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5 Key Takeaways From the 2020 Golden Globe Nominations

By Danny Vena - Dec 11, 2019 at 9:12AM

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The times, they are a-changin', as evidenced by this year's slate of nominations.

The Golden Globes are handed out by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for excellence in television and film, and are generally considered to be among the world's most prestigious awards. Studio executives view nominations for the Globes as fodder for marketing campaigns, giving some of the productions a much-appreciated shot in the arm that the additional publicity provides.

This year's slate of nominations held a few surprises and pointed to changes taking place in the television landscape -- the most obvious of which is the increasing adoption of streaming services as the preeminent provider of entertainment and the growing irrelevance of traditional broadcast television.

Here are five key takeaways from the Golden Globe nominations.

Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro on either side of a bar talking to each other.

Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in a scene from Netflix original The Irishman. Image source: Netflix.

1. Streaming platforms are coming into their own

If one thing stood out at this year's Golden Globe nominations, it was the complete reversal of fortunes between traditional broadcast television and streaming services. Netflix (NFLX 1.98%) introduced its first self-produced series, House of Cards, just six years ago, and its online rivals quickly followed suit.

Netflix, Amazon's Prime Video, Disney-controlled Hulu, and Apple's (AAPL 4.08%) Apple TV+ scored a total of 30 nominations this year, while cable channels landed just 25, and the traditional broadcast television networks were completely shut out. 

The debut of streaming just over a decade ago has had a profound impact on how viewers consume entertainment, which is reflected in this year's list of nominations.

2. Netflix's original movies cleaned up

Netflix landed 17 feature film nominations, more than twice as many as second-place finisher Sony, which garnered eight. Netflix also scored its first ever best picture nod. Of the five films nominated in the best drama category, three wore the Netflix brand -- The Irishman, Marriage Story, and The Two Popes -- giving the company a leg up come awards time. Netflix also earned an additional nomination in the best musical or comedy category with Dolemite Is My Name. The film, starring Eddie Murphy, tells the true story of Rudy Ray Moore, whose titular blaxploitation character was a smash hit in the 1970s.

Noah Baumbach's divorce drama Marriage Story led the pack with a total of six nominations, while the Martin Scorsese-helmed mob epic The Irishman took home five nods, and The Two Popes -- the dramatized account of the meeting of the two most recent popes -- walked away with four.

3. Netflix led the television category, too

To add to its 17 feature films nominations, Netflix also accumulated 17 nods for its television series, outpacing AT&T's (T -0.14%) HBO, which landed 15. Two of the streaming giant's programs, The Crown and Unbelievable, as well as HBO's Chernobyl, scored four nominations each, tying for the top spot.

Returning for its second consecutive nomination is Netflix original series The Kominsky Method, which was awarded Golden Globes last year both for the series and star Michael Douglas. Ryan Murphy, known for American Horror Story, Glee, and Nip/Tuck, was recognized for his first project on Netflix, The Politician, which also received a nomination.

4. Apple scores its first nod

Apple TV+ only went live on Nov. 1, and the platform had less than a dozen programs available when it launched. That makes it all the more surprising that the nascent streaming service received recognition, scoring its first Golden Globe nods -- three, in fact.

The Morning Show, the flagship program for the debut of Apple TV+, landed all three of the platform's nominations, including best drama series, with stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon each receiving nods for best performance by an actress in a drama.

5. Joker gets some love

Joker was the surprise breakout hit of the year for Warner Bros., the first R-rated movie to ever surpass $1 billion in box office, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film ever. Some are even saying this may be the most profitable comic book movie in history, primarily due to a modest $55 million production budget. Now the movie is getting some awards buzz as well. 

Many anticipated a best actor nomination for Phoenix's riveting portrayal of the title character, but the bids didn't stop there. Joker also landed nods for best picture, best director for Todd Phillips, and best original score.

This is further evidence that comic books are now being taken seriously as source material for dramatic works of art -- not just as big-budget popcorn fare.

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