'Glee,' HBO lead Golden Globe nominations

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes weighs in on this year's Golden Globe Awards nominations for Best Television Series.
By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 14, 2010; 10:02 PM

The Golden Globe Awards gave a nice howdy-do to three freshmen TV series and planted a big ol' wet kiss on Fox's sophomore series "Glee" as it announced nominations Tuesday for its 68th annual trophy show.

Fox's high school musical - last year's Golden Globe winner for best comedy or musical series - copped five Globe noms this year. That's the most of any TV program, and No. 4 in the entire Globe nominations pool, behind only three feature films: "The King's Speech," which logged seven nominations, and "The Fighter" and "The Social Network," with six apiece.

The Golden Globe Awards, which will be broadcast live on both coasts Jan. 16 on NBC at 8 p.m. EST, is one of few televised trophy shows that showers love over both film and TV programming simultaneously.

But this season's crop of freshmen TV series was mostly a bust if Tuesday's Globes nominations are any measure - and they are. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which dispenses the Globe statuettes, is known for many things - among them, its willingness to embrace new TV series much more readily than the hidebound Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which bestows the Primetime Emmy Awards.

This year, the HFPA seemed largely unimpressed with the new crop of TV series. AMC's zombie-palooza "The Walking Dead," HBO's Prohibition-era saga "Boardwalk Empire" and Showtime's cancer comedy "The Big C" were the three notable exceptions.

"Boardwalk Empire" earned three nominations, including best drama series and an actor nom for lead Steve Buscemi, as well as a supporting actress nom for Kelly Macdonald.

Also collecting a best-drama nomination: "The Walking Dead" - the only nom secured by that campy cult drama. "Boardwalk" and "Walking Dead" will battle Showtime's "Dexter," CBS's "The Good Wife" (earning its first best-drama Globe nom) and last year's winner: AMC's "Mad Men."

Buscemi's competition for best actor in a drama series includes last year's winner, Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Hugh Laurie ("House") and Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"). Also new to the list this year is "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston, who's been a darling of the Emmys for several years, but whose performance as a meth-cooking, high-school-teaching cancer patient has been strangely overlooked by the HFPA until now.

"Glee" dominates the best comedy/musical TV series derbies, including its second nom for best of the genre, as well as acting noms for leads Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison and supporting cast members Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer.

In that best comedy/musical derby, "The Big C" - starring Laura Linney as an uptight suburban wife and mom who decides to "let her freak flag fly" when she receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer - is all that's new, literally.

"Glee" and "The Big C" will duke it out with NBC's "30 Rock," ABC's "Modern Family," Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" and CBS's "The Big Bang Theory."

Please note: CBS is the only broadcast network that has a nominee for both best drama series and best comedy series. That puts CBS ahead of ABC, Fox and NBC, as well as HBO - each of which has only one dog in those fights. But when the dust settled Tuesday morning, HBO once again racked up the most nominees of any TV network with 12. Eight of those noms were distributed among its movies and miniseries, including its movie about autistic animal advocate "Temple Grandin" that starred Claire Danes; its latest Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg World War II epic, "The Pacific"; the Bill Clinton/Tony Blair telefilm "The Special Relationship"; and its Al Pacino-starring biopic about Jack Kevorkian, "You Don't Know Jack."

Three of HBO's remaining four noms were gobbled up by "Boardwalk Empire," and the final nom went to Thomas Jane, star of the pay cable network's well-endowed-guy comedy, "Hung."

Showtime boasted that it had the most original series noms of any network with eight, besting CBS and Fox, which tied with six series noms apiece; NBC's four; and ABC's three. Too bad the head of programming at Showtime, Robert Greenblatt, packed up and left a while ago. On the bright side, he's about to become the programming chief for NBC.

"The Big C's" best comedy nom is one of two for that show: Linney is nominated for best comedy actress, joining "Glee's" Michele, "30 Rock's" Tina Fey and last year's winner, Toni Collette (of Showtime's "United States of Tara"). The fifth nominee is "Nurse Jackie's" Edie Falco, who seems to have gotten over being "dumbfounded" to discover that her show is a comedy when she picked up an Emmy for best comedy actress a few months ago, and has allowed her name to be tossed into the comedy ring again - this time for a Globe.

HFPA tossed out most of last year's drama-actress Globe nominees - sorry, January Jones and Anna Paquin and Glenn Close - to make room for "Mad Men's" Elisabeth Moss, Piper Perabo of USA's "Covert Affairs" and Katey Sagal of FX's "Sons of Anarchy." They face returning nominee Kyra Sedgwick - who has said that next season will be her last on TNT's "The Closer" - and last year's winner, Julianna Margulies of "The Good Wife."

Sagal's husband, "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter, tweeted Tuesday about her nomination: "Thank you foreign press. Can you please call the emmys and help them not be retarded."

Sutter is the guy who famously blogged, when his show got snubbed on Emmy nominations day, that he doesn't care about no stinkin' trophy shows because "We are the dirty-faced outlaws who no one wants in their clean white town. . . . We don't sing, have pretty sets or wear retro suits. They admire us from afar, wish they could do what we do, then they pull the shades and settle for the familiar and safe. They are lazy sheep." And then he added, for good measure, "I thrive on living outside the love circle" because it "makes me a more relevant artist."

And yet, this relevant artist tweeted Tuesday morning when his show was not nominated for a best-drama Globe: "what the [having sex] ya gonna do? people love zombies and guys in antique suits."

Getting back to "Glee's" total domination, Morrison will have to climb over last year's winner Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), "Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons, Steve Carell of "The Office" and "Hung's" Jane if he wants to take the trophy for best comedy actor.

The HFPA combines TV series, miniseries and telefilm's supporting actors into one category - ditto actresses - but movie and mini thespians have been virtually squeezed out this time.

The nominees for best supporting actor, for instance, include "Glee's" Colfer, "The Good Wife's" Chris Noth, "Modern Family's" Eric Stonestreet," Scott Caan of CBS's "Hawaii Five-O." David Strathairn is the only "long-form" nom, for his role in "Temple Grandin."

And Hope Davis, who played Hillary Clinton in the HBO movie "The Special Relationship," is the sole "long-form" nominee for supporting actress. She's facing "Glee's" Lynch, "Boardwalk Empire's" Macdonald, "Dexter's" Julia Stiles and "Modern Family's" Sofia Vergara.

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