Ryan Murphy’s Golden Globes Nominations Prove That He’s a Powerhouse

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The nominations for the 2021 Golden Globes have just been announced, and though the ceremony is weeks away we already know the name of one clear winner. Out of the Globes‘ 25 possible categories, one creator was responsible for spearheading projects that earned almost a quarter of total nominations. That’s right; Ryan Murphy has officially entered the 2021 awards race.

Anyone who pays attention to awards season knew that at least one of Ryan Murphy’s projects would be nominated. How could they not? Ever since his Nip/Tuck days the creator and his band of collaborators and actors have been Golden Globes mainstays. Adding to the likelihood of a nomination was last year’s deep bench of projects. Over 2020 Murphy and his team released a critically-praised documentary (A Secret Love), an Emmy-nominated miniseries (Hollywood), a widely watched drama (Ratched), the second season of a star-studded comedy (The Politician), and two celebrity-packed movies (The Prom and The Boys in the Band) while also balancing the shooting and production schedules of at least four other shows for FX and Fox. The man was destined to show up this year.

But the sheer force of Murphy’s presence is borderline impossible to comprehend. When it comes to the Globes and its limited categories, a network is notable if it receives two to three nominations. That’s the yardstick we’re working with when it comes to entire networks composed of huge teams of various showrunners. Meanwhile, Murphy alone has raked in six nominations.

Those six nominations have beaten FX, NBC, BBC America, and AMC, all of which only scored one nomination this year. They beat Apple TV+’s two nominations for Ted Lasso and Amazon’s Borat-fueled four nominations. Those nominations even beat Showtime’s applaudable five nominations.  Only Hulu, HBO, and of course Netflix were able to best him (Disney+ also received six nominations, tying with Murphy). Ryan Murphy isn’t in competition with other creators; he’s in the same league as entire networks.

Any way you look at it, that’s impressive. But it’s the slate Murphy was nominated for that ups the ante of this success. Murphy’s six nominations spanned three pointedly different projects: a film, a limited series, and a television drama. Here’s the full tally:

  • The Prom
    • Best Musical or Comedy
    • Best Actor Motion Picture Musical/Comedy: James Corden
  • Ratched
    • Best Drama Series
    • Best Television Actress Drama: Sarah Paulson
    • Best Supporting Actress Television: Cynthia Nixon
  • Hollywood
    • Best Supporting Actor Television: Jim Parsons

If you pitched that slate to any studio in Hollywood, they would be thrilled. They would praise it for being well-rounded, varied, for having big names, and for skillfully courting somber awards-focused critics while never losing mainstream appeal.

That’s from one person.

When Ryan Murphy’s $300 million Netflix deal was first announced, Murphy praised the streamer’s freedom in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. That freedom was both tied to Netflix’s transparency with its numbers on the creative side and the possibility that the super-producer could finally have a playground big enough for his lofty imagination and aspirations. After seeing the behind-the-scenes numbers for how one of his shows performed on Netflix, Murphy said, “I left that meeting feeling that I had seen the future.”

We’re finally seeing that future too, and Murphy is just getting started. It’s a mistake to credit this success to one person. That in and of itself is what makes these nominations so extraordinary. Murphy, heading his loyal tribe of collaborators, co-creators, esteemed directors, and impeccable talent, is on track to become one of the most influential producers in Hollywood history. The future he imagined doesn’t look like it was for a measly TV slate. It was for an empire.

Watch Ratched on Netflix

Watch The Prom on Netflix

Watch Hollywood on Netflix

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