At the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards, Netflix was primed to play the role of Silicon Valley disruptor, having more than doubled its number of nominations from the previous year at 31. But the Emmys remained undisrupted. Though Netflix picked up seven awards Aug. 16 at the Creative Arts ceremony, the streaming service was shut out two weeks later in the major series, actor and actress categories. But it will get a shot at redemption Jan. 11 at the Golden Globe Awards, where original series Derek, House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black combined for seven nominations.
Tom O’Neil, editor and CEO of Gold Derby, which handicaps awards races, is predicting “a sweep by Netflix for both drama series and comedy series.” He points to AMC’s Breaking Bad, which won awards for best drama series and for actor Bryan Cranston at the Globes last January for its final season—beating out the first season of Netflix’s House of Cards and its star, Kevin Spacey. “It was clear that House of Cards had to wait a year. So now they’ve got the Globes’ I.O.U.” O’Neil predicts a win this time around for House of Cards as best drama series against HBO’s Game of Thrones, Showtime’s The Affair, PBS’ Downton Abbey and CBS’ The Good Wife. He also likes Spacey for best actor in a drama series, but says it will be a tight race with Clive Owen of Cinemax’s The Knick. “The one thing they really love at the Globes is prestige film stars, specifically when they’re sexy and ‘slumming it’ in TV,” O’Neil says. Rounding out that category are The Affair’s Dominic West, James Spader of NBC’s The Blacklist and Liev Schreiber of Showtime’s Ray Donovan.
O’Neil is less bullish on Spacey’s costar Robin Wright, who won last year for best actress in a drama series. Like Wright a year ago, Viola Davis of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder is an established film performer now earning praise for her work in a new series. Davis and Wright will face competition from The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies, The Affair’s Ruth Wilson and Claire Danes of Showtime’s Homeland.
In the comedy series category, Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, which led all comedies with 12 nominations at the Emmys but lost the series trophy to ABC’s Modern Family, is joined by HBO’s Girls and rookie Silicon Valley, as well as two other freshman series— Amazon’s Transparent and The CW’s Jane the Virgin, each of which is the first show to garner Globe nominations for its respective network.
“I think the comedy category is pretty wide open,” says The Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan. “Maybe Jane the Virgin is the sleeper in that category, but I’ve got to think that Girls, Orange Is the New Black and Transparent all have reasonable shots.”
Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling, Girls’ Lena Dunham and Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez are nominated for best comedy actress alongside Veep’s Julia Louis- Dreyfus and Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco.
Jane the Virgin, in its first season and drawing lower ratings than most of The CW’s other series, “could use some visibility,” says Eric Deggans, film critic for National Public Radio. “So it’s good to see the show nominated, and it’s good to see the star nominated. Gina Rodriguez is amazing.”
For TV comedy actor, O’Neil likes Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a transgender woman on Transparent and is nominated alongside Derek’s Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K. of FX’s Louie, Don Cheadle of Showtime’s House of Lies and William H. Macy of Showtime’s Shameless.
“I think it’s a can’t-lose for Jeffrey Tambor,” O’Neil says. “It’s such a courageous role, both onscreen and in terms of its social message that it’s irresistible.”
For best miniseries or movie, HBO’s True Detective, The Normal Heart and Olive Kitteridge are joined by fellow nominees Fargo from FX and The Missing from Starz.
“That’s going to be really competitive,” Deggans says. “Fargo and True Detective were my No. 1 and 2 shows of the season.”
In the best actor category for miniseries or movie, True Detective’s Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and Fargo’s Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton are joined by The Normal Heart’s Mark Ruffalo. For best actress in a miniseries or movie, the nominees are Olive Kitteridge’s Frances McDormand, The Missing’s Frances O’Connor, Fargo’s Allison Tolman, Jessica Lange of FX’s American Horror Story and Maggie Gyllenhaal of SundanceTV’s The Honorable Woman.