Golden Globes: Netflix leads the TV pack

Uzo Aduba and Danielle Brooks in Season 3 of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black."

Uzo Aduba and Danielle Brooks in Season 3 of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.”


The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. apparently likes to Netflix and chill.

The nominations for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, announced Thursday, showed a growing preference for programming from streaming networks, a trend that has pushed traditional broadcast networks out into the cold.

Netflix racked up the most nominations of any network — eight in total (plus one for its first original film, “Beasts of No Nation”), outdistancing awards titan HBO’s seven nods. Netflix’s online competitors also fared well: Hulu landed its first nomination, while Amazon’s tally grew to five, tying it with FX and putting it ahead of any of the broadcast networks.


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Most embarrassed among those networks is NBC, which will broadcast the Jan. 10 ceremony and failed to secure even a single nomination. CBS, the country’s most-watched network, landed just one.

ABC made a more respectable showing, with four nominations, thanks mostly to “American Crime.” The ambitious and provocative anthology series about race and criminal justice from Oscar-winning writer John Ridley earned three nominations, good enough to put it in a six-way tie for most-nominated show. It led the pack, along with Amazon’s groundbreaking transgender comedy “Transparent,” USA’s paranoid thriller “Mr. Robot,” PBS’ historical drama “Wolf Hall,” Starz’s time-travel adventure “Outlander” and FX’s Coen Bros.-inspired series “Fargo.”

In contrast, HBO’s widely acclaimed “Game of Thrones” eked out just one nomination, for drama series.

That category also included three newcomers: “Mr. Robot” and “Outlander” as well as Fox’s smash hit soap opera “Empire.” The nod for “Empire” provides some overdue consolation for the ratings phenomenon, which was snubbed in the series competition at the Emmys earlier this year and again by the Screen Actors Guild on Wednesday.

Both “Outlander,” with its European setting and cast, and “Mr. Robot,” an edgy first-year drama exploring the timely subjects of hacking and surveillance, are typical of the up-and-coming, dark horse picks often made by the HFPA, which last year awarded Showtime’s “The Affair” best drama series (though that series failed to score a nomination this time around).

But even by the idiosyncratic, eager-to-prove-its-cool-quotient standards of the HFPA, the drama series nomination for “Narcos,” Netflix’s bloody drama series about the rise of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel, qualifies as an outlier. The series received somewhat mixed reviews when it debuted in August, with some critics put off by its obvious borrowing from “Goodfellas” (The Times’ Mary McNamara called it a “grand if inconsistent experiment”).

Left out of contention in the category were such annual awards favorites as “Mad Men,” which had its series finale on AMC in May, and the PBS period piece “Downton Abbey,” whose accents and costumes alone are usually enough to secure a nod. Perhaps more puzzling than the nomination for “Narcos” was the omission of another Netflix show, “House of Cards,” in the drama series field. In addition, Kevin Spacey, who won the Golden Globe last year, was edged out of the drama actor field, while “Narcos” lead Wagner Moura made it into the running in one of TV’s most competitive categories.

“These platforms are changing the way people watch television,” said Jeffrey Tambor, who earned his second consecutive nomination for his performance as Maura Pfefferman in “Transparent.”

The series, which returns for a second season Friday, was nominated along with three other series from streaming outlets and two from HBO, leaving network series such as “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory” out of the running.

In addition to last year’s winner, “Transparent,” and perennial nominee “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), the HFPA also honored Hulu’s “Casual,” a comedy about a recently divorced therapist who moves in with her bachelor brother, and Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” set in New York’s classical music world. Both are well-regarded but have generated a fraction of the buzz of “Orange” or “Transparent,” or the field’s other contenders, “Veep” and “Silicon Valley,” both from HBO.

Proving just how thoroughly unpredictable it can be, the HFPA also ignored another streaming series, Netflix’s “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” despite widespread critical acclaim, an Emmy nomination and the involvement of three-time Golden Globe host Tina Fey.

The “Casual” nod marks a milestone for Hulu, a streaming platform that mixes scripted originals with current network shows and vintage films and TV titles.

“It’s really refreshing that they can look at a network like Hulu that has content streaming online and see that it can be just as good as FX or HBO or anyone else,” “Casual” creator Zander Lehmann told The Times.

This streaming favoritism was visible throughout the acting categories as well, where Aziz Ansari (“Master of None,” Netflix), Gael Garcia Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”), Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”, Netflix), Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light ( both of “Transparent”), Ben Mendolsohn (“Bloodline,” Netflix) and Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) all secured nominations.

The ensemble of “Game of Thrones,” meanwhile, was entirely shut out, while heavyweights “The Good Wife,” “Mad Men” and “Downton Abbey” each managed just a single acting nomination (for Alan Cumming, Jon Hamm and Joanne Froggatt, respectively).

Starz showed its growing clout with seven nominations. The network has fared well in recent years with “The White Queen” and “Dancing on the Edge,” both miniseries co-produced with the BBC, but the three nominations for “Outlander,” Ron Moore’s ambitious adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling romance novels, signal a clear breakthrough. Lead actress Catriona Balfe, who plays spirited protagonist Claire, landed a first-time nomination, as did Tobias Menzies, who plays the show’s villain, Black Jack Randall (as well as Claire’s husband, Frank).

“They’re willing to trust you and go to places that other networks won’t,” the “Outlander” showrunner told The Times.

More surprising were the two nominations for “Flesh & Bone,” which scored a surprise nomination for limited series or television movie and for lead actress Sarah Hay. Although the gritty ballet drama was largely panned by critics — McNamara called it “absurd” — it edged out the better-reviewed “Show Me a Hero” and “Bessie,” both from HBO.

In another trend, the CW emerged Thursday as the Little Network That Could with two nominations for its quirky heroines. Gina Rodriguez, a winner last year for “Jane the Virgin,” was nominated once again for actress in a comedy or musical and was joined by Rachel Bloom, star of the little-watched first-year musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

But it wasn’t only about up-and-comers Thursday: The HFPA also nominated pop superstar Lady Gaga for her performance in FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel.”

Times staff writer Yvonne Villarreal contributed to this report

Follow @MeredithBlake on Twitter.


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