Golden Globes Rule Changes Address Resurgence of Episodic Anthology Series

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has good news for Netflix's 'Black Mirror' and 'Easy,' HBO's 'Room 104,' Amazon's 'The Romanoffs,' CBS All Access' 'The Twilight Zone' and Apple's upcoming 'Amazing Stories.'
Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios
Amazon's 'The Romanoffs'

Not since the first Golden Age of television have episodic anthology series — shows in which every episode tells a different story centered on different characters — been as well-represented on TV, in terms of both quantity and quality, as they are today with Netflix's Charlie Brooker-produced Black Mirror and Joe Swanberg-produced Easy, HBO's Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass-produced Room 104, Amazon's Matt Weiner-produced The Romanoffs and the newest addition to the genre, CBS All Access' Jordan Peele-produced reboot of The Twilight Zone, with Apple's Steven Spielberg-produced reboot of Amazing Stories just around the corner.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which bestows the Golden Globe Awards, has now taken steps to make sure that this reality is reflected as its annual ceremony. The HFPA announced on Wednesday that eligible episodic anthology series, or at least examples of them that "consist of two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 program minutes aired during the qualifying year," will now be eligible to compete in the limited series category at the Golden Globes.

Previously, they were ineligible to compete as series or miniseries. As a result, individual episodes of episodic anthology series with running times longer than 70 minutes were occasionally entered at the Golden Globes as TV movies, even though nobody regarded them as such, so that they could be eligible for the best miniseries or television television Golden Globe, and their talent for acting awards. (It is for this same reason that, in each of the last two years, episodes of Black Mirror have been eligible for — and won — the Emmy for best television movie; last year, two stars of such episodes also garnered individual acting noms.)

When it comes to Golden Globes voting, performers featured in episodic anthology will now stand a better chance of garnering recognition, as well. Those whose screen time accounts for at least 50 percent of the series' runtime will be eligible for recognition in the best actor in a miniseries or television film or best actress in a miniseries or television film categories, and all other performers in these series who meet other requirements — such as appearing in at least 5 percent of the series' runtime — will be eligible for recognition in the best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or television film or best supporting actress in a series, miniseries or television film categories.

This rule change, along with several other minor ones, emanated from the HFPA's rules committee, then were approved by the organization's board and were finally approved by the full membership.

The 77th Golden Globe Awards are set to take place Jan. 5, 2020.