BY DANIEL MONTGOMERY
Will Rami Malek win Best TV Drama Actor at the Golden Globes for playing a hacker in USA's cyber-activism thriller "Mr. Robot" this year? He currently ranks fourth in our racetrack odds, looking like a strong bet for a nomination. But I think he can win, and here's why.
1. The Golden Globes love new shows.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is historically much quicker on the draw than the Emmys or SAG Awards, which often take a year or two to catch on to new programs. Just consider last year's Globes, when freshman series "Transparent" and "The Affair" won Best Comedy and Best Drama not long after they premiered. "Mr. Robot" is one of this year's highest profile new dramas, a critical darling that premiered over the summer, which means the Globes have the opportunity to be the first to give it their seal of approval.
2. The Golden Globes love to award breakout stars.
In addition to those series wins for "Transparent" and "The Affair," the Globes also awarded up-and-coming stars Ruth Wilson ("Affair") and Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin") in lead acting categories, and that was no anomaly.
The Globes have previously awarded breakthrough performers Keri Russell ("Felicity"), Jennifer Garner ("Alias"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Andy Samberg ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine") when their shows were new on the scene.
Malek fits that mold this year. This is his biggest starring role following character-actor roles in everything from HBO's "The Pacific" miniseries toPaul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-nominated film "The Master."
3. "Mr. Robot" premiered during the second half of the year.
The Hollywood Foreign Press has a short attention span when it comes to new shows. Spring premieres often come up short, while fall and winter shows tend to clean up. Last year's champs "Transparent" and "Affair" were both fall premieres, as were previous freshman champs like "Homeland," "Boardwalk Empire," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Glee." "Six Feet Under" and "Mad Men" were summer premieres like "Mr. Robot" when they won the top Globe. "Mr. Robot" generated increasing buzz all the way up to its September season finale, so the timing might be right for the show and its lead star.
4. It's been a slow fall season for watercooler hits.
There have been popular new shows this fall like "Supergirl," "Quantico" and "Blindspot," but those are led by female actors, so Malek won't have to go head-to-head against them. There aren't many other watercooler TV hits this season starring men.
There's "Better Call Saul" starring Bob Odenkirk, who recently earned an Emmy nomination for his starring role, but that show aired way back in the spring, so it might be out of sight, out of mind.
The bigger threat to Malek among new shows might be "Empire" star Terrence Howard, an Oscar-nominated movie star (the Globes love those). That show also premiered in the spring, but it was a ratings blockbuster and is currently airing its second season, keeping it fresh in voters' minds.