Golden Globes 2017: Why HBO Is the Biggest Winner

Nominations Announcement For The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Tommaso Boddi WireImage

Hollywood’s award season is in full swing and Monday’s announcement of the 2017 Golden Globe nominations has the industry buzzing over the best that film and television had to offer this past year.

The Golden Globes are sometimes dismissed by film critics as a bit of a joke—the group behind the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is relatively tiny with a sometimes sketchy reputation. But, the Globes’ ceremony typically attracts a large television audience, and they are considered a bellwether for more prestigious awards, like the Emmy’s and Academy Awards. For studios, the awards also can help attract more viewers—or subscribers, in the case of streaming players Amazon and Netflix.

Here are a few takeaways from this year’s crop of Golden Globe nominees. The 73rd Golden Globes will be held on Jan. 10, 2017 and will air on NBC, with Jimmy Fallon hosting.

HBO Is Still Hot

Time Warner-owned HBO scooped up 14 nominations for a mix of TV shows that include previous winners Game of Thrones and Veep as well as newcomers The Night Of and Westworld. For all the industry hand-wringing over the increasing influence of streaming television and the growing number of challengers to HBO’s title as the home of prestige television, Time Warner’s premium cable stalwart continues to churn out critically-acclaimed, massively-popular programming each year.

Other big winners among traditional networks and studios on Monday include 21st Century Fox, which scored nine nominations for its FX Networks subsidiary, including five nominations for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and two apiece for Atlanta and The Americans. The company’s film division notched seven nods for films such as Deadpool and Hidden Figures, as well as Fox Searchlight’s Jackie. Meanwhile, Lionsgate Films (Summit Entertainment’s La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge) and Comcast’s NBCUniversal (Focus Features’ Kubo and the Two Strings and Nocturnal Animals, and USA Network’s Mr. Robot) received 13 nominations each.

Amazon Gets 11 Nominations

Amazon and Netflix continue to push traditional Hollywood studios off the awards podium. In past years, Amazon has managed to top Netflix in actual awards despite the latter usually leading the way in the nominations tally. This year, though Amazon came through with a haul of 11 total nominations across the film and TV categories, compared to Netflix’s six total nods.

For Amazon, critically-acclaimed streaming TV shows Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle (last year’s winner for best series in the comedy, musical category) helped round out the e-commerce giant’s nominations on the television side.

Its Biggest Win May Be in Film

Amazon Studios made its biggest splash in the film categories, where the streaming site scored six nominations. The company paid a whopping $10 million for writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s moving drama Manchester by the Sea, at the Sundance Film Festival last winter, and the movie could be the first from a streaming service to win an Academy Award after receiving serious Best Picture Oscar buzz. (After all, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has made his Oscar ambitions clear in the past.)

The only disappointment for Amazon might have been the fact that its other buzzy original film, the period piece Love & Friendship, failed to garner even a single Golden Globe nomination.

Of course, Netflix would also love to be the first streaming service to win an Academy Award, but company scored only one Golden Globe in a film category (in the foreign language category, for France’s Divines). At the Golden Globes, at least, Netflix will have more riding on the television categories, where the company has two of the five shows nominated for best drama series, with newcomers The Crown (which reportedly cost Netflix $100 million to make) and popular sci-fi entry Stranger Things.

Still, the nomination tally for Netflix represents a drop-off from last year’s nine total nominations, as some of the site’s most notable TV titles failed to pick up any recognition this year.

Big award wins for either Amazon or Netflix are typically seen as good news for streaming TV in general. But, as the two companies continue ramping up their spending on original content while competing for subscribers, award-season battles could become more and more cutthroat between the two streaming giants in the coming years.

Diversity Scorecard

The troubling lack of diversity in Hollywood became a major topic of discussion yet again last year, highlighted by the “#OscarsSoWhite” controversy that resulted in sweeping changes to the Academy Awards’ voting structure. For this year’s crop of Golden Globe nominees, the television side appears to be doing the heavy lifting in terms of diverse nominees. On the TV side, 12 of the 41 acting nominees (29%) are people of color, while people of color make up 7 out of 30 (23%) nominees in the movie categories. Either way, those totals are still far from offering a totally encouraging picture of diversity, and the film industry is already being called out again by some critics online.

The Big Losers

Time Warner is most likely very happy with yet another large round of nominations for its HBO division, but the company’s Warner Bros. movie studio did not fare nearly as well, landing only one nomination (a supporting actor nod for War Dogs’ Jonah Hill) while the studio’s Tom Hanks-starring, Oscar-bait biopic Sully failed to land any nominations at all.

Meanwhile, some popular television shows that have racked up nominations in years past did not hear their names called this year, including HBO comedy Silicon Valley as well as early Netflix hits House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

Monday morning was also quiet for Walt Disney’s Pixar division. The computer animation powerhouse is usually a sure thing when it comes to animation category nominations—and this year’s Finding Dory was a box-office blockbuster—but the Golden Globe voters this year opted instead to honor other animated fare, including Disney’s Moana and Zootopia.

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