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New blood hits TV acting pool

'Housewives,' 'Lost' thesps expected to compete in this year's race

TV thesps may encounter a changing of the Golden Globes guard this year, as the huge success of frosh skeins “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” promise to shuffle the deck.

The buzzworthy nature of both shows almost guarantees a slew of new faces entering the pack. On the drama side, that means likely nods for “Lost’s” Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly.

But the most interesting race may be in the comedy actress category. Because ABC has decided to enter “Desperate Housewives” in the comedy categories, expect possibly all four of the show’s stars among the female laffer noms.

At the very least, Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman are likely to score nods, with fellow castmate Eva Longoria a good bet as well. That would leave room for just one non-“Housewife” nom.

“‘Desperate Housewives’ is going to cause a diva logjam in that acting category,” says awards observer Tom O’Neil, who handicaps the Globes at his Goldderby.com Web site. “Those girls are killers.”

Still, the “Housewives” stars have some competition. Even though “Sex and the City” left the air earlier this year, Globe fave Sarah Jessica Parker — who won the statue in 2004 — might score a farewell nom.

“Joey” co-star Drea DeMatteo also has a shot at a nom, but the field narrows beyond that.

On the comedy actor side, “Arrested Development” star Jason Bateman and “Scrubs” lead Zach Braff are favorites to score noms.

For Bateman, Golden Globes winners may want to get ahead of the Emmy pack by awarding him a statuette first.

Other strong possibilities: Charlie Sheen, whose “Two and a Half Men” laffer has exploded in the ratings this fall (and who scored a nom in 2001 for “Spin City”); as well as “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” Larry David and “Joey” star Matt LeBlanc.

Wild cards would include retiring “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer, as well as frequent nominee Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”). “Monk” star Tony Shalhoub could also land a repeat nom. (“The Office” star Ricky Gervais picked up last year’s trophy.)

On the drama side, the race for best TV drama actor appears crowded. Besides Fox, top contenders include “Rescue Me’s” Denis Leary, “Deadwood” star Ian McShane, “Boston Legal’s” James Spader and James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”).

Other possibilities include “Nip/Tuck’s” Julian McMahon, as well as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” lead William Petersen and last year’s winner — “Without a Trace’s” Anthony LaPaglia.

New blood will likely dominate the female TV drama actress field, where “Lost’s” Lilly is likely a given. Other top possibilties include “Joan of Arcadia’s” Amber Tamblyn, “Jack & Bobby” star Christine Lahti, “Nip/Tuck’s” Joely Richardson, and “Alias'” Jennifer Garner.

But don’t count out “Sopranos” star Edie Falco, as well as Emmy fave Allison Janney (“The West Wing”) and last year’s winner, “Six Feet Under’s” Frances Conroy.

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