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Golden oldies rule

Globes nix frosh TV for established faves

Apparently the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s Golden Globe voters didn’t get a chance to watch much television this fall.

While last year’s list of nominees was dominated by then-new skeins “24” and “Alias,” the Golden Globes almost completely ignored this year’s crop of freshman shows.

Musical/comedy actress nominee Bonnie Hunt, who headlines ABC’s “Life With Bonnie,” drew the lone nom for any of the webs’ fall entries.

Instead, the org opted to play it safe with its 2003 nods. That includes tipping the balance of nomination power even further in cable’s favor.

As with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Emmy Awards, HBO has developed a lock on Golden Globe nominations. The pay cabler took 26 noms this year — up from 19 — while NBC led the broadcast pack with 13 (down from 15).

ABC took the biggest hit, going from 11 nominations last year to just two this year — one less even than FX. Fox took seven (up from six), CBS got three (down from 4) and TNT tied ABC at two.

Last year’s drama winner, HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” is back in the drama category, as is the pay cabler’s “The Sopranos,” along with NBC’s “The West Wing” and “24.” New to the drama list is FX’s critical darling “The Shield.”

This year’s recently completed season of “The Sopranos” gets its first crack at a trophy thanks to the Golden Globes’ December-to-December eligibility cycle. While “The Sopranos” had to sit out of the Emmys this year because it didn’t air at all during the 2001-2002 season, it didn’t have to skip a year at the Globes.

CBS’ Nielsen smash “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and ABC’s “Alias” didn’t make the cut this year, as the number of nominees slipped from six to five.

On the musical/comedy series front, Fox’s “The Simpsons” — whose producers had long given up hope of an Emmy mention in the comedy category — picked up its first nomination.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. had barred “The Simpsons” for years from competing in the category, despite its large international following. After years of lobbying by “Simpsons” staffers, the org finally relented this year.

The nomination comes as critics have pointed to a creative renaissance on “The Simpsons” this season — the show’s 14th — and ratings have shot up to its best in five years.

“We’re excited to be on an awards show that people will actually see for once,” said executive producer Al Jean. “When a show has been on for a long time, much less 14 years, it’s hard to get people’s attention.”

After trying for a live-action comedy nomination in the early 1990s, “The Simpsons” has competed in the Emmys’ outstanding animated series category for most of its life.

But with the Golden Globe nom, Jean said the show’s producers may consider taking another crack at submitting “The Simpsons” in the Emmy Awards’ live-action comedy category next year.

“This does represent a genuine breakthrough for us to compete,” Jean said. “The (Emmy) option’s open.”

“The Simpsons” will compete against last year’s musical/comedy series winner, HBO’s “Sex and the City,” as well as NBC’s “Friends,” HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and NBC’s “Will & Grace.”

The latest critical fave to come out of the HBO camp, “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” Larry David also scored a nom for musical/comedy series actor — for a role in which he essentially plays himself. David faces off with Matt LeBlanc (“Friends”), Bernie Mac (“The Bernie Mac Show”), Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”) and Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”).

Shalhoub’s nom is sure to raise some eyebrows, considering “Monk” is an hourlong detective series.

In addition to Hunt, nominated thesps in the musical/comedy series actresses category include Jennifer Aniston (“Friends”), Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”), Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) and last year’s winner, Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sex and the City”).

Lead actors from all five nominated drama series also scored acting noms: Emmy winner Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”), James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”), Peter Krause (“Six Feet Under”), Martin Sheen (“The West Wing”) and last year’s winner, Keifer Sutherland (“24”).

“Alias” star Jennifer Garner, who won the Golden Globe for dramatic actress last year, returns to the pack, along with Edie Falco (“The Sopranos”), Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under”), Marg Helgenberger (“CSI”) and Allison Janney (“The West Wing”).

Cablers swept the miniseries/TV movie category, led by three nominations for HBO: “The Gathering Storm,” “Live From Baghdad” and “Path to War.” A&E’s “Shackleton” is also in contention, along with Sci Fi Channel’s 20-hour mini “Steven Spielberg Presents: Taken.” That’s Sci Fi’s first ever nom.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s indecision of the year award went to its supporting actor in a series, miniseries or TV movie category, which boasted a whopping nine nominees.

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