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Golden Globes 2020 Predictions: Best Actor and Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Ben Travers

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Last Year’s Winners: Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” and Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Still Eligible: No and no, respectively.
Hot Streak: Anthology series have won three years running in the Best Actor race, starting with Tom Hiddleston in “The Night Manager” (AMC is still developing a second season), Ewan McGregor in “Fargo” (production is underway on Season 4), and Darren Criss in “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” (“ACS” Season 3, “Impeachment,” is slated for September 2020.) Patricia Arquette snapped a three-year win streak on the Best Actress side with her win for the one-and-done “Escape at Dannemora.”
Notable Ineligible Series: “American Crime Story,” “Fargo,” “Sharp Objects,” “Escape at Dannemora,” “A Very English Scandal”

At the bottom of this page are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Best Actor and Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie at the 2020 Golden Globes. This article will be updated throughout the season, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz from the 2020 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well. The 2020 Golden Globe Award nominees will be announced Monday, December 9 at 8 a.m. ET. The 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, January 5 in Los Angeles and be televised live on NBC.

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The State of the Race

Jharrel Jerome, Jared Harris, Sam Rockwell. If these names look familiar, they should — each actor was Emmy-nominated in 2019, and each was given a massive push by their respective networks to win. The “When They See Us” star emerged on top, but the leads from “Chernobyl” and “Fosse/Verdon” have a shot at redemption at the Golden Globes. All three remain favorites to land nominations, and one is likely to win.

Standing in their way are a few newcomers, and a few names they already beat out at the Emmys. Aaron Paul, who only scored one Golden Globe nomination (and no wins) for “Breaking Bad,” hopes to get Jesse Pinkman in the race once again, this time via “El Camino.” Netflix also has Sacha Baron Cohen’s well-received dramatic turn in “The Spy,” but HBO is countering with three also-rans at the Emmys: Mahershala Ali in “True Detective,” Benedict Cumberbatch in “Brexit,” and Ian McShane in “Deadwood.” Showtime may have the best chance of any network offering new additions, as Russell Crowe’s buzzy turn as Roger Ailes should get a second wave of attention as the Ailes-centric movie “Bombshell” rolls out this December.

The Best Actress race may see more turnover. With Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”) and Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”) no longer eligible, that leaves Michelle Williams (“Fosse/Verdon”) to carry the torch for this year’s top Emmy contenders. That’s only fitting, since she won, but she could be joined on the nominations’ list by fellow Emmy nominees Joey King (“The Act”) and Niecy Nash (“When They See Us”).

But if they want to earn an invite to the Beverly Hilton ballroom, they’ll have to beat out some strong additions to the race. Since the Emmys race wrapped up, a slew of excellent actresses have debuted award-worthy performances, starting with Helen Mirren in “Catherine the Great.” With 15 nominations and three wins already, Mirren is beloved by the HFPA, and HBO should be able to help her campaign. The premium cable network also has exemplary work from Kathryn Hahn to hock to voters, thanks to her eponymous role in “Mrs. Fletcher.”

Netflix, though, has the most actresses in its corner. Both Merritt Wever and Toni Collette will run as lead actress for “Unbelievable,” the harrowing true story of two police detectives investigating a wrongly dismissed case of sexual assault. Renee Zellweger looks to score two nominations in one year, as her near-lock for the Judy Garland biopic “Judy” could be paired with a deserving turn in the campy mystery “What/If.” Toss in Miley Cyrus for “Black Mirror” (hey, the HFPA loves its stars) as well as all the fine performances from “When They See Us,” and Netflix could own the category.

Power Rankings (Best Actor)

  1. Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us”
  2. Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
  3. Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
  4. Aaron Paul, “El Camino”
  5. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Spy”

Spoilers: Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”; Mahershala Ali, “True Detective”; Benedict Cumberbatch, “Brexit”; Ian McShane, “Deadwood”

In a Perfect World: Chris Pine, “I Am the Night”; Timothy Olyphant, “Deadwood”; Jeffrey Wright, “O.G.”

Power Rankings (Best Actress)

  1. Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
  2. Helen Mirren, “Catherine the Great”
  3. Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
  4. Merritt Wever, “Unbelievable”
  5. Renee Zellweger, “What/If”

Spoilers: Kathryn Hahn, “Mrs. Fletcher”; Joey King, “The Act”; Niecy Nash, “When They See Us”; Miley Cyrus, “Black Mirror”; Octavia Spencer, “Truth Be Told”

In a Perfect World: Lizzy Caplan, “Castle Rock”; Molly Parker, “Deadwood”

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