Golden Globe TV Nominations Show Major Networks In Crisis

The Golden Globe nominations are out and on the TV side of things the HFPA didn’t do that bad of a job choosing the best in television. Sure, there were predictable nominations for Boardwalk Empire and the 30 Rock cast but unlike the SAG nominations, the HFPA honored both Homeland and Parks and Recreation with much deserved nominations.

So what can we take away from the Globes TV selections? A lot of safe choices mixed with a few of the oddball surprises we’ve come to expect from the Hollywood Foreign Press.

1. Network TV Drama is dead

The big four networks got slaughtered in the drama race. Granted, this has been trending this way for a while but WOW. Only Julianna Margulies, Best Actress for CBS’s The Good Wife, and Madeleine Stowe, Best Actress for ABC’s Revenge, managed a nomination in one of the big categories. Ouch! The days of NYPD Blue and E.R are long, long gone.

2. No love for Bikers, Zombies or Vampires

Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead and True Blood have audience and critics love but no awards love whatsoever. Not a single nomination this week for what are, arguably, the most talked about series on TV in 2011. I could add no love for Breaking Bad and Dexter but both of those shows are regularly loved up at the Emmys.

3. Cable is creeping into comedy as well

The major networks still have a hold on comedy but that grip is slipping as well. Showtime’s Episodes and HBO’s Enlightened both snuck into the Best Comedy Series race this year and if the HFPA had actually seen Louie it’s likely that show would have been nominated as well (I’m assuming they didn’t see it as it’s not nominated).

The acting categories should give the networks pause as well. In the Best Actor race three of the five nominees are from cable series including David Duchovny for Californication, Matt LeBlanc for Episodes, and Thomas Jane for Hung. In the Best Actress Comedy race two cable entries including Laura Dern for Enlightened and Laura Linney for The Big C.

New Girl was a surprise choice. The series has only aired nine episodes and while they are nine pretty good episodes, the show is still finding its rhythm. Glee has become a heritage pick and will likely be nominated as long as it’s on the air; the HFPA doesn’t break patterns easily.

4. No love for Community, Cougar Town, Happy Endings, Louie

The cool kids, the outsiders, those shows with only a small core of loyal followers got no love from the HFPA. Though it remains among the most loyally loved shows on TV, Community remains among the most Award-averse shows on TV. Cougar Town features one of the funniest ensembles on TV but remains plagued by a title that prevents it from being viewed as the great show that it is. Happy Endings has barely staved off cancellation so it’s no surprise that it has not been nominated for anything.

As for Louie, after the show broke through at the Emmys it seemed the show and creator/star Louie C.K had arrived in the elite of the business. The SAG and Golden Globe Awards have now sent Louie back to the island of misfit toys with Community and the rest for the time being.

Random notes:

  • It’s clear now that the HFPA doesn’t actually watch Glee.
  • Johnny Galecki over Jim Parsons? Did the HFPA flip a coin to decide their Big Bang Theory choice?
  • Why do awards shows hate Ron Swanson? Nick Offerman has authored one of TV’s great characters on Parks and Recreation and the man can’t get a sniff of an award nomination.
  • David Duchovny sleep walked his way through the last season of Californication and was nominated once again for his familiar name.
  • That HBO party must be spectacular; somehow they got the HFPA drunk enough to nominate Thomas Jane for Hung. It must be one heck of a party.
  • Madeleine Stowe for Leading Actress in a drama? Is there something ABC needs to tell Emily Van Camp about her supporting status on Revenge? That’s quite a supporting role she’s got there.
  • Which nomination is more random: Callie Thorne for Necessary Roughness at the Globes or Patrick Adams SAG nomination for Suits?
  • I am racking my brain trying to think of a network drama worthy of awards consideration and I am shocked to say I can’t think of one; at least not one that is better than what is nominated. I love both Grey’s Anatomy and Revenge but both are cheesy soap operas that don’t belong in any dramatic conversation with Boardwalk Empire. NCIS? NCIS Los Angeles? Anything on NBC? Nope.

How bad are things at the big four networks? They combined for 12 nominations. HBO had 18.

HBO 18 nominations

Showtime 8 nominations

PBS 5 nominations

ABC 4 nominations

BBC America 4 nominations

Fox 3 nominations

NBC 3 nominations

AMC 2 nominations

CBS 2 nominations

Starz 2 nominations

Sundance Channel 1 nomination

USA Network 1 nomination

(We’ll expand on the slow painful death of network drama in our year end TV wrap up, coming soon).