Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s performance as President Selina Meyer in “Veep” has been one of the most awarded in television history, but she is yet to receive a Golden Globe for the role. Louis-Dreyfus has won five Emmy Awards as Best Comedy Actress, one for each season that has aired. Her performance has also yielded a Television Critics Association Award, consecutive Critics’ Choice Awards and is favored for a second Screen Actors Guild Award in January. So, what gives?
The Globes nominated Louis-Dreyfus for all four seasons that have contended thus far, but picked a different winner every time: Lena Dunham (“Girls,” 2012), Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” 2013), Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin,” 2014) and Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” 2015). Perhaps Louis-Dreyfus has missed her chance. All but one of the category’s winners in the 2000s have been either repeat winners or first-time nominees in the category for their roles. The exception was Poehler, who won while hosting the ceremony on her third nomination. In fact, nobody ever has won this race on their fifth nomination or later for the same role. Roseanne Barr won for the fifth year of “Roseanne” in 1992, but it was only her fourth nomination, as she had been snubbed in 1989.
With 3/1 odds per the aggregate predictions of Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, Louis-Dreyfus ranks behind only Sarah Jessica Parker (“Divorce”) for a Best Comedy Actress nomination at the Globes this year, but it might be naive to consider her a lock after so many losses. Isabel Sanford (“The Jeffersons”) and Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) are the only roles to receive more than four nominations in this category without ever winning, but both missed nominations along the way. Only one actress other than Louis-Dreyfus has ever gotten a fourth consecutive nomination in this category for the first four years of a comedy without winning: Betty White (“The Golden Girls,” 1985-1988), who was snubbed for the remaining four years of the series.
“The Golden Girls” was much better-liked by the Globes than “Veep.” It won Best Comedy Series at both the Emmys and Globes its first two years; “Veep” was nominated at the Emmys its first three years, but was snubbed by the Globes. Only after it won the Emmy for its fourth season did the Globes finally nominate it. And the Globes are yet to highlight other performances from “Veep,” including two-time Best Comedy Supporting Actor Emmy winner Tony Hale and three-time Best Comedy Supporting Actress Emmy nominee Anna Chlumsky. “The Golden Girls” was embraced by the Globes, occupying a staggering four of five nomination slots in Best Comedy Actress both of its first two years, for White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and 1985 Globe winner Estelle Getty.
Perhaps its White House setting has doomed “Veep” from the beginning, as political shows have historically under-performed at the Globes. “The West Wing” won four Emmys for Best Drama Series and holds the record for most acting Emmys for a drama (nine), but it won the Globe for Best Drama Series only once (2000) and claimed only one Globe for acting: Best Drama Actor for Martin Sheen (2000). More recently, “House of Cards” was favored to win the Globe for Best Drama Series for its second season (2014), but it was upset by “The Affair,” then it was not nominated at all in the category the next year, despite continued Emmy nominations.
The Globes arguably have no debt to Louis-Dreyfus, given that her first major award was her 1993 Best Supporting Actress Globe for “Seinfeld” — her first of nine Globe nominations to date and only win. It took another three years for her to win the equivalent Emmy and SAG Awards.
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