Golden Globes TV: ‘Will & Grace’ Returns, ‘SMILF’, ‘Mrs. Maisel’, ‘Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘Big Little Lies’, ‘Feud’ & ‘Sinner’ Join Race

Will & Grace

Thirteen years after Will & Grace landed its last Golden Globe nominations, the multi-camera comedy is back in awards contention with two Globe nominations, best comedy series and best actor in a comedy series, Eric McCormick. While the rest of the series’ ensemble — all multiple Golden Globe nominees — were left out, this is a strong return for the 1990s staple in an era where multi-camera sitcoms are largely shunned in awards races in favor of single-camera comedies.

Will & Grace is the first multi-camera sitcom to land a best series Golden Globe nom in four years, since CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. What’s more, Will & Grace is getting a rare second chance at a first Golden Globe win after 27 previous nominations for the series’ original run.

With This Is Us, which last year restored broadcast drama’s presence in the best drama series Globes race, back in the top category and Will & Grace joining ABC’s repeat nominee Black-ish in the best comedy series race, broadcast TV had the largest contingent of shows in the best drama/comedy categories — three — in four years.


HBO again was the overall leader with 12 noms, half of them for Big Little Lies, which topped the programs list, followed by Netflix (9) and FX (8) whose Feud: Better & Joan was the second most nominated program with 4 noms.  For a second year in a row, only ABC and NBC of the Big 4 broadcast nets got on the board.

Suzanne Tenner/FX

As usual, the Globes shone light on freshman series, with 15 landing nominations, half of them taking home multiple mentions: Big Little Lies, Feud, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, USA Network’s The Sinner, Showtime’s SMILF and NBC’s Will & Grace.

Of the three breakout new limited series, Big Little Lies and Feud already are working on second installments, with BLL likely moving to the drama series category, while USA is looking for ways to do a Sinner followup.


In addition to Will & Grace, recognized was another high-profile revival, Twin Peaks on Showtime, with acting nom for star Kyle MacLachlan, a Golden Globe winner for the original series in 1991. But the return of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, a former Golden Globes winner, was overlooked.

“What a surreal experience to be nominated today for a role that I was so lucky to win this award for 26 years ago,” MacLachlan said in a statement.

For the last couple of years, the HFPA had been sticking with favorites on the comedy side — Transparent, Mozart In the Jungle, Veep — while largely overhauling the drama race. It’s the exact opposite this year.

George Kraychyk/Hulu

Only one best drama series from 2015 repeated last year, HBO’s Game Of Thrones. This time, all four 2016 nominees that are eligible this year are back, GOT, This Is Us and Netflix’s Stranger Things and The Crown, which won in January. The fifth slot, previously occupied by HBO’s Westworld, which is yet to air its second season, went to Hulu’s hot new drama The Handmaid’s Tale, which swept the Primetime Emmys in September. The dystopian series landed three nominations in categories it won at the Emmys — drama series, lead actress for Elisabeth Moss and supporting actress for Ann Dowd.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Meanwhile, in the best comedy series category, Black-ish was the only holdover, with four newcomers, the Will & Grace revival, Netflix’s Master Of None as well as two recent breakouts, Amazon’s just released The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Showtime’s SMILF. (Mozart In the Jungle did not air a new season in 2017.)

Golden Globes like to be the first to recognize new discoveries, and Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Mrs. Maisel and Frankie Shaw’s SMILF were the two the HFPA picked to get behind this year, with double nominations for comedy series and lead actress in a comedy series, Rachel Brosnahan (Mrs. Maisel) and Shaw.


It’s been a fairytale ride for Shaw who was broke and originally wrote SMILF as a sample to get work as a writer. She filmed a portion as a short, which made it to Sundance, won an award and led to the TV series.

It is worth noting that all lead actress in a comedy series nominations went to female-centered shows, including three that are personal/autobiographical, Shaw, Insecure‘s Issa Rae (HBO)  and Better Things‘ Pamela Adlon (FX) who also co-created their series. The fifth nominee in the category is Alison Brie of Netflix freshman GLOW. Neither Better Things, Insecure nor GLOW landing a best series nom is a mild surprise but the Golden Globes went with SMILF, Mrs. Maisel and Master Of None as first-timers best comedy series nominees.

While recognizing newcomers, the HFPA for the first time shut out completely the most awarded comedy series of the last few years, HBO’s Veep. For all its Emmy glory — three consecutive best comedy series trophies and six consecutive best comedy series actress for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep is yet to win a Golden Globe, in one of the biggest head-scratchers. It will have to wait another year for one last shot with the acclaimed comedy’s announced final season.

Also surprisingly off the list is Black-ish‘s Tracee Ellis Ross, a first-time Golden Globe nominee and winner in January.

On the male side, there was a surprise nomination for Kevin Bacon of Amazon’s very under-the-radar new comedy I Love Dick, who joins Ross’ Black-ish co-star Anthony Anderson, William H. Macy of Showtime’s Shameless, Aziz Ansari of Master Of None and Will & Grace‘s McCormack, all previous nominees for their current series.

I Love Dick was co-created by Jill Soloway, whose other Amazon series, Transparent, and its star Jeffrey Tambor, had been Golden Globes mainstays with three consecutive nominations for best series and best actor, including wins in 2015. The show and Tambor, who has faced accusations of sexual harassment, were both snubbed this year.

Another former Globes darling series whose now-former star has been battling sexual harassment allegations, Netflix’s House Of Cards, toplined by recently ousted Kevin Spacey, also was left out in the cold but it also didn’t score Globe nominations last year. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Rush, who has fought back against sexual harassment allegations, filing a lawsuit last week, was nominated for his performance as Albert Eisntein in National Geographic’s limited series Genius.  


As usual, the HFPA did recognize the fall’s breakout broadcast series. Last year it was This Is Us, this time it is ABC’s The Good Doctor, whose star Freddie Highmore was nominated for lead actor in a drama series. He was one of three newcomers in the category, along with Jason Bateman for Netflix’s Ozark and Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us. They join returning nominees Liev Schreiber for Showtime’s Ray Donovan and Bob Odenkirk for AMC’s Better Call Saul.

There also are two returning nominees on the distaff side, reigning winner Claire Foy of The Crown and Caitriona Balfe of Starz’s Outlander. They are joined by Handmaid’s Tale‘s Moss and two other stars of freshman series, Katherine Langford (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (HBO’s The Deuce). No noms for Stranger Things‘ Winona Ryder, nominated last year, or breakout star Millie Bobby Brown, though the series’ David Harbour was recognized for the first time, along with the hit show landing a second best drama series nom.

After finally recognizing The Americans with noms for stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys last year, the HFPA again left out the praised FX Cold War drama, with neither actor landing noms. Also off this year was previous two-time nominee, Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek, whose co-star and former winner Christian Slater was back as supporting actor.

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