Netflix and FX muscle past HBO in Golden Globes TV wins with ‘Kominsky Method’ and ‘Gianni Versace’

Darren Criss in the Trophy Room at the 76th Golden Globes after his win for actor in a mini-series or TV movie for his performance in FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Verscace."
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A number of TV newcomers were honored along with old favorites by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. on Sunday night at the Golden Globes.

Netflix’s freshman show “The Kominsky Method” won two awards, including comedy series, tying with the FX limited series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” as the night’s most honored program, while the final season of FX’s “The Americans,” a critical darling that had been overlooked by the Globes, won for drama series. And comedy legend Carol Burnett became the first-ever recipient of the HFPA’s lifetime achievement award in TV, which is named in her honor.

Although the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. stuck to its habit of honoring the new, the British and the streaming, the organization spread the honors around, handing out awards to an array of shows including Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora,” Netflix’s “Bodyguard’ and “A Very English Scandal” on Amazon.


For HBO, a perennial favorite at the Globes, it was a less glowing evening than usual. Despite nine nominations for the network, only “Sharp Objects” actress Patricia Clarkson took home an award.

FULL GOLDEN GLOBES COVERAGE: Live updates | Winners list | Show highlights

The win for “The Kominksy Method,” which debuted on Netflix in November, came as something of a surprise, but it was also true to form for the Golden Globes, which are quick to recognize first-year streaming shows and under-the-radar comedies. Created by mega producer Chuck Lorre, the man behind such broad multicamera hits for CBS as “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Kominsky Method” follows an aging acting coach and his agent-best friend.

Michael Douglas, left, and Alan Arkin stars of Netflix's "The Kominsky Method," after the show won the Golden Globe for musical or comedy TV series.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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Its lead, Michael Douglas, also won for actor in a TV comedy or musical, beating Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) and Bill Hader (“Barry”), among others, and proving yet again that the HFPA loves nothing so much as a good old-fashioned movie star.


He dedicated the prize to his 102-year-old father, Kirk Douglas. “Alte kakers rule,” he said, using the Yiddish term for “old men.”

Scottish actor Richard Madden took home the prize for actor in a drama series for “Bodyguard,” the thriller in which he plays a war veteran with PTSD assigned to protect a hawkish politician, giving Netflix three TV wins for the night.

Matching Netflix’s wins was FX. In addition to the drama prize for “The Americans,” about a pair of undercover Soviet spies living in the U.S. in the waning days of the Cold War, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” a fact-based limited series from executive producer Ryan Murphy about the murder of the famed fashion designer and the homophobic culture of the ’90s, was honored as the year’s best limited series or movie.

“Those forces of hate and fear are still with us,” said executive producer Brad Simpson. “Our show is a period piece, but those forces are not historical. They’re here, they’re with us, and we must resist.”

Darren Criss also won for his chilling portrayal of Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan. “As we’ve seen, it’s been a marvelous year for representation in Hollywood and I am so enormously proud to be a part of that,” said the actor, whose mother is Filipino.

Inclusion was a major theme for the night in both film and television, starting in the opening comments from co-host Sandra Oh, who said she’d “said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight, because I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change.”

Golden Globes host Sandra Oh after winning for ctress in a Television Series - Drama, in the Trophy Room at the 76th Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 06, 2019 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Golden Globes host Sandra Oh after winning for ctress in a Television Series - Drama, in the Trophy Room at the 76th Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 06, 2019 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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Later, she became a part of that change, winning for actress in a drama series for “Killing Eve” — making her the first woman of Asian descent to prevail in the category since Yoko Shimada was honored for “Shogun” in 1981. In the witty cat-and-mouse tale from BBC America, she plays an MI5 officer on the hunt for a female assassin. Accepting the award, she thanked her parents in the audience, using the Korean terms for mother and father.

British actor Ben Whishaw won for supporting actor in a series/limited series/TV movie for his performance in “A Very British Scandal,” an Amazon limited series about Jeremy Thorpe, a closeted British MP who attempted to have his former lover killed. He dedicated his win to the man he portrayed, Norman Scott, “a true queer hero.”

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan was one of the night’s few repeat winners in TV, picking up the prize for actress in a comedy for the second year in a row for her work in the Amazon series.

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