The Golden Globes’ M.O. is being the first to recognize new series. And with the SAG Awards largely failing to do that yesterday, the Globes ran with it today, loading up on newcomers and surprise nominees.
Golden Globe attention in the past has given much-needed boosts to low-profile first-year series like Fox’s Ally McBeal, which shot up in popularity after winning for best comedy series and star Calista Flockhart in its first season. This year, two struggling freshmen — Starz’s drama Boss and HBO’s comedy Enlightened — could benefit with nominations for best series and lead actors Kelsey Grammer and Laura Dern, respectively. Both shows just wrapped their seasons, so there won’t be an immediate effect, but increasing the visibility of the two series, which air on pay cable, won’t hurt in the long run. And while Boss was picked up for a second season before the show’s premiere, the future of Enlightened remains in limbo. HBO had been leaning toward renewing Mike White’s dark comedy, so the two Golden Globe nominations may help seal the deal. It is unclear if the second consecutive nomination for Hung star Thomas Jane would improve the HBO comedy’s renewal chances, which have been slim.
One of the series the Globes couldn’t save was ABC’s underrated My So-Called Life, whose star, then-teenager Claire Danes, won for best actress in the show’s first season. Seventeen years later, Danes is up for a Globe in the same category for her follow-up series to My So-Called Life, Homeland. (Danes won last year for the HBO movie Temple Grandin.) After being snubbed by the SAG Awards, the Showtime thriller drama made a big entrance into the awards circle, tied with HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and ABC’s Modern Family as the most nominated series with three: for best drama series and lead actors Danes and Damian Lewis.
It was a big year for pay cable. HBO and Showtime were the two most nominated networks with 18 and eight noms, respectively, while Starz scored its first two series Golden Globe noms with Boss. In TV series, pay cable networks amassed a staggering 18 nominations to broadcast networks’ 12 and basic cable nets’ five. (AMC’s tally, two, was hurt by Mad Men‘s hiatus.) Broadcast TV’s freshman class of 2011 was represented by Fox’s New Girl with two noms and ABC’s Revenge with one. (more…)