“There are so many perplexing aspects of this,” Tony Ruiz tells me and fellow Gold Derby contributor Amanda Spears at the top of our discussion (watch above) about Monday’s nominations for the 7th Critics’ Choice TV Awards. He continues, “I went back and I looked at [review aggregate website] Metacritic to see what the Top 10 shows of 2016 are and what was hysterical to me was that four of the top five are not nominated in program categories.”
The 2016 seasons of critical darlings “The Americans” (95 on Metacritic) and “Transparent” (90) were indeed snubbed in the top races at Critics’ Choice, a better fate than befell “The Night Of” (90) and “Rectify” (99, the all-time record), which were shut out entirely. The discrepancy between critical consensus and Critics’ Choice stems from the development that fewer TV critics are voting in the Critics’ Choice Awards this year, as a recent partnership with Entertainment Weekly prompted mass resignations in protest to the newfound partisanship.
NPR’s David Bianculli and The Wrap’s Tim Molloy are the only remaining voters who consistently publish television reviews that are tallied by Metacritic. Journalists primarily comprise the organization that bestows the television awards, hence “Broadcast Television Journalists Association” being its name. Perhaps this might explain some of this year’s strange bids, including the now-rescinded nomination for Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”).
“We’ve seen a total upheaval of the members and the nominations. You’ve got all these critical darlings that had gotten tons of nominations in past years and now they just have nothing,” I summarize before citing the 2016 shutouts of 2015 Best Comedy Series nominees “Broad City,” “Catastrophe,” “Jane the Virgin” and “You’re the Worst” and 2015 Best Drama Series nominees “Penny Dreadful” and “Rectify.”
Instead of admirably continuing to recognize these hidden gems, Amanda explains, “They kind of rubberstamped a little bit too much of what the Emmys did.” High-profile industry favorites “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards,” “Ray Donovan,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Veep” are each nominated for more Critics’ Choice Awards than ever before and “Modern Family” has its most nominations in four years.
Other oddities that we ponder in our video slugfest include the nominations for “Killing Reagan” (51 on Metacritic), how “Stranger Things” and “This is Us” are nominated for Best Drama Series without nominations for any of their performances, why Olivia Colman (“The Night Manager”) and Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”) are nominated in the leading categories, how more white than black actors are nominated for the remake of slavery epic “Roots,” why Best Comedy Guest Performer is the only category with only five nominees and how Maura Tierney (“The Affair”) is nominated for a performance that is yet to air.
“I like those ‘Fleabag’ nominations,” I respond when Tony asks what pleasant surprises we found in the nominations. With 88 on Metacritic, that new British import is due for recognition and is not predicted to receive any from the Golden Globes or Screen Actors Guild. It has Critics’ Choice nominations for Best Comedy Series and Actress (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). “The ‘Outlander’ nominations were really well deserved,” Amanda adds, speaking to its breakthroughs in Best Drama Actor (Sam Heughan) and Actress (Catriona Balfe). And Tony cites the nominations for actresses Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton, whom he praised as “spectacular” in Best Drama Series nominee “Westworld.”
Make your early Golden Globes TV Awards picks now and tell industry insiders which shows and performers you have out front to win on January 8. You can keep changing them until just before nominations are announced on December 12 at 5 am PT/8 am ET. But it is important to register your initial predictions now both to lock in those all-important starter odds and let Hollywood know who has the inside track for these kudos. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s nominees). Read our contest rules.