Golden Globes TV: Weighing the Odds in the Drama, Comedy and Limited Series Categories

11:30 AM 1/5/2021

by Scott Feinberg

With streaming, cable and broadcast, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has plenty to sort through as the group races to choose its television nominees, to be unveiled Feb. 3.

The Crown, Schitt's Creek and Small Axe
Des Willie/Netflix; POPTV;

'The Crown,' 'Schitt's Creek,' 'Small Axe'

  • Drama Series

    The Boys

    Amazon Prime's comic book-inspired superhero show, with (from left) Karl Urban and Jack Quaid, has passionate HFPA fans. It also landed on President Obama's list of 2020's best TV shows and is up for best superhero series and four acting prizes at the Jan. 10 Critics Choice Super Awards.

    The Crown

    With the arrival of Gillian Anderson's Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin's Princess Diana (above) bringing this Netflix offering into relatively recent memory, season four has been a hit with voters. (Season one won and two and three were nominated for this prize, and both QE II actresses so far have been crowned, too.)

    The Mandalorian

    The hit-and-miss second season of this Emmy-nominated show on Disney+ ended on a high note with its title character, played by Pedro Pascal (above), encountering some shocking twists and major cameos — plus, its post-credits scene nearly broke the internet. The Force, one might say, appears to be with it.

  • Comedy Series

    Schitt's Creek

    The HFPA hasn't nominated this Pop TV comedy for a single award and, with the recent exception of Fleabag, it rarely makes the same pick as the previous Emmys, at which this show's final season won every major comedy prize, including trophies for Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara (both above).

  • Limited Series

    The Queen's Gambit

    This show about a chess prodigy who defies the odds in a very male-dominated contest dropped in October, clocking in at 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix's most watched scripted miniseries ever, it also earned a spot on Obama's list. The HFPA loves it and its breakout star, Anya Taylor-Joy (above).

    Fargo

    All three prior installments of this FX anthology series were nominated for this award, but at 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the new season was the least enthusiastically received (the previous low was 93 percent). So its prospects are probably limited to Chris Rock (above) for his dramatic turn as a gangland boss.

    Little Fires Everywhere

    The Hulu drama about class, race and the tensions between them that stars Kerry Washington (left) and Reese Witherspoon began rolling out way back at the beginning of the pandemic, got middling reviews, underperformed at the Emmys, and now seems to be regarded as a bit of old news.

    Small Axe

    The Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded its best film prize to Steve McQueen's five-part British anthology series — John Boyega (above) stars in an episode as a crusading, conflicted cop — but rather than courting film awards, Amazon Prime is adamant about submitting it for TV honors, including this one.

  • Drama Series Actress

    Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country)

    It feels like a major moment for the 34-year-old, who has been acting since she was a kid (she won a Critics Choice Award at 11 for Eve's Bayou) and is now, with co-star Jonathan Majors, at the center of this timely HBO drama about racial injustice.

  • Comedy Series Actor

    Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)

    This breakout show is priority No. 1 for Apple TV+, and the former Saturday Night Live castmember who plays its title character, a lovably clueless American football coach thrust into the world of English soccer, is the No. 1 reason to watch it.

  • Comedy Series Actress

    Jane Levy (Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist)

    She's been making the publicity rounds — and her castmates are lavishing her with praise — as season two of the NBC musical-dramedy makes a timely return Jan. 5. Levy also does her own singing, something HFPA voters tend to find commendable.

    Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant) 

    The former Big Bang Theory star is the driving force behind this critically acclaimed (98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) HBO Max release. It finished its rollout in mid-December, so it's fresh in voters' minds, and it received a vote of confidence with a season-two order.

    This story first appeared in a January standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.