC hit.
Caitriona Balfe — “Outlander”
She was nommed last year for her work as time-traveling Claire on the Starz drama and is likely to return. This time out, her character has been put through the wringer more than usual, and her emotional performance of love, loss and longing may prove hard to ignore.
Christine Baranski — “The Good Fight”
Baranski’s Diane Lockhart stepped into a new firm on the CBS All Access spinoff of the often-nominated “The Good Wife,” and Baranski herself stepped up as the lead of the show, giving the voters a chance to honor her commanding performance.
Millie Bobby Brown — “Stranger Things”
Brown earned an Emmy nom for the first season of the sci-fi drama as a preteen with limited vocabulary but outsized supernatural abilities. The second season challenges her even more, as it delves into her troubled past and explores her blossoming relationships.
Carrie Coon — “The Leftovers”
A critical darling, Coon delivered two of the year’s most talked about performances — a wise-cracking cop in FX’s “Fargo” and the haunted Nora in the final season of HBO’s “The Leftovers.” Perhaps the HFPA will take the opportunity to finally recognize the critically acclaimed series.
Claire Foy — “The Crown”
As the reigning champion in the category, there is little doubt voters will want to honor Foy again — especially for a season during which so much crumbles down around her but she still rises above it all with dignity and grace.
Maggie Gyllenhaal — “The Deuce”
As Eileen aka Candy, a prostitute who finds entrepreneurial inspiration in the world of adult films, Gyllenhaal is not only the center of the HBO drama but also its heart. She makes a character that could have been a cliche multifaceted and utterly captivating.
Mandy Moore — “This Is Us”
The Pearson matriarch may not have had the showiest of episodes designed to dive deep into Rebecca’s struggles and backstory (yet) but the actress does a lot with even the smallest moments, like when recoiling at the idea of that her family is not right to adopt Randall because they’re white.
Elisabeth Moss — “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Given that Moss claimed the Emmy for lead actress in a drama for her stoic work as Offred, formerly June, in Hulu’s dystopian drama, the HFPA would be utterly remiss not to recognize her groundbreaking work.
“Better Things” — FX
Boosted by her Emmy nomination, Pamela Adlon’s series has won even more praise in its second season, continuing to pull no punches with its searingly honest, yet hilarious, take on the life and struggles of a single mother in Hollywood.
“Black-ish” — ABC
Last year was the first the Alphabet’s family comedy received a nomination from the HFPA, and it deserves a slot on the ballot again, given its headline-grabbing perspectives on everything from revisionist history to family game nights.
“Catastrophe” — Amazon
Is this the year that the Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney-led relationship comedy finally breaks into the Globes race? Given that its third season features a final guest starring performance from Carrie Fisher, it certainly seems ripe for a nom.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — Amazon
Amy Sherman-Palladino’s new period piece — about a ’50s-era woman who launches an unlikely career as a standup comic — premieres just in time for the HFPA to be the first to recognize it. Given its voters’ love of quirky Amazon comedies, they should be all in.
“Master of None” — Netflix
The series somehow escaped a nom in its freshman outing, but it would be a crime for the HFPA to ignore the even bolder sophomore season of Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s comedy, which broke format and structure with a subtitled black-and-white episode, and that much-talked about Thanksgiving episode.
“SMILF” — Showtime
Voters have had a love affair with auteur comedies, which bodes well for this effort from writer-producer-director-star Frankie Shaw. The premium cable comedy offers an idiosyncratic take on single motherhood.
“Veep” — HBO
The Emmy champion has only been nominated for a Golden Globe for comedy series twice before, but it certainly seems like a lock for another, especially given the strength of this past season — and the sly political overtones.
“Will & Grace” — NBC
During its original run on the Peacock, the sitcom earned six noms for comedy series but never took home the top prize. In its second life, though, that all could change. The revival of the “must see” comedy is scoring with its topical stories like gay marriage while still keeping the heart and humor of the core relationships.
Anthony Anderson — “Black-ish”
Anderson broke through with the Globes last year and deserves another nod now, as his Johnson family patriarch Dre took on new layers this year, from becoming a new dad again to fearing his mother might have dementia.
Aziz Ansari — “Master of None”
Multi-hyphenate Ansari has earned kudos for his work on every aspect of the show, including his acting. Nommed last year, Ansari deserves another shot for the second season, which saw him show off his culinary skills as well as his fluency in Italian.
Iain Armitage — “Young Sheldon”
The HFPA loves to crown fresh faces, and there may be no one fresher than the young star of “The Big Bang Theory’s” spinoff, who is finding new dimensions into a long-beloved character.
Larry David — “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
After six years away, David returned to his HBO comedy to pick up the mantle of his neurotic and indignant satire of himself and the entertainment industry. The HFPA may want to use a nomination to thank him for that return.
Eric McCormack — “Will & Grace”
A Globes favorite from the original run of the NBC sitcom — he was nominated five times in the early aughts — McCormack has seamlessly slipped back into lovable but nitpicky Will Truman’s suits.
Pamela Adlon — “Better Things”
Last year Adlon’s compelling performance as multifaceted single mom Sam may have slipped under the radar because it premiered so close to noms, so this time around the voters may want to correct that wrong.
Rachel Bloom — “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
A two-time nominee and previous winner, Bloom may continue to capture voters’ attention, if not hearts, with her increasingly layered performance of a woman who inches closer to facing her mental issues. And breaks into song.
Rachel Brosnahan — “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Brosnahan stars as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s latest fast-talking leading lady: a single mother and up-and-coming stand up comedienne who’s tasked with finding her voice on stage and in life.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus — “Veep”
The reigning Emmy queen — and HFPA favorite — had another stellar year peeling back narcissistic layers of Selina Meyer to find more crudeness underneath. With the show coming to an end, voters will want to take advantage of all opportunities to recognize her.
Debra Messing — “Will & Grace”
The actress has been nominated for eight Globes in the past, including six for the original run of this NBC sitcom. And she’s still as charming as ever as the newly woke neurotic designer Grace Adler.
Issa Rae — “Insecure”
The freshman face of last year’s Golden Globes should be a shoo-in to be on the ballot once again after delivering a second season that saw her character newly single for the first time and exploring new romantic and comedic adventures.
Gina Rodriguez — “Jane the Virgin”
Previous winner Rodriguez is a voter favorite in the category and will likely be again. After digging deep to explore the grief of losing her husband, this season finds her more hopeful and playful in exploring new love and a blossoming career.
Tracee Ellis Ross — “Black-ish”
Last year’s winner has proven she’s still in it to win it. This season sees Rainbow Johnson facing real-life issues as she grapples with postpartum depression following the birth of her fifth baby.
Frankie Shaw — “SMILF”
With her freshman series debuting just in time for noms, Shaw seems like the perfect choice for this year’s fresh face in the comedy race. Not to mention she’s a quadruple threat: writer, producer, director and star.
LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE
“Big Little Lies” — HBO
It’s been months since it debuted, but this premium cable project’s star power has hardly dimmed. Featuring rare small-screen appearances by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, the multiple Emmy winning limited series tackles hot-button topics such as domestic abuse.
“Black Mirror” — Netflix
Dropping its fourth season just before the eligibility period closed, Charlie Brooker’s futuristic anthology drama has a few awards-worthy offerings, including “Arkangel,” “Black Museum” and “USS Callister.”
“Fargo” — FX
Led by an award-worthy turn by Ewan McGregor in dual roles, the third season of Noah Hawley’s anthology drama expanded its universe but still maintained its sly sense of dark humor. With noms for its two previous seasons, it seems a lock.
“Feud: Bette and Joan” — FX
The HFPA will find it hard to resist Ryan Murphy’s paean to old Hollywood: Its powerful profiles of two screen legends (Joan Crawford and Bette Davis) by two screen legends (Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon) is prime awards bait.
“The Long Road Home” — National Geographic
This military drama stands out for its ripped-from-the-headlines nature and savvy balance of storytelling between the platoon and their loved ones back home.
“The Sinner” — USA
The cable drama provided a showcase for Jessica Biel as a young woman who brutally murdered a seeming stranger on an ordinary day — and then painstakingly unraveled some dark secrets from her past.
“Top of the Lake: China Girl” — Sundance
Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman delivered haunting performances in the second installment of Jane Campion’s intricate character study disguised as a crime mystery. Moss won a Globe and the show a nom for its first outing.
“Twin Peaks” — Showtime
More than just nostalgia, the “Twin Peaks” revival from David Lynch and Mark Frost kept viewers on the edge of their seats — trying to figure out what was happening on screen, and what would happen next.
LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE ACTOR
Robert De Niro — “The Wizard of Lies”
De Niro is no stranger to the HFPA, first Globes nominated for 1976’s “Taxi Driver.” His forceful work as Bernie Madoff in HBO’s original movie may just get him on the ballot again.
Michael Kelly — “The Long Road Home”
Kelly’s potent turn as real-life soldier Gary Volesky, who earned a Silver Star for his bravery during 2004’s “Black Sunday” in Baghdad could earn him a spot on the ballot.
Kyle MacLachlan — “Twin Peaks”
MacLachlan put a new spin on Dale Cooper for the series revival. Even if voters didn’t always understand what was going on with him, it was impossible to resist watching MacLachlan embrace the quirks.
Ewan McGregor — “Fargo”
HFPA voters got double the McGregor in the dual roles of twin brothers on Noah Hawley’s anthology drama. The dichotomy of such different personalities may cement his nom.
Jesse Plemons — “Black Mirror” “USS Callister”
A critical favorite from limited series “Fargo,” Plemons perfectly encaptures how the socially awkward can turn sinister with his power play set in space in the fourth season of “Black Mirror.”
Geoffrey Rush — “Genius”
Rush not only recreated Albert Einstein’s iconic look for NatGeo’s new anthology but also humanized the fascinating but flawed man we all thought we knew.
LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE ACTRESS
Jessica Biel — “The Sinner”
USA has a good track record with the HFPA, boding well for Biel, never better as a murderer who kept secrets close and learned even darker things about herself.
Carrie Coon — “Fargo”
Coon is as beloved by critics for her portrayal of the disconnected police chief in Noah Hawley’s anthology drama as she was for her role on “The Leftovers.” The HFPA has a chance to celebrate her for both, something the Television Academy did not — and odds are good voters will take it.
Edie Falco — “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”
Falco has been nominated 11 times across drama and comedy (and won twice for drama), so it seems safe to expect a limited nod for taking on the larger-than-life defense attorney Leslie Abramson, an abrasive woman whom Falco infused with maternal humanity.
Sarah Gadon — “Alias Grace”
She may have been acting for half her life, but she’s a relative newcomer in the eyes of the HFPA, breaking out now for her haunting portrayal in Netflix’s period drama based on Margaret Atwood’s novel.
Nicole Kidman — “Big Little Lies”
Kidman has three Globe wins for her film work, and could notch a TV nom for her work in this HBO series. She shone a grounded but frightening light on domestic abuse with her performance, taking home the Emmy for it.
Jessica Lange — “Feud: Bette and Joan”
A HFPA favorite for her work on Ryan Murphy’s other anthology series, “American Horror Story,” Lange simultaneously infused a larger-than-life legend with grace and vulnerability. That is almost impossible to overlook.
Susan Sarandon — “Feud: Bette and Joan”
It’s hard to imagine the HFPA recognizing one brilliant performance from this Hollywood period piece without recognizing the other. Sarandon delivered a striking and intimate performance as a woman known for being over-the-top.
Reese Witherspoon — “Big Little Lies”
Witherspoon’s archetypal Type-A mother displayed surprising depth and irresistible charm in HBO’s sudsy limited series, which she executive produced.