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Netflix Stays on Course for Future Prizes After Stunning Golden Globes Shutout

Marriage Story The Irishman Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix may have stumbled at the Golden Globes with just two wins, but the streamer isn’t slowing down its awards campaigning anytime soon.

On the film side, Netflix is going full throttle in its attempt to earn honors for “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” along the way to eventual wins at the Oscars. “It’s still full speed ahead,” a source familiar with Netflix’s strategy tells Variety.

The streamer got a jolt of enthusiasm when Martin Scorsese scored a DGA nom, and garnered PGA and BAFTA nominations for “Irishman” and “Marriage Story.” In total, Netflix received 23 BAFTA nominations, including for its Anthony Hopkins-Jonathan Pryce two-hander “The Two Popes”— which also serve as great momentum–builders for the Oscars.

The second phase of Netflix’s ”The Irishman” campaign, which was planned before the Globes were handed out, leans heavily on the legacies of Scorsese and the film’s iconic stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

One new ad features a photo of De Niro in “Taxi Driver”; another photo shows Scorsese and the actor on the set of “The Irishman.” The tagline? “You Don’t Know How Fast Time Goes By Until You Get There.”

While the Globe losses definitely sting, most believe that the HFPA event has never had much impact on the Oscars. The win for Laura Dern in “Marriage Story” has been celebrated, but it’s not as if Netflix ever doubted her chances of being in the Oscar race. “We feel very confident about Laura and Adam Driver” getting noms,” the source says.

As for the film’s writer-director Noah Baumbach, the company is still hopeful for wins for director and screenplay.

Netflix wasn’t surprised when the HFPA ignored “The Two Popes.” However, a source says that the movie has been playing well with Academy members at various screenings.

“Netflix continues to have confidence in the caliber and craftsmanship of its films and is supporting them and filmmakers with great enthusiasm,” says another source close to the streamer.

Meanwhile, on the TV side, Netflix’s lackluster performance at the Globes was again a surprise. The streamer headed into the 2020 competition in the driver’s seat, with 17 nominations — more than any other programmer. HBO was in second place, with 15 nominations.

Helping to fuel Netflix’s tally were two dramas, “The Crown” and “Unbelievable,” with four nods each — the most, along with HBO’s “Chernobyl,” of any program. The Globes battle promised to be a repeat of the Emmy smackdown between the two TV titans.

But then came Sunday night. HBO won the evening, receiving four Globes — more than any programmer. In second place were Netflix’s two streaming rivals, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, with two apiece.

In the meantime, until Olivia Colman won for playing Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown” (because Colman wins almost everything she’s nominated for), Netflix looked like it might leave the TV Globes empty-handed.

For Netflix, that could be cause for concern — the company campaigned heavily with the HFPA, inviting the org’s members to chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ house for a holiday toast, among other events.

The Golden Globes are rarely a baro­meter for the Emmys, however. (For one thing, most of this year’s contenders were eligible for the 2019 Primetime Emmy competition, not the coming year’s event.)

“The Crown,” “Stranger Things” and “Ozark” are among front-runners for this year’s Emmy drama race, while HBO heads into the competition without its two powerhouses, “Game of Thrones” and “Veep.”

“Thrones” was last year’s Emmy drama winner, while Amazon’s “Fleabag” landed the comedy win and HBO’s “Chernobyl” won the limited series category. None of those programs is eligible in 2020, which means all three major series fields are wide open.

Still, the conventional wisdom heading into the Emmy race, which starts to kick off on Feb. 13 as the online entry process begins, is that Netflix now has a few wounds to lick, while HBO is showing surprising resilience despite the loss of its signature shows.

Netflix will now have to figure out how to run a massive best drama series campaign for “The Crown,” likely its best shot at victory, against HBO’s surging “Succession.”

“Succession” was already an Emmy front-runner for best drama series, and its Globes win solidified the position, adding even more momentum to its Season 3 premiere later this year.

Netflix, of course, isn’t the only streamer perhaps needing to rethink its awards strategy heading into Emmys. Apple TV Plus’ shut out at the Globes, after landing three nominations for “The Morning Show,” doesn’t bode well for its Emmy chances. The HFPA tends to embrace major stars like Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, both of whom were nominated but didn’t win.

Nonetheless, the big story this year will continue to be how the power of streaming continues to transform the TV awards race.

Even though Netflix won just one Globe for TV, it combined with Amazon and Hulu for five wins for streaming services, while HBO and Showtime scored five for pay cable. FX’s win was the sole victory of the evening for a basic cable network. Broadcast networks were once again shut out.

Here are the numbers to beat in July, when the Emmy nominations are announced: Netflix scored 117 nods last year, its most ever. But that was second to HBO, which landed 137 nominations, its most ever. Even though Netflix comes out of the Golden Globes a bit bruised, expect this year’s campaign for Emmy supremacy between HBO and Netflix to be the fiercest ever.