Which New TV Comedy Will Get the Last Laugh at the Golden Globes?

What do shows like “Girls,” “Transparent” and “The Kominski Method” have in common? They are some of the many new shows that have dominated at the Golden Globe Awards. In the past ten years, eight of the 10 Comedy Series winners have come from shows in their first seasons. This trend continues with acting categories, where 13 of the last 20 lead acting winners have been from new shows. Don’t expect this to change this year. With two new streaming networks entering the fray, the Golden Globes have even more new shows to choose from. Let’s look at the new shows hoping to hear their names called during the Golden Globe nominations telecast on Monday, December 9th.

NEW NETWORKS

Hailee Steinfeld (left) plays Emily Dickinson in “Dickinson,” the new Apple TV+ comedy.

Apple TV+ made its big launch on November 1st with four major narrative shows. “Dickinson,” the lone comedy of the bunch, dropped all 10 episodes at once and started quite the conversation. An anachronistic comedy about the life of poet Emily Dickinson, the show features twerking, bee hallucinations, death in the form of Wiz Kalifah, and that’s only in the first three episodes. While not all critics knew what to make of it, many have hailed it as the best of the Apple TV+ service. Will the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) count themselves among “Dickinson” ardent fans (aka “Dickheads”)? If so, expect Comedy Series and Comedy Actress nominations (Hailee Steinfeld shines as Emily Dickinson). Even a Supporting Actress nomination for Jane Krakowski, as Emily’s disapproving mother (also Emily) could be in order.

The Golden Globes have never shown much interest in children’s programming. However, Disney+ looks to change that with the original content on their streaming platform. Their main comedy offering is “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” an inventive, meta look at a high school trying to mount a production of the Disney property. Even though the Golden Globes never paid much attention to the source material, they love musicals more than most. If Disney+ mounts the right campaign, this delightful show could be a very dark horse in the race.

NEW ON NETFLIX

Natasha Lyonne headlines “Russian Doll,” the Netflix comedy that won three Emmy awards from 13 nominations in its first year.

No network can compete with the level of output Netflix has, for better or worse. Especially on the comedy front, Netflix boasts an incredible array of new programs. Their biggest winner of the Emmy season was “Russian Doll,” which won three awards from 13 nominations. The offbeat dramedy won rave reviews, but had its premiere nearly a year ago. If the HFPA still remembers the show, it should likely receive Comedy Series and Comedy Actress (Natasha Lyonne) nominations, much like at the Emmys.

The only other new Netflix comedy to get Emmy attention was “Dead to Me,” which saw Christina Applegate get into Lead Actress in a  Comedy. Both Applegate and the show have a chance of getting into the Series and Actress races. However, they’re up against even more competition than at the Emmys, thanks to many new entries.

One of Netflix’s biggest wild cards is “The Politician,” Ryan Murphy’s hour long look at a high school student government election in Santa Barbara. The show received mixed to negative reviews upon its release. However, it boasts the most famous cast among the potential comedy nominees. Will the notorious star-loving HFPA miss out on a chance to nominate a show that stars Ben Platt, Jessica Lange and Gwyneth Paltrow? Remember: “Glee” was the last show to win Comedy Series two years in a row.

Recently, Netflix also released “Living with Yourself,” which earned much praise for star Paul Rudd playing two versions of himself. The cloning comedy will be fresh on people’s minds. Additionally, the Comedy Actor field is much weaker than Comedy Actress, which could help Rudd sneak in.

Netflix’s roster also includes “After Life” and “Turn Up Charlie,” which both boast lead performances from Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais and Idris Elba, respectively.

OTHER STREAMING SHOWS

(from left to right) Maya Erksine and Anna Konkle portray their middle school selves in the Hulu comedy “Pen15.”

Hulu doesn’t have as many shows as Netflix. However, each of their comedies have a strong, yet small fanbase. “Ramy,” “Pen15” and “Shrill” all earned great reviews at the beginning of the year, but have struggled to find widespread award success. “Pen15” received a much deserved Comedy Writing nomination at the Emmys, but not Series or Acting for Maya Erksine or Anna Konkle. Their latest comedy, “Dollface,” also enters the fray hoping for awards love. New Hulu shows with small fanbases have done well at the Golden Globes before (see “Casual”). It’s just a matter of figuring out which one they will like best.

PREMIUM CABLE PROGRAMS

Kirsten Dunst takes down a pyramid scheme from within in Showtime’s “On Becoming a God in Central Florida.”

For once, Showtime seems to have the best shot among the premium cable networks. Their newest hourlong comedy, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” won audiences over thanks to a fantastic lead performance from Kirsten Dunst. Dunst feels like a strong possibility for a Comedy Actress nomination. The Globes love movie stars going to TV and Dunst delivers the goods to earn a nomination. If they’re watching the show, the HFPA might also put it on their Comedy Series ballot as well. Meanwhile, “Black Monday” was able to get Don Cheadle an Emmy nomination for lead actor. However, Cheadle has a stunning Emmy track record for nominations from “House of Lies” and won the Golden Globe for the show’s first season.

HBO may have dominated the ratings with “Game of Thrones,” “Westworld” and “Watchmen,” but they’ve had a quieter year of new comedies. Their best shot at getting a new comedy into the Golden Globe races would be “The Righteous Gemstones” from Danny McBride. The HFPA has never taken to McBride’s work in the past (see “Vice Principals” or “Eastbound and Down”), so it’s unlikely they will recognize this show. HBO received stronger reviews for “Los Espookys,” Fred Armisen’s Spanish language comedy. Yet, that show’s passionate, yet small, following might not make a dent with the HFPA members.

OLD CABLE & NETWORK WORLDS

Brooke (Heléne Yorke) and Cary (Drew Tarver) are aspiring twenty-somethings whose brother becomes famous overnight in “The Other Two.”

One of the major grassroots campaigns last year was for “The Other Two,” Comedy Central’s comedy about the star obsessed siblings of a teen pop star. The well-reviewed show unfortunately was snubbed across all categories. It would be wonderful to see the show nominated in any of the categories – Comedy Series, Actress (Helene York), Actor (Drew Tarver) or Supporting Actress (Molly Shannon). However, the show has been on hiatus long enough that this is likely just wishful thinking.

Though not new, “Mad About You” has been revived on Spectrum. Stars Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser have been awards magnet before. However, in the age of the revival, we’ve learned that not every reboot can continue its former awards domination.

Of the network premieres, the likeliest would be “Perfect Harmony,” which saw some positive notices for star Bradley Whitford. However, the Golden Globes were early in their adoption of streaming networks and also seems to have stopped paying attention to network shows.

RETURNING SHOWS

Alan Arkin and his co-star Michael Douglas in Netflix’s “The Krominsky Method”

Being a former winner never guarantees a second nomination. Two of the five first time winners did not receive a nomination for season two. Between the two eligible past winners, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” appears to have more awards mileage than “The Kominski Method.” Repeat nominees, such as “Black-ish,” “Barry,” “The Good Place,” “Silicon Valley,” “Veep,” “Will & Grace,” could return. However, 56% of the Comedy Series nominees over the past 10 years have been first-time nominees, while only 44% were returning shows.

There are other shows the Globes have previously ignored that could enter the category. Of the 56% of nominees that were new, 42% were from shows in their first season. The remaining 14% were from shows later in their runs. After its amazing Emmys run, “Fleabag” should definitely be considered a threat at the Golden Globes. They’ve sometimes given a show a win once they’ve caught up to it (see “The Americans”). It’s possible that the HFPA has caught up to “Schitt’s Creek,” but that’s not a guarantee.

PREDICTIONS

Italics denotes a new show.

  • Comedy Series
    • “Barry” (HBO)
    • “Dickinson” (Apple TV+)
    • “Fleabag” (Amazon Prime)
    • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime)
    • “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” (Showtime)
  • Comedy Actor
    • Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
    • Michael Douglas – “The Kominski Method” (Netflix)
    • Bill Hader – “Barry” (HBO)
    • Ben Platt – “The Politician” (Netflix)
    • Paul Rudd – “Living with Yourself” (Netflix)
  • Comedy Actress
    • Rachel Brosnahan – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime)
    • Kirsten Dunst – “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” (Showtime)
    • Natasha Lyonne – “Russian Doll” (Netflix)
    • Hailee Steinfeld – “Dickinson” (Apple TV+)
    • Phoebe Waller-Bridge – “Fleabag” (Amazon Prime)

What do you think will be nominated at the Golden Globes on Monday? Let us know in the comments below.