Fun fact: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association only consists of about 90 members. That’s the same number of members as, for example, the Boffer LARP Fighter Practice Meetup group in Austin, Texas. This makes the HFPA’s choices for who should win a Golden Globe notoriously tough to predict. The 90 voters don’t even need to agree on somebody: a winner just needs a plurality of votes. The actor or actress on stage Sunday night clutching that award could have, in theory, received as few as 16 votes among the six nominees. So who knows if 16 people will think Mandy Moore deserves best supporting actress in a TV series?
We do. We know. For sure. Because why not sound confident in the face of total uncertainty? Here is who will win Sunday:
Best Television Series, Drama
Game of Thrones
This Is Us
“Who the f— knows,” wrote one publicist when asked who they thought would win this very tough category. One might think Game of Thrones will take it home given that the fantasy drama had arguably its strongest season and won at the Emmys. But the HFPA often acts as a counter-measure to the more prestigious ceremony and has never been all the enamored with GoT anyway. Last season, the Globes gave this award to Mr. Robot (which isn’t even nominated for its frustrating second season). Though I loved HBO’s Westworld and Netflix’s Stranger Things, both Netflix’s The Crown (despite its weak final episodes) and NBC’s This Is Us (despite being on a broadcast network, which seems to increasingly face an uphill fight in these contests) are more likely. The Crown is the safest bet of all, but nothing would really surprise here this year.
Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Mozart in the Jungle
Normally Veep would be a contender, but it’s like the GoT of this category — heavily honored by the Emmys and perhaps too conventional of a choice. Last year’s “look something shiny!” surprise pick was Mozart in the Jungle, and it’s likely the HFPA will look for something new this time too. I’d bet on FX’s very worthy breakout Atlanta.
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Night Manager
The Night Of
The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
O.J., O.J., O.J. Granted this win would echo the Emmys, but the FX drama was such a powerful and topical accomplishment that an upset would be stunning (though also rather HFPA-y).
Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath
Can Rami Malek continue his streak now that Jon Hamm is no longer in play? Once again, USA’s drama feels like last year’s buzz. I’d love to see Matthew Rhys take this home but suspect Billy Bob Thornton will surprise. That might not be a choice you or I would make, but oftentimes the most reliable Globes prediction hack is to bet on a category’s biggest star.
Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Americans
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Which goes for this category too. I’d love to see Evan Rachel Wood take this for Westworld. Experts say Claire Foy is a total lock to win for The Crown. Balfe and Russell could easily slip in here too. But there’s no glory in playing it safe with every category. So I’m drunkenly putting my chips on the 40-1 Gold Derby odds that Winona Ryder will end up on that stage.
Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Tracee Ellis Ross, Blackish
Who would have thought three years ago that the last two winners of this category would be from The CW? Rachel Bloom and Gina Rodriguez are back again, but I suspect the HFPA’s ever-wandering eye will land on somebody new — like Insecure star Issa Rae.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Nick Nolte, Graves
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
This category is the one I have the most confidence in predicting: Donald Glover, Atlanta. It’s a star-making performance that also extends behind the camera for the future Lando Calrissian. This perhaps the only way somebody could beat out the formidable Jeffrey Tambor.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
Kerry Washington, Confirmation
As with the limited series category, the O.J. strength feels most likely to power its nominee — Paulson — into a repeat of the Emmys. Though Riley Keough has that dark horse-y feel that Globes voters like.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
John Lithgow, The Crown
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
John Travolta, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
The category that could upset O.J.’s victory lap. John Lithgow gave the sort of historical, actorly, and heart-breaking performance as Winston Churchill that awards voters love. That will be enough to push out the otherwise top choice, Sterling K. Brown, who won an Emmy for his role. (Another contender: Hugh Laurie, who won two Globes for House, so never count him out.) Slater, last year’s winner, should continue Mr. Robot‘s second season wash-out.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
How can Lena Headey or Thandie Newton not win? Headey, as I write annually, has been deserving of an award for GoT since season 1. Newton gave a fearless and devastating performance for Westworld‘s debut season. The This Is Us actors likely cancel each other out in the voting. Headey is overdue. But Newton feels more likely.
Come to EW.com Sunday night for all the winners and highlights.