Will ‘Succession’ be the next series to sweep the drama Golden Globe categories?

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While it remains to be seen how “Succession” performs at the 2023 Emmy Awards (the ceremony was pushed to Jan. 15 in light of the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes), we’re now turning our eyes to the series’ odds at the next creative contest: the good ol’ Golden Globes. And to nobody’s surprise, the critically acclaimed series about a wealthy, highly dysfunctional family who owns and operates a media conglomerate is shaping up to clean house. In fact, “Succession” is looking good to become the latest series to sweep the drama categories at the Golden Globes, just three years after “The Crown” succeeded in doing so. 

Created by Jesse Armstrong, the HBO show is looking to snag its third nomination for Best Drama Series after taking home the award in 2020 and 2022 for its second and third seasons. It is expected to at least make the shortlist for its fourth and final outing, which wrapped in May, as it’s currently in first place in Gold Derby’s combined odds, with three Experts and seven editors predicting it to triumph over fellow HBO drama “The Last of Us” (39/10 odds), Netflix’s “The Crown” (9/2 odds) and “The Diplomat” (9/1 odds) and Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” (8/1 odds). If the show prevails for a third time, it will join “The X-Files” (1995, 1997-98) and “Mad Men” (2008-10) as the all-time leaders in the category.

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Elsewhere, the race for lead drama actor is also looking like it might swing for the Roys, with Kieran Culkin who previously competed in supporting — leading the field with 17/5 odds. The series’ final episodes provided Culkin, who is the only actor from the show to earn a nomination for each season thus far, with plenty of worthy material as youngest son Roman Roy. Between his memorable midseason mountain-top confrontation with Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard) and his performance as a man overwhelmed by grief near the end of the series, this could easily be the year Culkin finally walks away a winner. But he’ll likely have to beat his co-stars. 

Jeremy Strong (39/10 odds) and Brian Cox (11/1 odds) are currently in second and fifth place, respectively, to earn a bid, and both are prior winners in the category (Strong in 2022 and Cox in 2020). But while the former’s layered performance as the power-hungry Kendall, especially with regards to that haunting final scene, makes a solid case for a matching bookend, Cox’s chances are a bit lower after his character, demanding family patriarch Logan Roy, died in the third episode of the season, limiting him to just five episodes. Still, it’d be foolish to underestimate him, just as it would be a mistake to completely write off the other two men in the top five: Pedro Pascal (“The Last of Us,” third place with 4/1 odds) and Dominic West (“The Crown,” fourth with 21/2 odds). The former could make a surprise push as the internet’s boyfriend, while the latter stars on a show that has historically performed well at the Globes. However, it still looks as if this one will go to someone from “Succession.”

SEE ‘Succession’ can attain an uncommon Golden Globe hat trick with a win for Kieran Culkin

But while the race for lead actor will likely feature competition from within the family, Sarah Snook is on her own as she attempts to earn her first bid for Best TV Drama Actress (in 2022, she won in the overcrowded, catch-all supporting category for her turn as Shiv, Logan’s only daughter, in the show’s third season). With 16/5 odds, the Australian actress is in first place, but it won’t be a cakewalk. Currently, “The Last of Us’” Bella Ramsey, a young star who also stole the show as Lady Mormont on “Game of Thrones,” is following close behind Snook with 4/1 odds, while “The Diplomat’s” Keri Russell — a winner for “Felicity” and two-time nominee for “The Americans” — sits in third place with 11/2 odds. Elsewhere, Imelda Staunton (11/2 odds), who portrays Queen Elizabeth II on “The Crown,” is hoping to follow in the Globe-winning footsteps of the actors who came before her on the Netflix series, while Jennifer Aniston (17/2 odds), a two-time nominee for “The Morning Show,” is chasing her third consecutive bid.

If “Succession” sweeps the drama series, lead actor and lead actress categories, it’ll join “The Crown,” Showtime’s “Homeland” and HBO’s “The Sopranos” as the only shows to have completed the feat this century. In 2021, “The Crown” won its first series prize for its fourth season and stars Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor were honored, as well as co-star Gillian Anderson, who triumphed in the catch-all supporting actress race. Meanwhile, “Homeland’s” excellent second season won Best Drama Series in 2013 while leading lady Claire Danes took home the award for Best TV Drama Actress and Damian Lewis walked away with the Globe for Best TV Drama Actor. Unfortunately, Mandy Patinkin lost to Ed Harris of “Game Change” in the supporting actor field. “The Sopranos” nabbed Best Drama Series for its debut season in 2000 and his-and-her statuettes for leads James Gandolfini and Edie Falco. Nancy Marchand also earned the supporting actress prize.

“Succession” is looking to avoid “Homeland’s” fate in the supporting actor race. Last year, the supporting categories, which used to combine comedy, drama and limited/TV movie performances, were split into comedy/drama and limited/TV movie. Matthew Macfadyen, who has already earned an Emmy and a BAFTA for his performance as Tom Wambsgans, is looking to snag his first Golden Globe bid and win Best TV Comedy/Drama Supporting Actor. With 10/3 odds, he currently leads a top five that includes James Marsden (“Jury Duty,” 4/1 odds), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (“The Bear,” 9/2 odds), Harrison Ford (“Shrinking,” 8/1 odds) and Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show,” 21/2 odds). Although the Golden Globes has made strides by untangling the all-inclusive supporting categories, keeping comedy and drama together is questionable, as it is difficult to compare Macfadyen’s incredible performance — which is underscored by a knock-down, drag-out fight with Shiv — to something like Marsden’s hilarious turn as a fictional version of himself on Amazon Freevee’s “Jury Duty.” Until that happens, this category will be a bit harder to predict than the others. 

In all, “Succession” could potentially walk away with four Golden Globes in January (five if J. Smith-Cameron somehow makes a surprise appearance in supporting actress), which would top the three it won in 2022. And while the Globes haven’t always aligned with the Emmys, it’ll be interesting to see how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which welcomed more than 200 new members earlier this year, votes on the show’s final season without the Emmys as a guidepost. The fourth season was the show’s most acclaimed to date, and the series has triumphed at the Globes before, so it stands to reason that trend could continue. It’s probably just a matter of which awards it will take home at this point.

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