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Golden Globes Look to Crown Drama Successor

It’s fitting that HBO’s Succession is a leading contender for best drama at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5: Several of its competitors are about just that idea, both in terms of plot and of what will become TV’s next big show.

More on the Golden Globes: HBO Has ‘Big Little Lies’, ‘Succession’ Up for Top Drama Golden Globe

The 90 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) determine the winners of the Golden Globes, which encompass TV and film, drama and comedy. The HFPA tends to award the fresh and the new — more so than the 15,000 members of the TV Academy, who often tend more toward awarding what has been firmly established.

“The Globes are very attentive to what the buzz is and what the cool factor is on a lot of shows,” said Daniel Montgomery, senior editor at, which follows entertainment awards shows closely.

To that end, HBO’s Game of Thrones, which was TV’s biggest hit of the last decade, concluded its eight-season run in June and promptly scooped up a pile of Emmys, including its fifth as best drama.

That’s unlikely to be the case on Jan. 5, as the HFPA casts about for the next big thing to anoint. The Globes have mostly shied away from Thrones, having only awarded Peter Dinklage a Globe for best supporting actor in 2012 after the show’s first season. Including that year, the HFPA has nominated Game of Thrones five times, but never given it the win.

Another big HBO show, Succession, is high on the list of possibilities, though, as is season three of Netflix’s The Crown and Apple TV+’s The Morning Show.

“In terms of who will win, I think it will be a duel between Succession and The Morning Show,” Montgomery said. “The Morning Show is a big, buzzy, star-studded Apple TV vehicle and exactly the kind of thing the Globes goes for. Succession felt very water cooler in season two, but The Morning Show has the kind of sheen that might appeal to Globes voters.”

Interestingly, all four of those top dramas are packed with elements that the HFPA tends to be attracted to: big — and often non-American — stars, global topics and glitzy productions.

Succession stars Scotland native Brian Cox. His Rupert Murdoch-inspired character, Logan Roy, is not coincidentally from the same hometown as he is: Dundee, Scotland. The show took a trip there in season two as it continued its glamorous and globetrotting ways.

Cox and the rest of the main cast are all good possibilities to be nominated in the acting categories. In fact, Cox’s main competition, just as it is on the show for the role of CEO, is Jeremy Strong, who plays Logan Roy’s most ambitious son, Kendall.

Other possibilities to be nominated in this category are Pose’s Billy Porter, who won the Emmy for his role in September, as well as The Crown’s Tobias Menzies. Those top four seem widely agreed upon with other suggestions being City on a Hill’s Kevin Bacon, This Is Us’s Sterling K. Brown, Mindhunter’s Jonathan Groff, Game of Thrones’s Kit Harington and Godfather of Harlem’s Forest Whitaker.

Among the women, The Crown’s Olivia Colman — who won the best-actress Oscar earlier this year for playing another queen in The Favourite — is, well, the favorite. Claire Foy, who played a younger Queen Elizabeth in seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown, won the Globe in 2017, the same year the show won best drama.

The Morning Show’s Jennifer Aniston is also a top mention on critics’ lists, as well as Watchmen’s Regina King, who won the best supporting actress Oscar earlier this year for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. Emmy-winner Jodie Comer could see herself on the podium again for season two of Killing Eve. Other selections include Euphoria’s Zendaya and Big Little Lies’s Nicole Kidman.

‘Fleabag’ Still in the Zeitgeist

On the comedy side, Amazon’s Fleabag and star, creator and executive producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge is far and away the lead contender, having swept the Emmys for its concise second season. Amazon also is in the mix for season three of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which just dropped Friday, Dec. 6.

Other comedy contenders include HBO’s Barry, Veep and Silicon Valley; Netflix’s The Politician, Russian Doll and last year’s winner The Kominsky Method; Pop’s Schitt’s Creek; and Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

Waller-Bridge is almost the unanimous pick to win lead actress in a comedy, although former winner Rachel Brosnahan of Maisel also is a possibility. Other potential nominees are On Becoming a God’s Kirsten Dunst, Veep’s Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne, The Politician’s Gwyneth Paltrow and Dickinson’s Hailee Steinfeld.

Among the men, Barry’s Bill Hader, who has won the Emmy for the past two years, is the top pick, followed by last year’s Globe winner, The Kominsky Method’s Michael Douglas.

Other contenders: The Politician’s Ben Platt, The Good Place’s Ted Danson, Schitt’s Creek’s Eugene Levy, Black Monday’s Don Cheadle and Living With Yourself’s Paul Rudd.

And this year’s Golden Globes host (and three-time winner), five-timer Ricky Gervais, could snag a nomination for his Netflix series, After Life.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.