Golden Globes TV Voters’ Guide: No Extension for TV, ‘Small Axe’ as Limited Series

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Don’t adjust your calendar’s sync function: This year’s Golden Globes really will have different eligibility windows for film and TV.

As COVID-19 wreaked havoc during 2020, causing months-long production shutdowns and pushed many high-profile premiere dates (see HBO’s “The Undoing” and FX’s “Fargo”), the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. (HFPA) reacted by moving its annual awards ceremony from the usual January date to Feb. 28. In doing so, it also shifted some key dates. Nominations, for example, will now be announced Feb. 3.

But that is not all that is new and notable in the world of the 78th Annual Golden Globes. Here, Variety breaks down the important issues to note, and several small-screen categories and performers to watch.

No Extension Needed

The HFPA granted films a longer eligibility window this year (into February) and allowed streaming movies to be considered since so many theaters were closed through 2020. The same was not the case for television, which continued to air content, including quick turnarounds on remotely produced reactive pieces, amid the pandemic. The eligibility window, therefore, remains the same for small-screen submissions as it has been in years past: Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. Submissions opened in July and the deadline for entry-forms was Nov. 30. With nomination ballots due Jan. 12, the members of the HFPA have a little more time with the entry forms and materials to determine their votes, but the series that launch this month and beyond will still have to wait until next year for their chance at Golden Globes gold.

New Kids on the Block

The HFPA has so often loved to laud a person or program before the Television Academy can. Just last year, the HFPA was the first to celebrate Ramy Youssef in the lead comedy actor category for his semi-autobiographical Hulu series “Ramy”: he won the Globe and was later nominated at the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmys. This year, there is ample potential to celebrate someone they’ve loved before for the first time in their new role. “The Undoing’s” Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman come to mind, as do Bryan Cranston from Showtime’s “Your Honor” and Jeff Daniels from that same cabler’s “The Comey Rule.” Among first-timers at the Globes, there are “Lovecraft Country’s” Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett; “I May Destroy You’s” Michaela Coel; “A Teacher’s” Kate Mara and “Small Axe: Red, White and Blue’s” John Boyega. (The Amazon-Steve McQueen anthology is entering into the limited-series category.) Netflix’s “The Crown” also offers an interesting combination of newcomers, as it is the first time perennial HFPA favorite Gillian Anderson can be celebrated for her role of Margaret Thatcher on the royal family period piece, while Emma Corrin is new to the show and the awards race in general.

Continued ‘Schitt’s’ Success?

Since shutting off the lights of the fictional Rosebud Motel in “Schitt’s Creek” in April, the Pop TV sitcom went on to sweep the comedy categories at the Emmys. It picked up nine statues in September, including for comedy series, lead actor and actress (Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara), and supporting actor and actress (Dan Levy and Annie Murphy). The Golden Globes are one of the show’s final chances to scoop up any other awards for its sixth and final season and, although the HFPA has yet to salute it, it seems like voters would be remiss not to now.

Repeat Potential

As much as the HFPA loves what is shiny and new, there are a few returning players who should not be overlooked, either. While they may be seasoned, they have certainly not lost any of their shine. In the drama series category, this includes last year’s nominees “The Crown” and BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” while in the comedy series category Netflix’s “The Politician” is a possible returning nominee after launching its second season over the summer.

All Hail the Queens

A trio of women actors stand a strong shot at seeing nominations on both the television and film side of the ballot this year: Olivia Colman, Nicole Kidman and Anya Taylor-Joy. Colman has won three Golden Globes in the past four years (one for each nomination), including snatching the drama actress trophy in 2020 for her turn as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown.” Now she eligible for that show again, as well as for her role in “The Father” opposite Anthony Hopkins. Four-time past Globes winner Kidman could see attention for toplining “The Undoing” as well as appearing in Netflix’s “The Prom.” Taylor-Joy, on the other hand, would be a first-timer on the Golden Globes ballot for Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit” and/or the feature film “Emma,” although she has a BAFTA Rising Star nomination under her belt.