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10 Emmy Underperformers That Could Strike Back at the Golden Globes

ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST -- "I've Got The Music In Me" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Skylar Astin as Max, Lauren Graham as Joan, Jane Levy as Zoey, John Clarence Stewart as Simon -- (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

The Emmy Awards may be over, but fortunately we don’t have to wait a full year until we get to celebrate TV again. The Golden Globes have been delayed to the end of February this coming year, and their eligibility rules for their film nominees have already been modified to accommodate for movie theaters being closed for a good portion of 2020.

The TV pool will include shows that aired this year, which means a mix of Emmy contenders and new fare that premiered this summer or later. The Globes have been known for some wild choices in the past, like nominating Prison Break for Best TV Series – Drama. While they did award Succession their top drama prize this past year, big Emmy winners Schitt’s Creek and Watchmen weren’t nominated in any category.

We still don’t know exactly which shows will end up debuting or returning by the end of the year to be eligible. For now, let’s take a look at ten shows that were eligible but earned little to no Emmy recognition this past season, and could get their shot at trophies from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.


The Great (Hulu)

This very dark comedy about Catherine the Great and her tyrannical husband Peter was my absolute favorite show this year. It earned directing and writing nominations from the Emmys for its pilot but nothing else. Its creator Tony McNamara was a Globe nominee for writing The Favourite two years ago. This freshman comedy, which has been renewed for a second season, could earn the show and stars Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult bids. Hopefully Hoult will be put into the rightful category, recognizing him as the lead actor he is.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)

This inventive series about a young woman who can hear other people’s thoughts expressed in song earned exactly one Emmy nomination, which it won, for choreography. Globe voters have in the past embraced musical shows like Smash and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and this show is similar enough to appeal to the same audience. Star Jane Levy might be nominated too, though supporting players Peter Gallagher and Lauren Graham, who were longshot Emmy possibilities, will probably have a harder time cracking their respective fields.

The Plot Against America (HBO)

Timing can be everything, and this adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel about an alternate history where America didn’t enter World War II feels particularly haunting and relevant with the continued rise of white supremacy across the country. It managed just one Emmy nomination, for cinematography. John Turturro was expected to be recognized for his portrayal of a rabbi who aligns with the pro-Nazi administration, and he could easily compete in the catch-all Globes supporting category that does tend to include multiple limited series contenders. Three-time Globe nominee Winona Ryder is also a possibility.

Never Have I Ever (Netflix)

This very popular comedy series feels like just the kind of fare that Globe voters enjoy, embracing a diverse cast and underdog teenage protagonists blazing a trail for themselves. Star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is an actress whose breakout performance could easily be recognized, and the show might even earn a series nomination. Season two is already on the way, and it’s a show that seems to have been a big hit that could translate to awards honors.

Defending Jacob (Apple TV Plus)

I read multiple articles about how three Marvel heroes – the Hulk, Wolverine, and Captain America – might face off at the Emmys. Only the first two did (and Mark Ruffalo won), but Chris Evans could get his shot at his inaugural Globe nomination for this limited series about a fourteen-year-old boy charged with the murder of a classmate. Costar Michelle Dockery has one previous Globe bid for Downton Abbey, and three-time Emmy winner Cherry Jones could also contend for her supporting role. A nod for Jaeden Martell or the series is less likely. The show lost both of its Emmy nominations (cinematography and music).

Awkwafina is Nora from Queens (Comedy Central)

This show premiered back in January to mostly good reviews, earning a second season pickup before it debuted. It’s worth watching out for since its star, who has an advantage because her name is in the title of the show, won a Globe last year for her performance in The Farewell. She didn’t go on to earn an Oscar nomination, so maybe a repeat bid from the same group for a wholly different role will be Globe voters’ way of affirming their affection for her.

Normal People (Hulu)

This lovely Irish series did earn four Emmy nominations – for directing, writing, acting, and casting. Even though I hoped that Paul Mescal would pull off an upset, he didn’t, and this very endearing limited series ended up with no Emmy wins at all. It seems likely that it just missed the Best Limited Series field at the Emmys, and though the actress race will also be crowded, star Daisy Edgar-Jones might have a shot at being included as one of this show’s hopeful three nominations.

Run (HBO)

This show started off with grand expectations and then quickly petered out, losing most viewers when its main characters got off the train and getting cancelled after its seven-episode first season. Star Merritt Wever earned her first Globe nomination last year for Unbelievable, and Domhnall Gleeson has to eventually get some major awards attention. It may now be classified as a limited series, and while a top category mention seems totally unlikely, Wever and Gleeson may slide in based on the strength of their performances.

Hunters (Amazon Prime)

This violent show about a ragtag group going after Nazis in the 1970s didn’t get any Emmy love at all. It also took a long time for it to earn a season two renewal. But this was a still a quality piece of entertainment that could definitely appeal to Globe voters. Star Al Pacino has eighteen previous nominations, four wins, and a Cecil B. DeMille Award, so don’t count him or this show out, even if its particular style didn’t appeal to Emmy voters.  

Space Force (Netflix)

This send-up of the current political administration’s obsession with getting “boots on the moon” premiered right at the very end of the Emmy eligibility period. It earned four Emmy nominations, all in technical categories, and didn’t win any of them. Not everyone was impressed with its quality, and it’s just bizarre that only unconfirmed news of its “reported renewal” have been circulated for the past few months. But it does star Steve Carell, who has nine previous nominations, and the show might be exactly the parody of reality that people need at the end of this long year.



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2 years ago

The Great absolutely feels like another one of their surprise Season 1 winners, and I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t at least get nominated there. The Plot Against America also for sure sounds like something they’d do, and the real fascinating one for me is going to be whether Awkwafina can pull Nora from Queens along on her coattails. I need to know exactly ‘how’ powerful Awkwafina really is.



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