LOS ANGELES — Big movie stars shined at a profane 73rd annual Golden Globes event Sunday night, but an internet shopping company's television station and a handful of other channels that float somewhere in the Kuiper Belt of most viewers' ecosystems stole the show on the small screen. And while longtime awards darlings such as HBO and Showtime took home just one Globe each, this changing of the guard could be a welcome development for television writers and producers looking for more outlets willing to take a chance on unconventional and ambitious shows.
The winner for best TV drama, "Mr. Robot," which is about a cybersecurity engineer with clinical depression, airs on the USA Network. The best comedy or musical, "Mozart in the Jungle," is available on Amazon Prime Video, the e-commerce giant's media arm. Gael Garcia Bernal, the star of "Mozart," won for best actor in a TV comedy or musical, and Lisa Bloom of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" — which airs on the CW — took the trophy for best actress in a comedy or musical. "Wolf Hall," which aired on PBS, beat entrants from ABC, FX and Starz in the miniseries/television film category.
Arnie Herrmann, a partner at accounting firm Citrin Cooperman and a business manager for several high-profile entertainment clients, said many film producers and directors have a newly open mind about doing television shows.
"There was a certain taboo among filmmakers a decade ago about working in TV," he told International Business Times. "But no longer — it’s a changed world."
And that stigma is likely to further fade as other outlets allow directors to experiment with film-quality concepts on TV — and win awards doing it. Herrmann said that the success of the mob-themed "The Sopranos" and other contemporary HBO series was the beginning of that shift, but as internet networks like Netflix and Amazon become the upstart innovators that HBO and Showtime once were, that’s only expanded the buyer's market for quality programming. The broadcast networks used to dominate the TV categories at the Globes, then they passed the torch to the premium cable networks such as HBO and Showtime, who in turn made way for internet providers like Netflix. But this year, the traditional powers sat on the sidelines for the most part, as Amazon and USA were the only two television networks to win multiple trophies. And it's even come full circle — broadcast network CW picked up "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" when premium cable network Showtime, the outlet it was developed for, passed.
"Right now, with so many outlets for distribution you have so many opportunities in other worlds," Herrmann said. "Amazon has a TV division now, Netflix. People who used to work in film are just as interested in working in TV."
Amazon in particular could become even more appealing to comedy producers and writers, as it's now home to the last two Golden Globe winners in that category. "Transparent," a show about a transgender retired college professor, won last year and was nominated again this year. And its natural rival in internet video, Netflix, walked away from this year's Globes empty-handed.
While lesser lights prevailed in the Globes' television categories — best supporting actress in a TV drama winner Lady Gaga notwithstanding — megawatt stars dominated the film awards. Leonardo DiCaprio won for best actor in a drama for his role in "The Revenant." Matt Damon took home the trophy for best actor for his performance in "The Martian," which was categorized as a comedy or musical, for some reason. Jennifer Lawrence won for playing a literal household name, Huggable Hangers inventor Joy Mangano in "Joy." Lady Gaga won for "American Horror Story," which drew a hard-to-interpret reaction from Leo.
But "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" — the biggest U.S. film of all time and undoubtedly the movie event of the year — opted not to hold press screenings in time to pick up a Golden Globe nomination. So while the attention that comes with a Golden Globe can certainly help put upstart shows like "Mozart" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" on the map, when you're battling for the fate of a galaxy, a Globe is only so important.