On top of the recent announcement that Big Little Lies is returning for a second season, it was also just nominated for six Golden Globe awards (in the TV miniseries categories), as well as four SAG awards. While you may think the news would make pretty much everybody happy, think again.
If you haven’t heard about the controversy yet, let me break it down. Since the series (which began as a mini-series) was renewed for another season, it doesn’t exactly qualify as a miniseries anymore. And yet it garnered nominations in the miniseries category. See the problem?
You may have noticed that while everyone (the cast/crew and fans alike) were confident that the series would return, HBO remained mum for quite awhile. It wasn’t until three days before the Golden Globe nominations were announced publicly that HBO confirmed the news of a second season.
HBO is now being accused of cheating the system, having renewed the series just days after the voting window closed.
In a press release, HBO responded, saying:
Big Little Lies was conceived, produced, and aired as a limited series. The implication of impropriety regarding HBO’s awards submission of Big Little Lies in the Limited Series category is irresponsible and uninformed. The idea to continue the story came about only after the show aired. None of the cast or filmmakers had holdover contracts. Each deal had to be renegotiated, which is proof that no ongoing series was contemplated. Additionally, no source material beyond Liane Moriarty’s novel existed. The accusation that HBO was ‘gaming the system’ is baseless and undeserved.
Technically, Big Little Lies does qualify as a miniseries per the Golden Globes’ requirements. According to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a miniseries must: consist of two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 program minutes, must have originally aired on TV as a miniseries, and have a complete story [arc].
The series definitely meets all three requirements. And, as a result, it offers a better outlook for HBO. It may sound innocent, but HBO’s disapproval after the Producers Guild re-categorized the series for the PGA awards (putting them out of the mini-series category into the episodic category and demanding a re-vote) shows their preference for the miniseries category. And we think we know why.
If you’re confused as to what’s the big fuss, here’s the deal: categorization can play a huge influence in the likelihood of walking away with a win. Opponents in the miniseries categories for the Best Actress include Jessica Biel (The Sinner), Jessica Lange (Feud: Bette and Joan), and Susan Sarandon (Feud: Bette and Joan).
If Kidman and Witherspoon were unable to qualify in the miniseries category then they would be up against Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Claire Foy (The Crown), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Deuce), Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale). While the actress in the miniseries category are absolutely incredible, the second category seems far more competitive. Had Kidman and Witherspoon been forced to duke it with the latter actresses, then their chances might have been slimmer.
Thus, regardless of how shady HBO might have been, it was well played.
Big Little Lies has been nominated for the following Golden Globe awards:
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television
Best Performance By An Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television (Nicole Kidman)
Best Performance By An Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television (Reese Witherspoon)
Best Performance By An Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television (Laura Dern)
Best Performance By An Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television (Shailene Woodley)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television (Alexander Skarsgård)
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