First-year series, British veterans and ABC’s Thursday night all made a major splash in the TV categories at Monday’s Golden Globe Awards, where “Ugly Betty” and its star wore the comedy crown and medical hit “Grey’s Anatomy” checked out as best drama.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. — which in the past has recognized such little-seen imports as BBC underdog “The Office” — again instilled the event with a strong Anglo flavor that for a time virtually amounted to a second British invasion.
In the opening 75 minutes, that included three wins for the Emmy-anointed HBO-BBC collaboration “Elizabeth I” (for miniseries, thrice-nominated monarch Helen Mirren and co-star Jeremy Irons), thesp Hugh Laurie for “House,” and Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt for a BBC America movie, “Gideon’s Daughter.” Kudos to “The Queen,” “Babel” and “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen extended the international tide into the feature realm.
Adapted from a Spanish-language telenovela, “Ugly Betty” has delivered one of this season’s few ratings breakthroughs among freshmen programs. With an ebullient cast and crew behind him, exec producer Silvio Horta called the show “an immigrant” and, as such, a symbol of the American dream. Voters also feted title character America Ferrera, who joyously and tearfully proclaimed it “an honor to play this role.”
Following two Globes to “Desperate Housewives,” a one-hour ABC show has now been selected top comedy three years in a row, leaving more traditional half-hour sitcoms in their wake.
Overlooked at the Emmys, “Grey’s” also nabbed a top prize to go with its gaudy commercial achievements, which have included establishing a powerful beachhead for ABC on Thursday nights.
ABC’s three wins and sweep of the series derby left the Alphabet web in an overall tie with HBO, again the most-nominated channel, whose tally was limited to “Elizabeth’s” bounty, as the Globe voting spread the wealth among a half-dozen networks. Before ABC edged it out last year, the Time Warner pay service had made off with the most Globes among TV nets six years running — dominating with at least six statues from 2002-04.
The Globes are watched most closely as a bellwether for the Oscars but generally considered less significant in regard to television. The principal exception is that the mid-season timing allows the HFPA to recognize series launched in the fall before other major ceremonies — and a full eight months prior to the Emmy Awards.
In that respect, beyond “Betty” Alec Baldwin’s award for NBC’s struggling backstage comedy “30 Rock” surely comes as a welcome boost, with the star thanking voters for “remembering your old pal in the autumn of my career.” (The sitcom did endure a small indignity even on its host network, with presenter Tim Allen inadvertently referring to it as “3rd Rock.”)
“House’s” Laurie, meanwhile, received his second consecutive Globe as the brilliant, misanthropic doctor in Fox’s medical drama, joking that despite all the freebies lavished on nominees in the run-up to the awards — including “free colonic irrigation” — nobody offers to assist actors with their acceptance speeches. He then proceeded to thank his crew, saying that though the odds suggest not everyone can have a wonderful crew — “Somebody somewhere is working with a crew of drunken thieves” — he isn’t among them.
Sarah Jessica Parker was the last back-to-back Globe winner among TV performers, completing a “Sex and the City” three-peat in 2002 (and tapped four times in five years). Four-time nominee Kyra Sedgwick also claimed her first honors as lead actress in the TNT cop show “The Closer.”
In the awkwardly structured supporting categories, which combine series, movies and miniseries, Irons was singled out for costume mini “Elizabeth,” while Blunt — also up for “The Devil Wears Prada” — took gold for “Gideon’s.”
The 64th annual Globes were presented in Beverly Hills by the HFPA, an organization consisting of less than 90 active members. The awards were televised by NBC, which has broadcast the kudocast since 1996.
“Babel” – Anonymous Content Production/Una Producción De Zeta Film/Central Film Production; Paramount Pictures/Paramount Vantage
Helen Mirren – “The Queen”
Forest Whitaker – “The Last King of Scotland”
MUSICAL OR COMEDY
“Dreamgirls” – DreamWorks Pictures/Paramount Pictures; DreamWorks Pictures/Paramount Pictures
ACTRESS (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)
Meryl Streep – “The Devil Wears Prada”
ACTOR (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)
Sacha Baron Cohen – “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
“Cars” – Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studio; Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (USA/Japan) – Warner Bros. Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
Jennifer Hudson – “Dreamgirls”
Eddie Murphy – “Dreamgirls”
Martin Scorsese – “The Departed”
Peter Morgan – “The Queen”
Alexandre Desplat – “The Painted Veil”
“The Song of the Heart” – “Happy Feet” – Music & Lyrics by: Prince Rogers Nelson
“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) – Touchstone Television
Kyra Sedgwick – “The Closer”
Hugh Laurie – “House”
COMEDY OR MUSICAL
“Ugly Betty” (ABC) – Touchstone Television
ACTRESS (COMEDY OR MUSICAL)
America Ferrera – “Ugly Betty”
ACTOR (COMEDY OR MUSICAL)
Alec Baldwin – “30 Rock”
MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
“Elizabeth I” (HBO) – Company Pictures and Channel 4 i.a.w. HBO Films
ACTRESS (MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE)
Helen Mirren – “Elizabeth I”
ACTOR (MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE)
Bill Nighy – “Gideon’s Daughter”
Emily Blunt – “Gideon’s Daughter”
Jeremy Irons – “Elizabeth I”
CECIL B. DEMILLE AWARD