Golden Globe success doesn't predict Emmy gold ... just ask Steve Carell
But, as that avid award watcher, you also know that the Globes don't really track very well with the Emmys, whether it's compared to the Emmys given out the previous summer or the ones given out eight months after the Globes.
The obvious reason why television fans don't take the Globes as seriously as the Emmys is that the eligibility periods for the two awards are so different. The Globes' eligibility period is the previous calendar year, so nominations for the 2011 awards conceivably could have been for the latter half of the 2009-10 season instead of the first half of the 2010-11 season.
In contrast, the television academy's eligibility period, while quirky, still adheres more or less to the ebb and flow of the traditional network season. Both end at the end of May. So, at least when it comes to broadcast network shows, fans know that the Emmys cover the entirety of the season that just passed.
Of course, the proximity of the ceremonies to each other are also a factor. The Globes are given about a month before the Oscars, so it has become a natural predictor of who might get the award. As we said above, the Globes take place between Emmycasts, and a lot can change in the eight months between the Globes and the Emmys (for instance, "The Killing" has become a major Emmy contender, even though the show had yet to premiere when the Globes aired in January).
But, most of the reason why the Globes and the Emmys don't track well is because no one really knows who the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are and how they think. For every no-brainer choice they've made over the years, like giving Michael C. Hall an award for "Dexter" two years in a row, they'll also give awards to people like Anna Paquin and Gabriel Byrne, who might be deserving but are often not on the television academy's radar.
Just ask Steve Carell about how the two awards don't necessarily correlate. Many people think he's won an Emmy because, well, how could he not have won one? People may remember the Golden Globe he won in 2006 for the first and second seasons of "The Office" -- two years after Ricky Gervais won for starring in the British version, itself a surprising winner at the time -- and just assumed he won an Emmy the same year.
They'd be wrong, though; Carell has been nominated every year since since 2006 and has never won (ironically, one of his losses was to Gervais, who won an Emmy for starring in "Extras" in 2007). And there's no reason to believe that he won't get a nod this year, considering this was his farewell season playing Michael Scott, Dunder Mifflin's best manager/manchild.
There are some rumblings that this may be Carell's year at the Emmys, given the fact that he did a great job showing Michael's developing maturity during his farewell episodes. And the academy loves to pay tribute when an actor ends an iconic role. But given the competition -- previous winners Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons aren't going anywhere, for instance -- Carell may have better luck waiting for January, when the next Globes will be given out. At least Tony Shalhoub, someone else he's lost to, is finally out of the running. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.