What to expect at the 2020 Golden Globes

The 77th annual Golden Globe Awards officially kick off awards season in Hollywood on Sunday, January 5, at 8 pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific. The ceremony will air live on NBC, with British comic Ricky Gervais returning as host for a record-breaking fifth time.

The Golden Globes are traditionally held on the first Sunday of the year and mark the beginning of a lengthy awards season in the entertainment industry, but the season is shorter than usual in 2020, with the Globes airing just over one month before the Oscars. Administered by the somewhat mysterious Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the awards are notable for honoring both film and television instead of sticking to one medium like the Oscars or the Emmys, providing a rare chance for actors on screens big and small to mingle.

Another Golden Globes trademark is that the ceremony is usually a lot looser than other awards show, with free-flowing alcohol seen in attendees’ hands throughout the night. The Globes are also considered to be harder to predict than the other Hollywood honors, as the HFPA is a much smaller voting body comprised of international journalists, not nominees’ peers like the motion picture and television academies (which vote on the Oscars and the Emmys, respectively). These details have given the HFPA a bit of a bad reputation within the entertainment industry. These idiosyncrasies make the Globes either more exciting or more frustrating to watch, depending on how you feel about an unconventional array of winners and tipsy award speeches.

Here’s what to expect at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards and how to watch them live online and on TV.

Ricky Gervais, always a loose cannon, hosts for a record fifth time

Ricky Gervais kicked off the tradition of the comedic Golden Globes host back in 2010. That gig marked a sea change for the awards show — which typically hadn’t even had a host — as Gervais returned to host in both 2011 and 2012, carving out a uniquely caustic, comedic personality for the annual ceremony with his ribald monologues and quips. After a three-year run that was at times shocking, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took over for Gervais, co-hosting the Globes from 2013 to 2015 in a partnership that received wide acclaim. Gervais returned to the stage in 2016, but his appearance that year was generally panned as he playing it exhaustingly safe. And now, after another three-year stretch of different hosts, Gervais is back once again.

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Since Gervais last hosted the Globes four years ago, the comedian once known for creating TV series like The Office and Extras has perhaps become even better known for constantly toeing the line of politically offensive humor. Just recently, Gervais faced blowback after tweeting what seemed to be sympathy for the viewpoints of trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs.

Gervais will likely choose one of two approaches to the 2020 Golden Globes and present either a softer version of his penchant for highly personal roasting of the Hollywood elite, or a reprise of the brutal, no-one-is-safe shtick he’s best known for. Gervais hasn’t explicitly said which tack he plans to take for this year’s show, but he told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview about his hosting gig that he doesn’t “want to be out there being the warrior of the people cutting through hypocrisy and destroying sacred cows. I’m doing 10-minute standup, you know? Just laugh.”

“There are a thousand people in that room and they’ve probably all done something worthy of a bit of ridicule,” Gervais also said. “But we’re not hunting Nazis. We’re going after people who were a bit rude or got drunk and insulted a waiter.”

Either way, anticipate the requisite post-event discourse.

The 2020 Golden Globes could solidify Netflix as the Oscars’ biggest frontrunner

The Golden Globes have continued to help Netflix establish its film bona fides, as the streaming service has several films recognized in major motion picture categories. Marriage Story (six total nods), The Irishman (five total nods), and The Two Popes (four total nods) make up three of the five films nominated for Best Motion Picture — Drama, with Marriage Story scoring the most nominations of any film this year. Additionally, the Eddie Murphy vehicle Dolemite Is My Name picked up a nod in the Best Motion Picture — Comedy category as well.

Marriage Story is written and directed by previous Golden Globe winner Noah Baumbach, The Irishman is another masterwork from famed director Martin Scorsese, and The Two Popes has been heralded for co-stars Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce’s performances. But despite these films’ credentials, theater chains continue to push back against attempts by Netflix and other streaming services to release their films theatrically just to ensure awards eligibility. Hollywood has generally turned up its nose at streaming services moving their films to their exclusive platforms after just a short run in theaters, often relegating otherwise big-deal movies to very limited theatrical windows.

No matter. To Hollywood traditionalists’ dismay, Netflix has proven that it’s a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. And success at the Globes might help the company once again enter the Oscars Best Picture race and embark on a path toward its first win in the category, a milestone that no streaming service has yet reached.

Not a single broadcast show is nominated in the TV categories, for the first time ever

Amazon, HBO, Hulu, and Netflix have dominated the TV landscape for years now. Broadcast networks have struggled to keep up, and in 2020, not a single TV show from a broadcast network (ABC, CBS, the CW, Fox, NBC) is nominated for a Golden Globe.

BBC America, FX, and USA are the lone non-premium cable channels whose shows picked up nods (BBC America for Killing Eve; FX for the miniseries Fosse/Verdon and the second season of Pose; USA for the final season of Mr. Robot), and HBO and Showtime are the only premium cable channels with nominations (for shows like Barry and Succession on HBO, and On Becoming a God in Central Florida on Showtime). Otherwise, it’s streaming all the way down. Even Apple TV+ earned a nod, even though it just launched in November; its flagship series The Morning Show is nominated for Best Drama Series and Best Actress in a Drama Series (both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon).

That’s not to say broadcast TV is dead, of course. But at least at the Golden Globes, it’s hard not to think that this is streaming’s world — we’re just living in it.

How to watch the 2020 Golden Globe Awards online and on TV

Where and when is the Golden Globes ceremony? The 2020 Golden Globes will be held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 5. The ceremony will air live on NBC at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific.

Will there be a livestream to watch online? NBC has exclusive rights to air the 2020 Golden Globes. You’ll need a cable subscription to stream the 2020 Golden Globes via the NBC website or the network’s app, or you can also access NBC live through other premium streaming services like YouTube TV and Hulu’s live TV component.

What about red carpet coverage? E! will air its Golden Globes edition of Live from the Red Carpet beginning at 6 pm Eastern/3 pm Pacific. NBC will also air red carpet arrivals beginning at 7:30 pm Eastern/4:30 pm Pacific.