Voters likely to rotate comedy crop

Older shows may score noms but Globes likely looking ahead

Comedy crisis be damned, the Golden Globes will likely honor a whole new batch of laffers with this year’s nominations.

Retired entries “Sex and the City,” “Friends,” and “Frasier” all are still able to score noms, due to the award’s eligibility period. But it’s unlikely any will appear — save, perhaps, “Sex,” an old Golden Globe favorite.

That opens the door to a fresh crop, most of which will earn their first-ever Globe nom.

“Sometimes stars of departing shows can still pop up, but in general, the shows do not,” says awards analyst Tom O’Neil. They’re already out of people’s minds. … We’re all looking to see that next generation of shows that have not been recognized widely, like ‘Scrubs.'”

Indeed, “Scrubs” is a leading contender for a key slot, especially now that star Zach Braff has become a hot motion picture commodity (thanks to his “Garden State”).

But leading this year’s probable roster: An hour-long megahit called “Desperate Housewives” that some would argue isn’t even a comedy.

While the drama field is crowded with potential nominees (including fellow ABC rookie “Lost”), TV’s ongoing comedy crisis means there’s a paltry selection of potential laffer picks.

That’s because Globes voters pride themselves on being ahead of the curve — witness last year’s win for BBC America’s “The Office.”

Beyond “Scrubs” and “Desperate Housewives,” newcomer “Joey” could make the cut, as well as returning entry “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Also likely to score a second consecutive nom: “Arrested Development.” The Globes usually honor new shows before the rival Emmycast — but in an unusual twist, the Globes would be playing catch up on “Arrested,” which scored the best comedy Emmy last September.

“That’s an unusual case where the Emmy could be out in front of the Globes,” O’Neil says.

Darker horses include animated classic “The Simpsons,” which surprised many by earning a nom in 2002. “Monk” could also return, while cable breakouts such as “Chappelle’s Show” or even “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” might make the cut.

Less likely to make the list: Outgoing CBS comedy “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which Globe voters have virtually ignored through the years.

Then there’s the case of “Will & Grace,” the Globes’ biggest “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” nominee. The NBC laffer has scored 26 nominations through the years, with nary a win.

“This could be the year ‘Will & Grace’ finally falls off the radar,” O’Neil says.

But when it comes to which show will ultimately take home the statuette next month, don’t bet against “Desperate Housewives.”

The show is too hot for Golden Globe voters to ignore. Not only has it helped breathe new life into the scripted series form, but it’s a true phenom.

Magazine covers, boffo Nielsen ratings and the show’s watercooler buzz will make it an easy choice for the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. members who pull the lever.

“The voters are journalists, who consider it their chief job scouting out what’s hot, new and important on the TV media scene,” O’Neil says.

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