NEW YORK – The Golden Globes have an ear for musical drama, handing two nominations to ABC’s new Nashville and a nod to NBC’s freshman series Smash.
But the broadcast networks were largely overlooked, as usual, except for PBS’ Downton Abbey. They were snubbed entirely in categories such as best actor in a drama series and best actress in a TV film, while the Globes mostly recognized familiar cable fare like Homeland, Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad.
Raw numbers told the tale: pay-cable channel HBO led among all outlets with 17 nominations, far ahead of cable network runner-up Showtime (seven), followed by broadcast networks ABC (five), and CBS, NBC and PBS (four each). Fox had two.
The Globes will be handed out Jan. 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and airing live on NBC.
Leading the pack among all shows was HBO’s Game Change, which told the story of the 2008 presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain. It picked up five nods, including best TV film, best actress (Julianne Moore, who wowed viewers as GOP vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin), best actor (Woody Harrelson), best supporting actor (Ed Harris) and best supporting actress (Sarah Paulson).
Right behind was Showtime spy drama Homeland. PBS’ wildly popular period piece Downton Abbey (which won last year as best miniseries) claimed three nominations, as did The Girl, HBO’s film about celebrated director Alfred Hitchcock, and ABC’s comedy Modern Family, which won as best comedy series last year.
For fans of country-music melodrama Nashville (which landed nominations for Connie Britton as best actress and Hayden Panettiere as best supporting actress) and of Broadway-set Smash (nominated for best comedy/musical series), the Globes’ attention was welcome, if a bit unexpected. While both series have devotees, neither has been a breakout hit.