Golden Globes Pre­view

A hand­ful of pres­tige projects are drop­ping just in time to go for Globes

Variety - - Contents - STORY BY AM­BER DOWL­ING

The mu­si­cal or com­edy cat­e­gory of­ten pro­duces fu­ture Os­car front-run­ners. Mean­while, high­pro­file TV projects have dropped just in time for con­sid­er­a­tion.

BY DE­CEM­BER, THE TV SCHED­ULE is of­ten dom­i­nated by hol­i­day spe­cials. But this year, wedged be­tween the sac­cha­rine Hall­mark films and tree-light­ing spe­cials, is a slew of pres­tige pro­grams that are bow­ing just in time to make a mark with Golden Globes vot­ers.

Given the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press Assn.’s his­tory of cel­e­brat­ing new, un­der­dog and some­times pop­ulist pro­gram­ming, it’s no won­der. The body has a proven track record of putting emerg­ing series and ac­tors on the map for awards con­sid­er­a­tion.

Look no fur­ther than the 2018 Globes dar­ling, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which se­cured a com­edy series win for Ama­zon and com­edy ac­tress vic­tory for its lead­ing lady Rachel Bros­na­han. Although the pilot dropped in spring 2017, the rest of its first sea­son came at the end of last Novem­ber. And af­ter the HFPA rec­og­nized the show in Jan­uary, the Tele­vi­sion Acade-

my fol­lowed suit with the Em­mys in Septem­ber, award­ing Amy Sher­man-pal­ladino’s series eight tro­phies.

“I have al­ways seen a cor­re­la­tion be­tween new shows that were hon­ored at the Golden Globes and shows that went on to se­cure Emmy nom­i­na­tions — not al­ways wins, but cer­tainly ac­knowl­edge­ment,” says Richard Li­cata of Li­cata & Co., whose com­pany worked with Ama­zon on awards strate­gies. “The HFPA is in­ad­ver­tently al­most of­fer­ing a ser­vice to Academy mem­bers who are over­whelmed by the vo­lu­mi­nous pro­gram­ming out there by say­ing, ‘You can watch a lot of other shows, but these are five shows that you prob­a­bly should not miss. These are five per­for­mances that you prob­a­bly should not miss.’ And that kind of takes the pres­sure off.”

This time, Ama­zon is re­leas­ing the sec­ond sea­son of “Maisel” just one day ahead of Globe nom­i­na­tions in De­cem­ber, al­low­ing it to squeeze into con­sid­er­a­tion just un­der the wire. The streamer is cer­tainly of­fer­ing up plenty to grab Globe vot­ers’ at­ten­tion, hav­ing re­leased the Ju­lia Roberts star­rer “Home­com­ing” in early Novem­ber, and Matthew Weiner’s star-stud­ded fol­lowup to “Mad Men,” “The Ro­manoffs,” in mid- Oc­to­ber.

That lineup will face tough com­pe­ti­tion from the other stream­ers as well. Net­flix typ­i­cally boasts a ro­bust year­round re­lease strat­egy, but its highly an­tic­i­pated Emma Stone and Jonah Hill ve­hi­cle “Ma­niac” dropped at the end of Septem­ber — weeks be­fore some of its other high-pro­file re­leases, in­clud­ing “Chill­ing Ad­ven­tures of Sabrina” with “Mad Men” alum Kier­nan Shipka and the fi­nal, Kevin Spacey-free sea­son of “House of Cards,” which puts Robin Wright front-and- cen­ter.

The pres­tige ca­blers are also get­ting in on the game: HBO dropped Jen­nifer Gar­ner’s “Camping” in Oc­to­ber, fol­lowed in Novem­ber by the adap­ta­tion of Elena Fer­rante’s best­selling “My Bril­liant Friend,” whose in­ter­na­tional flair will cer­tainly spark HFPA vot­ers’ in­ter­est. Show­time is of­fer­ing up Ben Stiller’s di­rec­to­rial foray into scripted drama with the Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette and Beni­cio Del Toroled “Es­cape at Dan­nemora.” And it also has “Kid­ding,” star­ring Jim Car­rey.

Ac­cord­ing to Show­time’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of re­search, pro­gram plan­ning and sched­ul­ing, Kim Le­mon, awards el­i­gi­bil­ity and get­ting in front of vot­ers is some­times a con­sid­er­a­tion when sched­ul­ing a pre­miere, as was the case when Show­time moved the re­lease of “Pa­trick Mel­rose” up slightly in or­der to hit the Emmy el­i­gi­bil­ity dead­line. But it’s not the pri­mary driver of his sched­ul­ing strat­egy.

“It is a happy co­in­ci­dence; we aren’t re­ally sched­ul­ing to have a show hit right be­fore the awards,” Le­mon says. “My sit­u­a­tion has be­come a lot more com­pli­cated over the last cou­ple of years. We used to roll out shows four times a year quar­terly to pre­miere our big tent­poles, but over the last cou­ple of years we’ve gone to a monthly strat­egy that fac­tors it all in.”

Le­mon ad­mits that get­ting Globe recog­ni­tion is great pro­mo­tion for both the net­work and its pro­gram­ming, and that awards suc­cess drives a spike in view­er­ship. But when it comes to launch­ing shows later in the year — and specif­i­cally with “Dan­nemora” — the strat­egy also re­flects the hope of cap­tur­ing year- end binge view­ers.

“I love hav­ing it avail­able over the hol­i­days be­cause I think we’re go­ing to have a very long tail of view­ers,” he says. “It’s also great that the show is go­ing to be in front of the Globes; it hope­fully will get a lot of at­ten­tion as well. So that’s kind of the per­fect storm and a great ex­am­ple of ev­ery­thing work­ing to­gether.”

How the Globes and the Em­mys work to­gether in the big­ger pic­ture, how­ever, is still con­tested. Some feel it’s the 90- odd HFPA mem­bers that work to in­flu­ence the 22,000 or so Emmy vot­ers, while oth­ers ar­gue the Em­mys ac­tu­ally have more in­flu­ence on the Globes, as was seen in the way the first sea­son of Hulu’s “The Hand­maid’s Tale” played out on the awards cir­cuit. Whether the win­ners match up or not, how­ever, there’s no dis­count­ing that by bow­ing at the top of the year, the Globes cer­tainly set the tone.

“I have never worked with a tele­vi­sion net­work or client that wasn’t con­cerned about get­ting in front of the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press Assn.,” adds Li­cata. “It seems like every­body knows that that is the first stop on the awards train.”

‘THE HFPA IS IN­AD­VER­TENTLY OF­FER­ING A SER­VICE TO ACADEMY MEM­BERS WHO ARE OVER­WHELMED BY VO­LU­MI­NOUS PRO­GRAM­MING.’

— Richard Li­cata

Ama­zon is launch­ing the sec­ond sea­son of 2018 com­edy win­ner“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” one day be­fore nom­i­na­tions are an­nounced.

“House of Cards” launched its fi­nal sea­son, which put Robin Wright at the cen­ter of the story, in early Novem­ber.

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