'Lost,' 'Housewives' fuel Alphabet's big night

Again adopting an “in with the mostly new” mentality, first- and especially second-year series dominated the TV portion of the 63rd annual Golden Globes Monday, highlighted by ABC’s sweep with best drama “Lost” and repeat comedy winner “Desperate Housewives.”

Having already scored an Emmy, ABC’s desert-island serial pushed the Alphabet network into a leading position among networks, tallying four awards for the night, one ahead of perennial award powerhouse HBO.

Fellow sophomore sensation “Housewives,” which lost out to sentimental favorite “Everybody Loves Raymond” in its first year of Emmy eligibility, also overcame three brand-new entries — “My Name is Earl,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Weeds” — to become the first back-to-back series honoree since “Sex and the City’s” three-peat from 2000-02.

As Teri Hatcher predicted during the preshow, however, Mary-Louise Parker of Showtime’s little-seen dramedy “Weeds,” in which she plays a pot-selling mom, overwhelmed a quartet of nominees from “Housewives.” In presenting the award, comic Chris Rock joked that the ABC series is a ratings smash, while Parker’s show is only watched by Snoop Dogg.

The victory marks a modest coup for Showtime, which has never previously garnered a major series Globe and has pushed hard into that realm. Parker herself earned the supporting trophy in 2004 for HBO’s “Angels in America.”

All the actors, in fact, came from new or near-new programs. Geena Davis was recognized for ABC’s first-term political drama “Commander in Chief,” thanking series creator Rod Lurie — who has since left the program — and drawing laughs with a made-up story about a little girl saying the show emboldened her to wish to become president.

British thesp Hugh Laurie was also a first-time winner for Fox’s “House,” naming a few assorted crew members before segueing to the more usual suspects. Steve Carell, meanwhile, scored something of an upset over higher-rated companion “Earl’s” Jason Lee by earning a Globe for NBC’s “The Office,” which made its debut last spring, after Ricky Gervais claimed the same prize for the original U.K. version two years ago.

Even shut out in the series balloting, HBO still made a sizable splash in the longform arena, nabbing honors for the miniseries “Empire Falls.” The Time Warner-owned net — which has turned award preeminence into a useful marketing tool — has now walked off with the Globe for outstanding movie or miniseries seven times in the last eight years.

In the strangely structured supporting categories, which pit actors from movies and miniseries against series regulars, Paul Newman also won for “Empire Falls,” while Sandra Oh cashed in for her role as an intern in ABC’s sophomore medical hour “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“I feel like someone set me on fire,” an elated Oh gushed onstage, thanking her “team” before saying, “I don’t remember any of your names.”

Newman, who didn’t attend, had never received a Globe for a performance but was presented the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1984.

Favoring new faces, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers took the longform acting award for the CBS mini “Elvis” — over vets Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh and Ed Harris — while S. Epatha Merkerson doubled her Emmy pleasure for the HBO movie “Lackawanna Blues.”

“This is so amazing,” said a tearful Merkerson, the “Law & Order” co-star, who in her excitement at the Emmys dropped her acceptance speech down her dress when announced. “I’m 53 years old. This is my first lead in a film. I feel like I’m 16, but if I wasn’t in the middle of a hot flash, I’d believe that.”

The Globes are historically considered most significant as a bellwether for the Oscars, which explains why the TV awards generally take a bit of a back seat. Of the 11 TV categories, everything but best drama was dispensed with by roughly the kudocast’s midway point.

Show was televised under a long-term agreement with NBC and is historically one of the highest-rated award ceremonies, though last year it was buried by “Desperate Housewives.” As such, it will be noteworthy whether the glut of smaller films among the nominees deflates tune-in.

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