The Golden Globes’ Contract Year

chris rock
Producing the 80th Golden Globes is now an existential task. Photo: Al Seib/Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
September 22, 2022

Tuesday’s announcement that the Golden Globes will return on NBC could have arrived with one key addition: Chris Rock as the host. That was the goal, I’m told by four sources close to the show. And Rock—a two-time Oscars host whose cachet shot up when he was assaulted on stage by Will Smith in March—was offered a “shit-ton” of money to take the gig, per one source. But alas, Rock passed (he also turned down next year’s Oscars), so Globes producers have moved on.

It’s now an existential task, producing these 80th Golden Globes. Beyond the question of whether the top stars will actually show up, the Globes are essentially betting their continued existence on this next show. NBCU’s Jeff Shell and Frances Berwick have allowed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association back (and on Peacock, too!) after a year in exile over its lack of Black members and some dubious practices, but it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. Not even close.

The 2023 show has shifted to Tuesday, Jan. 10, rather than the traditional first Sunday in January; and, crucially, the H.F.P.A. and producer Dick Clark Productions have a one year deal, after which the Globes must “explore new opportunities”—meaning find another home, unless Shell decides to bid on the open market. In sports terms, the Globes now are basically an aging player in a contract year, hoping to avoid a career-ending injury (like a celebrity boycott), put up impressive-enough numbers, test free agency, and ultimately take their talents to South Beach—or in this case, CBS or Netflix.