It’s a tale of two streaming services: While Netflix soared to the top of the leaderboard with 19 SAG nominations (followed by HBO with 12), Amazon didn’t register with SAG voters, failing to secure even a single nomination for its original series efforts. (The streamer did receive noms on the film side, however: an overall cast nod for “The Big Sick” and best supporting actress for Holly Hunter.)
Netflix’s success was spread across a wide lineup of hits, including the ’80s sci-fi paean “Stranger Things” (4 nominations), female-led wrestling drama “GLOW” (4 noms), British period piece “The Crown” (2), friendship comedy “Grace and Frankie” (2), prison-set ensemble dramedy “Orange Is the New Black” (2), and dark drama “Ozark” (2). Jeff Daniels also scored an acting nom for the western “Godless,” as did Aziz Ansari for “Master of None” and Robin Wright for political potboiler “House of Cards.”
That reflects the streamer’s wide programming strategy — but also a recognition of strong performances from female actors and creators. “GLOW” hails from Jenji Kohan, who also created “Orange Is the New Black” and teamed up with Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive for the surprisingly resonant comedy/drama about a group of women who find new purpose as a women’s wrestling troupe.
But Amazon came up short this time, striking out for both “Transparent” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The shows fell victim to very different problems. The recent allegations of sexual harassment has taken Jeffrey Tambor out of awards contention (he also failed to land a Golden Globe nomination). But the snub of “Mrs. Maisel” — from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino — can be credited to SAG voters’ predictable pattern of taking its time to warm up to niche hits. (Similarly, Showtime’s “SMILF” failed to make the cut.)
How this will impact Amazon’s programming strategy going forward remains to be seen. The streamer is still searching for a new head of content (after Roy Price resigned amid his own harassment allegations), and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos mandated a shift away from niche programming toward more tentpole projects, such as its upcoming adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings.”
As expected, Hulu has made its presence known on the awards circuit with its dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which scored for both ensemble and star Elisabeth Moss. The critically acclaimed drama — based on Margaret Atwood’s novel — resonated with Globe and TV Academy voters; it returns for its second season in the spring.
Still, the streaming services upstaged broadcast, as usual — three of the Big Five were shut out (Fox, CBS, and the CW), leaving it to NBC (3 noms) and ABC to represent. The Peacock scored with “This Is Us” (drama ensemble and Sterling K. Brown) and “Will & Grace” (Sean Hayes), while ABC was recognized for “Black-ish” (comedy ensemble and Anthony Anderson).
(Pictured: “GLOW,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”)