By JAKE COYLE
AP Film Writer
The Golden Globes are back from the dead, and ready to party.
The long-running award show will again have the champagne flowing Sunday night when the 81st Globes begin at 8 p.m. EST. Much looked the same as always as well-attired celebrities streamed into the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom beneath sunny skies in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The carpet was red, but the color of the night might be pink. “Barbie,” the year’s biggest hit, came in the lead nominee with nine nominations, including best comedy or musical. Margot Robbie, star and producer of the film, arrived dressed for the part, sporting a pink Armani dress modeled after Superstar Barbie from 1977.
But the Globes are returning sans the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which was disbanded after years of diversity and ethical scandals. The Globes also lost its longtime network home. This year’s show is being broadcast on CBS in a one-year deal.
Can the revamped Globes recapture the bubbly, irreverent spirit of all those shows hosted by Ricky Gervais or Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? Those broadcasts helped turn the Globes into the third biggest award show of the year, after the Oscars and the Grammys. The Globes’ glitzy good time enabled many to overlook the impropriates of an award show that often doubled as a punchline.
“I think it’s on the upswing now,” Colman Domingo, nominated for his lead performance in the Bayard Rustin drama “Rustin,” said on the red carpet. “I think that they’ve had some soul searching and we all have to allow everyone to have soul searching.”
Regardless of the behind-the-scenes drama, most viewers tune in for the dresses, the speeches and the stars — of which there is a bountiful array this year. Among expected attendees is Taylor Swift, whose “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is nominated in the newly launched “cinematic and box-office achievement” award. Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce, was with his team, the Kansas City Chiefs, which are playing at nearby SoFi Stadium earlier in the afternoon.
Swift, along with the stars of likely winners “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie,” are some of the main attractions in Sunday’s ceremony, hosted by Jo Koy. The comedian, who isn’t expected to strike as caustic a tone as previous hosts, will be tasked with leading the Globes into a new era. Even the menu ( Nobu is catering ) has been flipped.
HOW TO WATCH
CBS will air the ceremony live after an afternoon of NFL broadcasts. The show will also be streamed live via the Showtime plan on Paramount+. The Globes can also be watched through live TV streaming services that include CBS in their lineup, like Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and FuboTV.
Red carpet coverage will be online. The official pre-show will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight” and Variety beginning 6:30 Eastern. The red-carpet will stream on the Golden Globes site, ETOnline.com, Variety’s website and social platforms and other Penske Media publications.
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE SHOW
Announced presenters include Oprah Winfrey, Will Ferrell, Ben Affleck, America Ferrara, Michelle Yeoh, Issa Rae, Florence Pugh, Angela Bassett, Natalie Portman and Amanda Seyfried.
You won’t see two awards usually handed out at the Globes: the Cecil B. DeMille Award or the Carol Burnett Award. Both of those tribute honors aren’t being given this year, though two new categories are: the blockbuster award and one for stand-up comedy special. Also new: Most categories include six, not five, nominees.
Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” the biggest movie of the year with more than $1.4 billion in ticket sales, comes in the lead-nominee with nine nods, including best comedy or musical, best director for Gerwig, best actress for Robbie, best supporting actor for Ryan Gosling, and three original song nominations.
Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is close behind with eight nominations, including for best drama, best director for Nolan, best actor for Cillian Murphy and supporting nods for Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt.
“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” are expected to clean up, but look for possible wins from front-runners including Lily Gladstone for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Emma Stone for “Poor Things” and “Da’Vine Joy Randolph for “The Holdovers.”
On the TV side, HBO’s “Succession” leads with nine nominations. “The Bear” and “Only Murders in the Building” follow with five apiece.
THE GLOBES COMEBACK
A few years ago, the Golden Globes were on the cusp of collapse. After The Los Angeles Times reported that the HFPA had no Black members, Hollywood boycotted the organization. The 2022 Globes were all but canceled and taken off TV. After reforms, the Globes returned to NBC last year in a one-year deal, but the show was booted to Tuesday evening. With Jerrod Carmichael hosting, the telecast attracted 6.3 million viewers, a new low on NBC and a far cry from the 20 million that once tuned in.
The Golden Globes were acquired by Eldridge Industries and Dick Clark Productions, which Penske Media owns, and turned into a for-profit venture. The HFPA (which typically numbered around 90 voters) was dissolved and a new group of some 300 entertainment journalists from around the world now vote for the awards.
Questions still remain about the Globes’ long-term future, but their value to Hollywood studios remains providing a marketing boost to awards contenders. (The Oscars won’t be held until March 10.) This year, because of the actors and writers strikes, the Globes are airing ahead of the Emmys, which were postponed to Jan. 15.
With movie ticket sales still 20% off the pre-pandemic pace and the industry facing a potentially rocky 2024 at the box office, Hollywood needs the Golden Globes as much as it ever has.
AP’s Krysta Fauria contributed to this report from Beverly Hills, California.