Perhaps the most startling year-to-year reversal in the nominations list for this year’s Golden Globe Awards is the showing by HBO, which in 1996 paced the field with 19 nods but could manage a mere four this time, tying with Showtime for sixth place among all TV networks.
Indeed, HBO wasn’t even the most-recognized cable web in Thursday’s announcement. That honor went to TNT, which pulled down five nominations (four of them for its Emmy-winning miniseries “George Wallace”) after tallying zero a year ago.
Nevertheless, as was the case a year ago, repetition was the rule in most of the TV series categories. Four of the five nominees are the same as last year in the top drama series race, as are four of the six comedy/musical series nominees and four of the five lead actors in both comedy and drama.
Among the returning nominees for comedy/musical series are “Frasier,” “Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “3rd Rock From the Sun,” with Fox’s “Ally McBeal” (oddly coupled with the comedies despite its hour length) and ABC’s “Spin City” breaking through for the first time. HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” meanwhile, failed to gain a nomination.
Encoring in the drama series race are “Chicago Hope,” “ER,” “NYPD Blue” and two-time Golden Globe-winner “The X-Files,” with “Law & Order” displacing 1996 nominee “Party of Five.”
The drama-series actor repeat nominees include “ER’s” George Clooney and Anthony Edwards as well as David Duchovny (“The X-Files”) and Lance Henriksen (“Millennium”). Kevin Anderson of the ABC freshman drama “Nothing Sacred” gained his first Golden Globe nod, acing out (among others) former Emmy-winners Dennis Franz and Jimmy Smits of “NYPD Blue.”
Repeating on the comedy-series actor list are “Frasier’s” Kelsey Grammer, John Lithgow of “3rd Rock,” “Mad About You’s” Paul Reiser and Michael J. Fox of “Spin City.” Jerry Seinfeld (“Seinfeld”) also landed a nomination this year, replacing “Home Improvement’s” Tim Allen among the nominees.
Brooke Shields (“Suddenly Susan”) and Helen Hunt (“Mad About You”) are encoring in the comedy-series actress category alongside Calista Flockhart of “Ally McBeal,” Ellen DeGeneres (“Ellen”), Jenna Elfman (“Dharma & Greg”) and Kirstie Alley (“Veronica’s Closet”).
Among drama series actresses, repeat nominees Christine Lahti (“Chicago Hope”) and last year’s winner Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) are joined by Kim Delaney (“NYPD Blue”), Roma Downey (“Touched by an Angel”) and Julianna Margulies (“ER”).
In longform, TNT’s “George Wallace” led the way with four noms, cited for top TV movie/miniseries as well as the performances of Gary Sinise, Angelina Jolie and Mare Winningham, while Showtime’s remake of “12 Angry Men” took three noms (best TV movie/mini and acting nods for vets Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott).
Despite its low total, HBO claimed two of the five movie/mini nods with “Don King: Only in America” and multiple Emmy-winner “Miss Evers’ Boys.” And three actresses best known for their work on the bigscreen — Vanessa Redgrave (“Bella Mafia”), Meryl Streep (“…First Do No Harm”) and Ellen Barkin (“Before Women Had Wings”) — received noms in the TV movie/mini actress category.