How HBO Max and Peacock May Shake Up the Golden Globes Races

Michael Schneider
·3 min read

Given its timing as the first awards show of the calendar year, the Golden Globes prides itself on recognizing new series and talent first. That’s been especially true in the streaming age, as Netflix’s “The Crown,” Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Hulu’s “Ramy” all landed significant Globes before moving on to their first Emmy seasons.

Because the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. loves newcomers, that’s also made the film awards season a ripe time for new streamers to get their feet wet in the awards space. Last year, it was Apple TV Plus that administered a full-fledged awards effort, just two months after the service’s launch.

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And the results were strong: Out of the gate, “The Morning Show” scored three Globe nominations, the first time a streamer had received any nod in its launch year. That was followed by a big win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for star Jennifer Aniston, who won the drama actress statue.

It was the first major Hollywood kudos for Apple TV Plus, which was followed by an Emmy for “The Morning Show’s” Billy Crudup later in the year. That made Apple the first streaming service to win a major acting Emmy in its first year.

In 2020, Disney Plus also came out of the gate as an instant awards contender, scoring a whopping eight Emmys (including seven for “The Mandalorian”). And Quibi also had a good first (and let’s face it, only) year at the Emmys as a rookie streamer, winning two.

It used to take network newcomers years to land their first major TV awards nomination, let alone a win. HBO waited decades. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu even waited a few years. But these are not only ultra- competitive times, they’re also impatient ones. Streamers rely on critical acclaim and awards honors to fuel buzz and market themselves as must-have subscriptions. And that’s why they’re anxious to build momentum on the road to the Emmys — with Golden Globes and guild awards (most notably, SAG).

This year add yet more contenders to the mix: HBO Max, which launched on May 27, and Peacock, which bowed on July 15. HBO Max technically was eligible for the Emmys in 2020 and mounted a minor campaign for the Anna Kendrick series “Love Life” and the competition show “Legendary.” But now the service has many more months of new series under its belt, and could be a contender with its buzziest show so far, the dark comedy “The Flight Attendant.”

Kaley Cuoco executive produces and stars in the murder mystery, which is considered a contender in various comedy races, with Cuoco potentially up for comedy actress.

Campaign efforts for HBO, HBO Max and the Turner networks (TBS, TNT, TruTV) were recently consolidated under one awards team, which now has its hands full with so many different contenders. HBO Max also has the Ridley Scott drama “Raised by Wolves,” and “Love Life” is also now eligible for the Globes and guilds. The films “Superintelligence” and “Unpregnant” are both being entered as TV movies.

Peacock, meanwhile, hasn’t yet put together an in-house awards team and so is keeping its inaugural year laser-focused on a handful of titles, including “The Amber Ruffin Show,” “Saved by the Bell,” “AP Bio” and “The Capture.”

This is all a prelude to the Emmy race, of course, when yet more newcomers — including streamer Discovery Plus and a beefed-up Paramount Plus (from the bones of CBS All Access) enter the mix. These players are also hungry — and 2021 promises to be an all-out awards battle among streamers old and new.

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