Golden Globe nominations will be announced Monday, Dec. 11, and if you haven't finalized your predictions yet, don't go copying and pasting last year's nominees or even the Emmys' slate.
Unlike its award show brethren, there is nothing that delights the Golden Globes more than a hot new series. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association members — there are about 80 to 90 members — pride themselves on being first out of the gate to crown (pun fully intended) a first-year show or actor. It doesn't necessarily mean everyone else will follow suit (Mozart in the Jungle, anyone?), but that doesn't matter; they just want to do it before anyone else can. They are the person who comments "first" on your Instagram post.
Last year, the top acting and series Globe honors went to The Crown and star Claire Foy, and Atlanta and Donald Glover. The Crown was the third straight new show — and fifth of the last seven — to win drama series. Atlanta, meanwhile, was the fourth freshman comedy series champ this decade.
So which rookies stand the best chance of catching the HFPA's eye this year?
1. The Handmaid's Tale
This has gotta be sticking in the HFPA's craw. The Handmaid's Tale premiered in April, so not only did it miss last January's Golden Globes, but that spring premiere date allowed the Emmys to be the first to anoint it in September, when the dystopian series became the first show from a streaming service to win drama series. The Handmaid's Tale, in that regard, will feel less "new" to the Globes, but it's still too vital, too exceptional for the Globes to ignore. It will definitely snag a drama series nomination; whether it wins or not is another question. Elisabeth Moss, who finally won her first acting Emmy for the Hulu series, will get into the drama actress race, but the Globes might also feel less inclined to award her because she's not overdue for a Globe like she was with the Emmys: she won a Globe for Top of the Lake three years ago.
2. The Deuce
Since 2000, HBO has fielded two drama series contenders eight times. Assuming Game of Thrones returns to the lineup, The Deuce could take the spot inhabited last year by then-newbie Westworld, which is not eligible this year. The Deuce is a cool new show that also functions as a period piece, one of the HFPA's favorite genres. The Globes haven't been too kind to previous David Simon joints, but this is arguably his most accessible series yet. And more importantly for the star-loving Globes, the show boasts two bold-faced names and previous Globe winners, James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who look good for their respective acting categories. Franco is a lock on the film side for The Disaster Artist, so the Globes could snub him on the TV side to make room for another name (the HFPA are huge fans of spreading the wealth), like they did last year when they shortlisted and ultimately awarded Viola Davis for Fences but didn't nominate her for How to Get Away with Murder. Or Franco could be the first person to win two Globes in one night since Kate Winslet in 2009.
Speaking of the Francos, it could be a family affair at the Globes. The only thing the Globes love more than famous people is families of famous people (that's why scions of Hollywood stars are tapped to be Golden Globe Ambassadors, formerly known as Miss and Mr. Golden Globe). Alison Brie, Franco's sister-in-law who's also in The Disaster Artist, and her infectious series GLOW received, uh, glowing reviews over the summer. More so than the show, Brie is precisely the type of ingénue in a lead star-making turn the Globes loves to honor (see: Keri Russell, Felicity; Jennifer Garner, Alias). She also plays Meryl Streep's daughter in The Post, which ought to help her cause.
Mindhunter checks a lot of boxes: a cerebral, cinematic take on a longstanding formula (serial killers!) from a prestige names (David Fincher, Charlize Theron). Fincher probably won't go, but you know the HFPA wants to get Theron up on stage again. Its actors, Jonathan Groff especially, could likely break in as well. The only drawback is that the series is from Netflix and its network-mates Stranger Things and The Crown are eligible to return this year. It's unlikely the HFPA will nominate three shows from the same network (unless it's an expanded field), but it's not impossible: ABC pulled it off 12 years ago with Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Commander in Chief.
5. Mr. Mercedes
It's difficult for one network to monopolize a series category not just because of the proliferation of TV shows in the past decade, but because the wealth-spreading HFPA likes to toss a bone to as many networks as possible and put them on the map. Voters are particularly fond of highlighting a little-known or -watched show on networks trying to get into the original programming game. In recent years, the Globes have nominated and/or awarded Mozart in the Jungle and star Gael Garcia Bernal; Narcos and star Wagner Moura; Boss and star Kelsey Grammer; and Blunt Talk's Patrick Stewart. Last year, the Globes nominated Nick Nolte on Epix's Graves and gave the drama actor trophy to Goliath's Billy Bob Thornton. Brendon Gleeson fits that bill to a T this year for Audience Network's Mr. Mercedes, a tense, disturbing adaptation of the Stephen King thriller from David E. Kelley (who also co-created Goliath). The show might not have enough oomph to crack the crowded drama series lineup, but the veteran actor is a three-time past Globe nominee still searching for his first win.
6. American Gods
Maybe it's because it shares a name with the people the HFPA adores the most, but Starz is the closest thing to a "favorite network" of the Globes. Since 2010, when Starz earned its first nods, 10 Starz programs — The Pillars of the Earth, Boss, Magic City, The White Queen, The Missing, Flesh and Bone, Blunt Talk, Dancing on the Edge, The Girlfriend Experience and Outlander — have snagged 21 nominations with two wins between them. One of those nods was for Ian McShane for The Pillars of the Earth. The actor, who won a Globe for Deadwood, is in great position to make it back into the drama actor race on his name alone for American Gods, which is arguably Starz's strongest and most ambitious series yet.
7. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon is another Globe fave. The HFPA gave comedy series trophies to it in back-to-back years, for Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, making Amazon the first streaming service to win a series prize at a major awards show. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is as brand spankin' new as you can get, having just been released last week to rave reviews. Rachel Brosnahan's winning turn is also enough to charm the pants off voters in the vein of Globe champs Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom.
Mindhunter has stolen Ozark's "crime thriller" thunder, but the Netflix series was a low-key smash: per Parrot Analytics, it was the most popular streaming show of the summer. The series lineup might be too tall of an order for the sleeper hit, but it boasts big names and Globe champs Laura Linney and Jason Bateman, whose gripping, compelling performance went effectively went against-type and could earn him a third career nod.
9. The Good Doctor
The Good Doctor is the broadcast breakout hit of the season and the Globes will want to get in on that, just like it did the previous two years with Empire and This Is Us. The series itself has an outside chance of cracking the drama series race due to the heavy competition, but if it does, it'd be ABC's first drama series nominee since Grey's Anatomy 10 years ago. Its best shot is with drama actor contender Freddie Highmore, who's winning hearts and impressing viewers with his terrific portrayal of an autistic surgeon. It's a complete 180 from his equally fantastic work on Bates Motel, for which he never got Globe recognition and just ended earlier this earlier, so this could be a two-for-one deal too. A nod for Highmore would not be unlike James Spader's two Globe nods for The Blacklist, for a noteworthy performance on a network hit without the show getting in itself.
Golden Globe nominations are announced Monday, Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT. the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards airs Sunday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC.