Globes' TV acting noms spotlight newcomers

This year’s Golden Globes TV acting nominees are not short on star power, but once again several newcomers made the cut, demonstrating the popularity they and their shows enjoy overseas.

Six names stand out from the list as leads from first-season shows yet to air overseas, in what some see as a sign of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s increasingly progressive voting. They are Jennifer Garner for ABC drama “Alias”; Lauren Graham for WB’s “Gilmore Girls”; Marg Helgenberger for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and Simon Baker for “The Guardian,” both on CBS; and Peter Krause and Rachel Griffiths for HBO’s “Six Feet Under.”

“I think these nominations show they are trying to be more judicious in spreading their votes across a wider net of younger and newer actors,” says James Ulmer, entertainment analyst and author of star-ranking guide the Ulmer Scale.

The HFPA is sensitive to theories that it likes lots of international visibility.

“You only have to look at our history over the last three or four years to see that we are not star-oriented at all when it comes to nominating and voting, particularly where television is concerned,” says Jenny Cooney-Carillo, head of HFPA’s TV panel.

Global sophistication

Members feel their voting mirrors the increasing sophistication of global audiences, citing as examples last year’s nomination of Jessica Alba for “Dark Angel,” and previous nominations of David Duchovny for “The X-Files” and Calista Flockhart for “Ally McBeal.”

“Alba became so popular so quickly, people wanted to read about her in other countries even if they couldn’t see the show,” Cooney-Carillo says.

“When I first wrote the ‘Dark Angel’ story, the series wasn’t even on air,” says Paola Abou-Jaoude, who profiled Alba for Brazilian entertainment magazine Heroi.

Portugal’s Rui Coimbra explains he is aggressive about ferreting out up-and-coming names: “I tend to push actors who are good, no matter what their audience is.”

Borders are even more porous when it comes to big names. “The acting and the quality of the series on an overall basis, from the director to the scripts to the storyline, all seem to translate almost universally,” says Perry Schneider, president of HBO Enterprises, of “The Sopranos.”

In Turkey, “Sopranos” and “Sex and the City” are two of the most popular American shows on pay TV, according to Esra Oflaz, a partner at MCD, a leading distributor of American programming, and stars Gandolfini and Parker are popular with viewers. “People laugh at their jokes and talk about them with their friends,” Oflaz says.

But not all international stars will have their day at the Globes.

“Not one ‘Friends’ cast member has ever won, and they are the biggest names we have,” says Rebecca Marks, VP of entertainment publicity at NBC, about the ensemble series that this year received one nomination for Jennifer Aniston.

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