It’s official. The Globes are joining other awards groups and are going later.
As expected, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, dick clark productions and broadcast partner NBC announced this morning that the 78th annual Golden Globes, normally in the first half of January will instead be held on Sunday, February 28, 2021. The HFPA had not previously disclosed a 2021 date for the show. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and fears it could continue or reoccur in the Fall, awards season events are changing rapidly, most notably with the move of the 93rd Academy Awards to its latest date ever since it began airing on TV in 1953.
As announced last week the Oscars will be held on April 25, 2021 so subsequently numerous groups such as BAFTA, Independent Spirit Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival have all shifted dates to coincide with that move. Now, ironically, the Globes have chosen the exact date of 2/28 that the Academy abandoned last week in favor of kicking the Oscars down the road a couple of months. This certainly isn’t unprecedented. For instance, when the Oscars held their awards ceremony on April 18, 1966, the previous latest date for the show in the TV era, the Globes were held on, you guessed it, February 28th of that year. The SAG awards and other Guild ceremonies, as well as critics groups are expected also to announce new dates to fall in line with the COVID-19-forced timetable the Motion Picture Academy has set in motion.
The Oscars and Critics’ Choice Awards (which announced March 7 as their date to air on the CW) have extended their motion picture eligibility year by two months, making films eligible from January 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021. However, in a brief release announcing their new date, the HFPA has not as of yet given any details on that key front, instead only promising more info down the line. “To accommodate both domestic and international film and television productions, the HFPA will provide further guidance around eligibility, voting period and revised nominations announcement timing in the coming weeks,” the organization said. Critics’ Choice is keeping television eligibility within the 2020 calendar year, something the Globes and Guilds will have to determine as well.
The Golden Globes now face one other potential roadblock, and that is the Super Bowl scheduled to air on CBS in 2021. As I reported on May 7, just as the NFL was about to announce its Fall schedule, the league actually has a plan that should there be disruption to their hoped-for lineup of games an alternate plan exists to move the Super Bowl from February 7 to (gulp) February 28 (!). As I wrote at the time, “The NFL has a contingency ‘plan’ based on several models, including one that has the actual season beginning October 15, six weeks later than normal, but still playing a full 16-game slate that would end not with a February 7 Super Bowl but rather one on Sunday, February 28. The possibility, dependent on numerous factors based on when the league is comfortable with games during the pandemic, has been reported by sports outlets from NBC to Sports Illustrated after Sports Business Journal leaked it at the end of April.”
Hopefully though,the NFL will be able to start on schedule in September and the HFPA will not have to be concerned with the possibility, however remote, of having to get out of the way of a later Super Bowl on the last Sunday in February. However, Deadline reported last week that NBA, NHL, MLB, and both college and Pro Football could all have their current plans upset as the pandemic keeps hitting new highs in various parts of the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci last week had even more ominous warnings. “Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci said. If that’s the case any Super Bowl contingency would be moot anyway.
Going on 2/28 could mean the Globe results might have an even bigger effect than usual on the Academy Awards as nomination voting for Oscars doesn’t even begin until March 5. the biggest head start the Globes will have in several years. In 2020, Oscar ballots were due in just two days after the Globes show.
Assuming everything sticks to the script, the Golden Globes will once again be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and will air live coast to coast 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET on NBC from The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Word is the group is determined to keep the “party of the year” flavor to the show and does not want to go virtual, but social distancing in that ballroom is no easy feat.
The 2020 Globes were held on January 5 this year, and the big winners were 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The telecast averaged a 4.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 18.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.