THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg predicts which shows will take home the gold, while chief TV critic Tim Goodman breaks down which ones actually deserve it.
WILL WIN: Narcos (Netflix)
The HFPA never has gone for Game of Thrones. The group likes being first to honor a new show, and Empire already has been "cool" for a while. That leaves Mr. Robot, Narcos or Outlander. I give a slight edge to the drug war drama.
SHOULD WIN: Mr. Robot (USA)
Few series were as inventively fun, unexpected and addictive as Sam Esmail's summer hit, the kind of show you want to watch more than once to fully appreciate Rami Malek's tour-de-force star turn or the dazzling visual compositions.
WILL WIN: Transparent (Amazon)
Orange Is the New Black, Silicon Valley and Veep lost on past attempts, and the HFPA rarely marries an ex-bridesmaid. In light of the fact that it has more noms and better buzz than newbies Casual or Mozart in the Jungle, I predict a repeat win for Transparent.
SHOULD WIN: Veep (HBO)
There are several good options here (six, vs. five for drama), but Veep is the best straight-up comedy on television. HBO's searing, whip-smart political satire starring the peerless Julia Louis-Dreyfus has never been better.
WILL WIN: Fargo (FX)
Every one of this category's options has multiple noms, but American Crime, Fargo and Wolf Hall come in with field-leading totals of three each. The fact that the first season of Fargo resonated with this group enough to upset the first season of True Detective last year suggests to me that Fargo's second season, which was even better, is likely to win as well.
SHOULD WIN: Fargo (FX)
Just so we make this clear — this shouldn't be close. At all. It was the best thing on television in 2015, period.
WILL WIN: Taraji P. Henson, Empire
How to Get Away with Murder's Viola Davis is coming off an Emmy win and House of Cards' Robin Wright won this Globe two years ago, so you can't write either of them off. But rookies tend to prevail in this category, and I do think it will come down to Outlander's Caitriona Balfe and Empire's Taraji P. Henson. The edge goes to the Cookie Monster, who has yet to receive comparable recognition.
SHOULD WIN: Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
It’s insane what they ask her to do on this series. Projecting vulnerability, physicality and nerve, Green nails it.
WILL WIN: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Jon Hamm just won an Emmy for the final season of Mad Men, but there's less urgency for him to win a Globe because he already has one — and his show has now been off the air for months. The smart money is on Malek for a show HFPA members truly love. But don't entirely rule out Bob Odenkirk, even if he is the sole nominee for Better Call Saul.
SHOULD WIN: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
While there was truly no one else who could have pulled off what Rami Malek did on Mr. Robot, Hamm’s swan song was a virtuoso performance that eclipsed even his best work from previous seasons.
WILL WIN: Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
It's rare for this category to produce a win for someone who hasn't won for the first few seasons of her show (i.e. Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus) or who already won (i.e. last year's winner, Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez). I'm told there's a lot of support for Rodriguez and for Grace and Frankie's Lily Tomlin (also nominated this year for the film Grandma), but that it looks like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator/star Rachel Bloom is the one to beat.
SHOULD WIN: Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
There needs to be more love for what Rodriguez is doing, which is a high-wire act of dramatic and comedic performance, deftly balanced.
WILL WIN: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
There are a lot of interesting possibilities here, and I could see Aziz Ansari or Gael Garcia Bernal pulling off a win. But no nominee faced a greater acting challenge than Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor, whose show received more noms than any other musical or comedy, so I'm betting on him to repeat.
SHOULD WIN: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
You can’t overhype Tambor’s work as a transgender woman dealing with her own identity and family chaos in L.A. — it’s above and beyond. I would assume everyone in this category completely agrees.
WILL WIN: Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
It's going to be very hard for the HFPA to resist the option of honoring Lady Gaga, but my hunch is they'll ultimately decide to celebrate the exciting rebirth of Kirsten Dunst, who is out of this world in Fargo. Emmy nominees Queen Latifah (Bessie) and Felicity Huffman (American Crime) probably aren't far behind.
SHOULD WIN: Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Playing a complex character who is tough to love or support at times, Huffman is never less than magnetic.
WILL WIN: Idris Elba, Luther
This category could go to any of the nominees, but my hunch is it'll break for either Luther's Idris Elba (he's won for the show before) or Mark Rylance, since both are also nominated for film awards they're likely to lose. Elba is someone the HFPA knows and likes, so let's say him. Don't entirely count out Nightingale's David Oyelowo, though, for his Emmy-nominated, one-man acting tour de force.
SHOULD WIN: Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero
This is a very, very competitive category, but Isaac was so brilliant and tragic and magnetic that he’s really the only way to go.
WILL WIN: Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Talk about a crapshoot! Two of these nominees won at the most recent Emmys — Orange Is the New Black's Uzo Aduba in the series category, American Crime's Regina King in the movies/minis category — and will pose serious threats here. But my hunch is that this will come down to Transparent's deliciously funny Judith Light and last year's Globe winner, Joanne Froggatt, with the Brit getting a big sendoff for her much-loved, just-ended series.
SHOULD WIN: Maura Tierney, The Affair
While I had issues with the show's plotting and structure, the acting on this series is excellent — and no one is better than Tierney, an actress who continues to prove that if you give her some meat, she’ll feast.
WILL WIN: Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Nobody on TV was better in 2015 than Bloodline's Ben Mendelsohn, and even though he represents his Netflix show's sole nomination, whereas Damian Lewis, Tobias Menzies and Christian Slater all come from shows that received broader support, I think the HFPA will jump at this opportunity to be the first major awards group to fully wrap its arms around him.
SHOULD WIN: Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Pretty much everybody who watches Bloodline comes away thinking Mendelsohn is brilliant. That’s a big, impressive statement.