Best Drama Series lineup includes only first-time Golden Globe nominees for the first time in 42 years

For the first time since 1976, the Golden Globe Awards did not nominate any past nominees for Best Drama Series. The nominees are four new dramas (“Bodyguard,” “Homecoming,” “Killing Eve,” “Pose”) and one returning drama that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. had not previously acknowledged in the top category (“The Americans”).

Incumbent nominees “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things” were ineligible because they did not air in 2018; fellow incumbent “The Handmaid’s Tale” was relegated to nominations for its actresses and the other incumbent “This is Us” was shut out for the first time.

Eligible past winners “The Affair,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Mr. Robot” were also snubbed as were eligible past nominees “Empire” and “House of Cards.” “Outlander” and “Westworld” were the only past Best Drama Series nominees other than “The Handmaid’s Tale” to factor into the nominations; they also received recognition only for their actresses.

This marks only the second time the Globes have wiped the slate clean in this category, following the overhaul in 1976 that benefited the debut seasons of “Charlie’s Angels,” “Family” and winner “Rich Man, Poor Man,” as well as the third season of “Little House on the Prairie” and the miniseries “Captains and the Kings”; there was not a separate Best TV Movie or Limited Series category then.

Unlike in 2018, all five of the incumbent nominees were eligible again to be nominated in 1976. “Kojak” had won in 1975 on its second consecutive nomination, but it was never nominated after that. “Columbo” was coming off of four consecutive nominations, but the Globes dropped it in 1976 before bringing it back in 1977. “Police Story” was coming off of three consecutive nominations, but that would be all that it would ever get. “Baretta” and “Petrocelli” received their only Best Drama Series nominations in 1975. Additionally, “Upstairs, Downstairs” was eligible after having won for its previous season in 1974. It did not air in 1975, was snubbed upon its return in 1976, then scored its second Best Drama Series nomination in 1977.

Two other years in Globe history featured Best Drama slates without returning nominees: 1963 was the first year of the category and 1969 was the second; 1964 through 1968 hosted catch-all Best Series categories. There have been six years in which four out of the five Best Drama nominees have been first-time series nominees: 1978 (“Family” was the holdover), 1991 (“L.A. Law”), 2005 (“Lost”), 2011 (“Boardwalk Empire”), 2015 (“Game of Thrones”) and 2016 (“Game of Thrones”).

Heavy turnover is also increasingly common on the comedy side. This is the fifth year that the Best Comedy Series race has included only one returning nominee; incumbent winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” faces new comedies “Barry,” “Kidding” and “The Kominsky Method,” as well as “The Good Place,” which was shut out in its first two years. The category’s inaugural year of 1963 remains its only with a lineup entirely of first-time nominees; the four others years that have included only a single holdover are 1978 (“All in the Family”), 1993 (“Roseanne”), 2007 (“Entourage”) and 2014 (“Girls”).

The Limited Series field is trending the other way, having historically nominated one-and-done programs exclusively. 2014 is the only of the last seven years in which all of the nominees were on their first nominations. “American Crime Story” is nominated this year, having won the award two years ago. Last year actually featured multiple returning nominees: “Fargo” and “Top of the Lake.”

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